Estate & Trust

Estate & Trust Planning

Take care of the important people and causes in your life

Protect your legacy.
Plan for the future.

Effective estate and trust planning helps protect your assets and preserves your wealth. Our estate planning CPAs and financial advisors are skilled at understanding our clients’ personal values, goals and concerns about the future and designing estate plans that meet their objectives.

Our estate and trust planning services

  • Estate tax planning
  • Estate distribution planning
  • Estate excise tax preparation
  • Estate income tax preparation
  • Trust planning
  • Trust tax preparation
  • Charitable planning

Other services used by our tax clients

 Associations / Memberships


What is going to happen with the assets of either of my parents when they die?

The answer to this question is what estate planning is all about. The quick answer is what do your parents want to have happen and we can recommend strategies to achieve the desired result.

What is estate planning?

Estate planning is the interrelationship of tax and probate law that determines what happens to the assets of someone when they pass on. The planning element is knowing and understanding the landscape to determine the most tax efficient way to achieve the desired goal.

Who needs estate planning?

Any family unit whose assets need to be allocated in a manner different than the allocation prescribed by statute. Minnesota as well as most states have default provisions as to disposition of a decedents assets if there is no will, without proper planning your assets will be allocated by default rather than by choice.

When should I start planning?

The standard is earlier is better but generally the planning is done in earnest starting between 50 and 55.

Why is Minnesota estate tax different?

Many states do not have an estate excise tax, however Minnesota does and there are several restrictions relating to ownership of assets and the tax starts at a much lower level than federal estate tax does. Also, there is no portability among spouses.

What are the advantages of a trust over a will?

The main difference relates to the need to probate a will but not a trust. The items in a trust are not available to the public while probate filings are. There will always be a will but generally the will dictates that assets just pour over to the trust.

What is the best age for your children to receive an inheritance?

This is entirely dependent upon the child. Some children are mature at 25, others not until 50 or later, this is why you need to sit down and discuss your specific situation to determine the best provisions.

Should charity be part of your estate plan?

Significant charitable giving can be incorporated into your estate plan in multiple ways from Donor advised funds and CRUTs for current giving, to charitable bequests as a part of your estate – whichever is most appropriate for you.

Contact Greg for more info

Greg Carlson, CPA/PFS, MBT, CFP, CDFA, CM&AA

Greg started his career as an auditor with an international accounting firm and has over 30 years of practical experience.  He advises closely held businesses and business owners on tax and estate planning with an eye toward practical long-term strategies which work in concert with business strategies…