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Leave Them Something More to Remember You By

The dozens of voice recordings, left on the phones of victims’ families, are easily among the most powerful stories made public by the recent ribbon-cutting at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. These last messages to their loved ones are profoundly moving and will help communicate the tragedy that occurred that day to generations to come.

It’s not unusual for family members to keep voicemails and answering machine messages left by their loved ones for years after their deaths. Even a quick greeting can become a keepsake–a lasting reminder of who that person was. Hearing the voice of someone you love and miss can be an invaluable comfort.

Today’s technology makes it possible for us to give our loved ones even more, something that will communicate who you were and what you valued–your history, life lessons, and whatever else you feel is too important to die with you.

This is one of those easy things that people have a strong desire to do, yet have difficulty getting around to. Afterall, we never know when our time may come and to record any “final thoughts” confronts us with our eventual mortality. Worse, even if you do get around to crafting that message, it can fall through the cracks and never reach its intended recipients without proper preparation. Our words are too precious to leave to chance.

Give your family something to rememberAs an estate planning attorney, this idea makes up a core part of the plans I offer. A  family legacy video goes beyond mere assets, allowing you to leave behind your own story, as well as any aspirations you hold for your loved ones. This gift may endure in your family, cherished and remembered, forever!

Your own parents and grandparents may have passed down family photos, diaries, and scrapbooks, some dating back to their ancestors. If those faded photos could talk, what would they have to say? The photos of the past give clues about who they were, but so much is left unsaid. What you leave behind is about more than just money; it’s a lasting legacy of the invaluable intangibles. Help your children and your children’s children understand who you were–give voice to your insights, values, and experiences. I feel deeply honored to be able to provide this for our clients.

Call our office at (612) 206-3701 or fill out our contact form to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk about this in a family estate planning consultation, where we can identify the best ways for you to ensure your legacy of love and financial security for your family.

Contact us to see how we can help you with Family Stories and Values

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The plain-English guide for Minnesota small business owners

When it comes to business, ignorance isn't bliss; ignorance is risk.

There's a handful of legal topics that business owners should be familiar with, at least on a rudimentary level, to reduce the risk of having something horrible come out of left field.

This book is a legal guide to help you put the most common business legal issues on your radar, with enough information for you to be on the alert for when you may need to get some professional advice.

The intention in arming you with this information is so that you can proceed in business confidently and with fewer legal quagmires.

Do you have a cabin?

The first generation that buys a cabin enjoys it to the fullest and it’s a magical place where happy memories are made and families go for some much needed respite. Unfortunately, without thoughtful planning, the chances of the cabin staying a place of happiness and tranquility into successive generations is very, very slim.

If you haven’t done the planning in advance and made it legally binding, the family members (and their ex-spouses and new spouses) will have to work every detail out for themselves. If they can’t, what is likely to happen is a lawsuit called an action for partition that forces everyone to sell their interest. This lawsuit is expensive, and the costs of litigation will come out of the proceeds of the sale of the cabin, so to add insult to injury to those who wanted to keep the cabin but couldn’t afford to buy the others out, they are footing part of the legal bills in the lawsuit against them. Ouch!

It’s no wonder that family members stop speaking for years after the cabin conflict is “resolved.” You can’t make family relationships perfect, but you can take away much of the fuel for the family conflict fire. That’s what cabin planning does, and it has the nice side effect of giving you peace of mind now.

That’s why Kimberly wrote The Minnesota Cabin Planning Guide and Workbook, and you can get a free electronic copy of her book on our cabin planning website, or you can find it in many county libraries in Minnesota, or you can get it on amazon.com.

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