Estate Planning Review

Executive Summary

A retired couple needing an estate plan review. The clients:

  • Had been a client of the firm for a few years.
  • Had two adult children.
  • Daughter was in a failing marriage and had the following concerns:
    – Divorce
    – Bankruptcy (Daughter’s spouse self-employed)
    – How the above items would affect their assets
  • Are residents of MN and are slightly over the MN estate tax exemption.
  • Had existing estate plan.
  • Son and daughter got along very well.
  • Spouse had early signs of memory loss.
  • Desired to gift some of their wealth to their children while living to see them enjoy the assets.


  • After reviewing the clients existing plan it became apparent that the clients concerns were not addressed.
  • The current plan left the assets to the children outright, naming each child as their own trustee.
  • The existing plan and the titling of the clients assets did not match up.
  • The existing plan named each surviving spouse as the successor trustee.


Our Advance Planning Team made observations on the current plan that led to a total rewrite of their estate plan by a new attorney. The following observations were implemented:
  • Upon the passing of the 2nd spouse, Legacy trusts would be established for the assets to flow into therefore protecting the child’s inheritance from divorce and creditors.
  • The Legacy Trusts also ensure that the assets will remain in the Grantor’s bloodline.
  • Established the brother as the trustee on the daughter’s Legacy Trust in order to prevent coercion from the spouse of the daughter.
  • Added the son as a successor trustee to the clients’ plan in order to make sure that if the husband passed first the wife would have help if her memory continued to slip.
  • Retitled the assets to make sure the new plan covered them.
  • Created a gifting plan for the clients that could be implemented while they were alive.