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Scott Maki

Scott Maki

Maki Law Firm - Affordable Minnesota Estate Planning
  • Estate Planning, Probate, Elder Law
  • Minnesota
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Summary

My focus is on providing Affordable Estate Planning Services to everyone throughout Minnesota.

I offer a full range of Minnesota Estate Planning Services for single individuals as well as couples. The most popular services I offer include Wills, Revocable Trusts ("Living" Trusts, NFA "Gun" Trusts, Pet Trusts) and Irrevocable Trusts (Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts and Special Needs Trusts). Additionally, I can provide Trustee and Executor/Administrator Services on a case-by-case basis.

The Maki Law Firm is a Solo-Practice Firm - meaning there is only one attorney. Because of only employing support staff when absolutely needed, my overhead is greatly reduced - resulting in unmatchable low fees for my clients while maintaining the highest professional standards.

Additionally, this approach means unmatched personal service as you will not be speaking or working with assistants or paralegals - all of your meetings and correspondence will be only with me - Attorney Scott A. Maki. I was born in Minneapolis and raised on Northern Minnesota's Iron Range so I am familiar with issues that are most important to Minnesotans regardless of locale or upbringing.

Contact Me or visit my informative website for answers to all your Minnesota Estate Planning questions.

Practice Areas
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate
  • Elder Law
Additional Practice Area
  • Medicaid
Fees
  • Free Consultation
    You will find my Estate Planning price list here: http://www.makilawfirm.com/minnesota-estate-planning-price-list/
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
    Payment Plans available.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
Minnesota
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Languages
  • English: Spoken, Written
  • Thai: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Attorney
Maki Law Firm
- Current
Practiced several areas of law before becoming exclusively an Estate Planning/Asset Protection Law Firm.
Education
University of North Dakota School of Law
J.D. (2007) | Law
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University of Minnesota - Crookston
B.S. (2002) | Natural Resources Management
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Honors: Deans List
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Northland Community & Technical College
A.A. (2000) | Criminal Justice
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Honors: Graduated with Highest Honors (4.0 GPA)
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Awards
Professional Associations
Minnesota State Bar Association
Member
Current
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Publications
Articles & Publications
None
None
Speaking Engagements
None, N/A
Certifications
Member
MN Bar Association
Websites & Blogs
Website
Maki Law Firm
Website
Helpful MN Last Will & Testament information
Blog
Affordable Minnesota Estate Planning
Legal Answers
15 Questions Answered

Q. What happens if we can't locate my mom's will after she passes?
A: Unfortunately, if you cannot find her Will, her estate will be treated as if there never was a Will. Her estate will then follow the MN rules of Intestate Succession. Here is a link to the MN Rules, if that helps: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/524.2-101 Thanks for the question and Best Wishes!
Q. What need to be done to protect my property from state.
A: Thank You for your question. The best way to ensure your heirs inherit your property while protecting it from creditors - especially medical providers and the like, is to transfer it into an Irrevocable Trust. The Trust will then own the property, not you. This is important because if you have any control over the property, then you creditors will have access to it as well. Please note, even if you tranfer ownership of your property into an Irrevocable Trust, you can still retain the right to live in, use and enjoy your property for the remainder of your lifetime. Also, for this to be most effective, the Irrevocable Trust needs to be established and the property transferred into it at least 5 years before entering a long-term healthcare facility (assisted living/nirsinf home) where you would Minnesota Medicaid. If you need further assistance, please see my Justia profile for the link to my website and contact info. Thanks again for your question and best wishes. I hope I was of assistance.
Q. Can I leave all my property to my children and protect from creditors, hospitals...etc.
A: Thank You for your question. The best way to ensure your heirs inherit your property while protecting it from creditors - especially medical providers and the like, is to transfer it into an Irrevocable Trust. The Trust will then own the property, not you. This is important because if you have any control over the property, then you creditors will have access to it as well. Please note, even if you tranfer ownership of your property into an Irrevocable Trust, you can still retain the right to live in, use and enjoy your property for the remainder of your lifetime. Also, for this to be most effective, the Irrevocable Trust needs to be established and the property transferred into it at least 5 years before entering a long-term healthcare facility (assisted living/nirsinf home) where you would Minnesota Medicaid. If you need further assistance, please see my Justia profile for the link to my website and contact info. Thanks again for your question and best wishes. I hope I was of assistance.
Q. Q: Can my special needs relative receiving SSI pay me for assisting him with his mom's final arrangements.
A: Thank You for your question. I actually answered it the first time you posted it last week... But in case you missed it, here is my answer again: The short answer: Yes. Assuming there was a Will, and your relative was named Executor, he is free to seek whatever reasonable assistance is needed to carry out his duties. Being an Executor is work, as are all the duties necessary to carry his responsibilities. As long as you are performing tasks directly related to settling the estate, you BOTH should be getting paid - from Estate funds (it is understandable that he may not want to accept a fee since it is his mother's estate, but you might want to reassure him that being an Executor IS work, regardless of who it is for, and that MN law allows him to collect a reasonable fee for that work - also known as "Commissions"). I hope this answer was helpful. Best wishes.
Q. Can my special needs relative receiving SSI pay me for assisting him with his mom's final arrangements.
A: Thank You for your question. The short answer: Yes. Assuming there was a Will, and your relative was named Executor, he is free to seek whatever reasonable assistance is needed to carry out his duties. Being an Executor is work, as are all the duties necessary to carry his responsibilities. As long as you are performing tasks directly related to settling the estate, you BOTH should be getting paid - from Estate funds (it is understandable that he may not want to accept a fee since it is his mother's estate, but you might want to reassure him that being an Executor IS work, regardless of who it is for, and that MN law allows him to collect a reasonable fee for that work - also known as "Commissions"). I hope this answer was helpful. Best wishes.
Q. Can I leave all of my property to just one of my children?
A: The short answer is Yes, you can leave all of your property to just one child. However, in order to accomplish that, you will need to specify those wishes clearly in properly drafted estate planning documents. Generally, it is assumed that if a decedent doesn't have a spouse, that he/she would want their property distributed evenly among their first generation of heirs (their children, and/or their children's heirs if they pre-decease). This distribution is known as 'per stirpes'. So you need to overcome that assumption with careful wording in your estate plan to ensure your wishes are carried out as you desire. I hope this answer helps, and best of luck!
Q. I've heard we should consider putting someone's house in trust before you put them in assisted care
A: Thanks for your question. The answer likely depends on WHEN they enter assisted care. The best bet is often to transfer a home into an Irrevocable Medicaid Asset Protection Trust, but there are exceptions (have a spouse in remaining in the home, have an adult child who has been living in the home for at least 2 years who prevented the person from entering a long-term care facility BECAUSE they were that persons caretaker, or they have a disabled child). Additionally, in all other cases, the house must be in the IMAPT for 5 YEARS before the house is fully protected from claims/liens from the long-term care facility for unpaid health care bills. When most people enter long-term care, they want to apply for Medicaid because IF they qualify, Medicaid pays 100% of long-term healthcare. But, to qualify Medicaid looks DEEPLY into the applicant's finances going back 5 years (known as the 'Medicaid 5-year look-back period'). Any transfers of assets during that 5 years can trigger a 'Medicaid Penalty Period' during which the applicant is ineligible for Medicaid services. Transferring the house into a Trust is still a 'transfer' as far as Medicaid is concerned. So if the person entering the assisted care facility wants to apply for Medicaid, the transfer of the home would likely trigger a Medicaid Penalty Period - of which you can't undo. So if the person will enter an assisted care facility soon (within 5 years) transferring the home to a Trust is likely NOT the best idea. But if it is unlikely they will enter the facility with 5 years, then transferring into an IMAPT possibly IS a good idea. It is a complicated subject that requires more than can be discussed here. But, I also wrote a few articles on the subject which you might find helpful - you can find them on my website here: http://www.makilawfirm.com/protect-assets-medicaid/ I hope this was helpful, Thank You for your question, and best of luck!
Q. What are the tax benefits/disadvantages of selling land in MN before vs. after the owner's death.
A: Thanks for your question. And it was good for you to ask BEFORE selling the property, because there IS a big tax disadvantage to selling the property now - it's called "step-up in basis." If your mother sells her home now and does not buy a replacement, she will likely lose the homeowners exemption for capital gains on the sale. If they only paid $1 for the land, then her "tax basis" on the property is $1. Therefore, if land the land is now worth $50,000 (just a hypothetical number), and she sells it for $50,000, then there would likely be capital gains tax on the $49,000 increase in value. HOWEVER, if she were to gift the land by Will - or better yet, by placing it in a Trust - the beneficiary(ies) would receive the property with a "step-up" in the tax basis. Meaning they would receive it with the tax basis of the fair market value at the time of her death (OR at exactly 9 months after her death - whichever is more advantageous) . Therefore, for example, if she gifted it to you and your siblings, you would receive it with a tax basis of $50,000 (the hypothetical fair market value of the land I used for this example). THEN if you all decide to sell it for its fair market value of $50,000, you would pay NO capital gains tax. DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a tax professional. Consult a professional tax consultant to verify any statements made here. I hope I answered your question. Good luck!
Q. What takes precedence at death, the will or the papers from financial planning?
A: It depends on the asset. Here are some examples: -If the person created a Trust as part of their financial plan, the Trust controls all assets named in the Trust. -If a Trust was NOT created then: --If there was real estate, then MN REQUIRES the Will to go through probate if it was either in his/her name alone or as a "tenant in common" with someone else. --If the financial papers did things known as Probate Avoidance techniques, then the financial papers; such as: ----Name beneficiaries on bank accounts - also know as Payable On Death (POD) designations (POD) ----Name beneficiaries on Life Insurance ----Name beneficiaries on retirement accounts --Probate Avoidance is exactly that - it allows assets to be transferred to beneficiaries without using the Will --If the person was married, the surviving spouse is entitled to share of the estate REGARDLESS of what is in a Will, known as a Spousal Elective Share (the % is based on length of marriage) It is not uncommon for someone to give assets in their Will, but because of their chosen Probate Avoidance techniques, how they title their real estate, and the Elective Share, for there to actually be nothing left to pass via a Will. So the answer depends on what the assets are and what the "papers from financial planning" are and what they say. Best of luck!
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Contact & Map
P.O. Box 365
Marble, MN 55764
USA
Telephone: (218) 461-4654
Fax: (651) 317-6775