News & Resources

BDIT lets you give away property without losing control

By temporarily doubling the gift and estate tax exemption, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) opened a window of opportunity for affluent families to transfer assets tax-free. To take advantage of the higher exemption amount, many families that own businesses or other assets worth more than the pre-TCJA exemption amount are planning substantial gifts . . .

The Reality of Food on Demand Delivery Costs

Food delivery can be EXPENSIVE! Restaurant operators are all too familiar with increasing costs and shrinking margins. Don’t let delivery drain your bottom line. Don’t be afraid to innovate. For example, there are ongoing market tests in which restaurants contract with third-party companies such as Grubhub, Uber Eats, Doordash and others to deliver the restaurant’s . . .

ESOPs and Restaurant Businesses

While many businesses have taken advantage of Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) for employee incentives and buyouts, there are very few to be implemented in the restaurant industry. They have been deemed difficult to implement, and administer because of the high-level of employee turnover and part-time workers. However, ESOPs can be a great tool for . . .

Topics

BDIT lets you give away property without losing control

By temporarily doubling the gift and estate tax exemption, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) opened a window of opportunity for affluent families to transfer assets tax-free. To take advantage of the higher exemption amount, many families that ...

The Reality of Food on Demand Delivery Costs

Food delivery can be EXPENSIVE! Restaurant operators are all too familiar with increasing costs and shrinking margins. Don’t let delivery drain your bottom line. Don’t be afraid to innovate. For example, there are ongoing market tests in which restaurants ...

ESOPs and Restaurant Businesses

While many businesses have taken advantage of Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) for employee incentives and buyouts, there are very few to be implemented in the restaurant industry. They have been deemed difficult to implement, and administer because of ...

Don’t worry! A broken trust can be fixed

There are good reasons why estate planning advisors recommend you revisit and, if necessary, revise your estate plan periodically: changing circumstances, including family situations and new tax laws. While it’s relatively simple to change a beneficiary, what if an ...

Leave a philanthropic legacy with a charitable remainder trust

Let’s say you’re charitably inclined but have concerns about maintaining a sufficient amount of income to meet your current needs. The good news is that there’s a trust for that: a charitable remainder trust (CRT). This type of trust ...

ESOP Fable: How Hell’s Kitchen implemented an employee buyout where both sides are happy

There have been very few Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) implemented for restaurant companies, particularly for single-unit restaurants. With the turnover in restaurants, it’s extremely difficult to administer, as well as to implement, an ESOP. But ESOPs can be ...

Protect Your Businesses

One of the concerns that businesses and individuals have is the issue of personal liability. It is really key, if we’re looking at downturns in the economy and other ways the restaurant industry may suffer from a loss of ...

Common Estate Planning Myths

Estate planning can be a very difficult process. While it’s not brain surgery, making the decision to move forward with the planning requires us to face the fact that we will not live forever. This thought can stop many ...

Estate Planning Awareness Week: The Importance of Having an Estate Plan

In 2008, Congress recognized the need for the public to understand the importance and benefits of estate planning by passing House Resolution 1499, which designated the third week of October as National Estate Planning Awareness Week. Nevertheless, according to ...

Sec. 6166: Estate tax relief for family businesses

Fewer people currently are subject to transfer taxes than ever before. But gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer (GST) taxes continue to place a burden on families with significant amounts of wealth tied up in illiquid closely held businesses, including ...

Booming Food on Demand Market Attracts Consumers and Investors

Increasingly, consumers are staying home while consuming mass amounts of information, entertainment, and food. They insist on having their desires met “on demand,” and there are meaningful opportunities in the market for businesses that choose to participate in the ...

Eight ways for restaurants to bring the labor challenge into focus for management and staff

Labor is the daunting issue in the restaurant industry right now. The increase in costs is inevitable, particularly with the actions by the state of Minnesota and the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. That being said, all is ...

The Crummey trust: Still relevant after all these years

Traditionally, trusts used in estate planning contain “Crummey” withdrawal powers to ensure that contributions qualify for the annual gift tax exclusion. Today, the exclusion allows you to give up to $15,000 per year ($30,000 for married couples) to any ...

Choosing the Right Second, Third or Even Fourth Concept

The Monitor’s annual Top 200 franchisee ranking makes it clear that most of the larger multi-unit operators in the ranking operate multiple concepts. This has been a trend for the past 15 years. It’s difficult to become a large ...

MMB to Present a Panel on Funding Sources for Restaurant Businesses

Dennis Monroe will moderate a panel “Sources to Fund Your Business” at the annual Minnesota Hospitality Expo. The panel will provide restaurant and other hospitality business operators with practical information about various types of funding available to them based ...

When it comes to asset protection, a hybrid DAPT offers the best of both worlds

A primary estate planning goal for most people is to hold on to as much of their wealth as possible to pass on to their children and other loved ones. To achieve this, you must limit estate tax liability ...

Grand Catch brings the Coastal Maine seafood experience to St. Paul’s Grand Avenue

The same creative minds behind World Street Kitchen and Milkjam, brothers Saed and Sameh Wadi, are the owners of Grand Catch. While World Street Kitchen and Milkjam are located in Uptown at 27th and Lyndale, this venture is in ...

Control how your charitable gifts are used by adding restrictions

If philanthropy is an important part of your estate planning legacy, consider taking steps to ensure that your donations are used to fulfill your intended charitable purposes. Outright gifts can be risky, especially large donations that will benefit a ...

Take intrafamily lending to the next level by establishing a family bank

One of the primary goals of estate planning is to put in writing how you want your wealth distributed to loved ones after your death. But what if you’d like to use that wealth to help a family member ...

New Minnesota Wage Theft Law Imposes New Employer Requirements and Allows both Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violations

Minnesota’s new wage theft law, which went into effect on August 1, 2019, expands the required information that employers must disclose to employees upon hiring and throughout their employment. The law also requires employers to maintain additional records, clarifies ...

Expanded 529 plans offer unique estate planning benefits

If you’re putting aside money for college or other educational expenses, consider a tax-advantaged 529 savings plan. Also known as “college savings plans,” 529 plans were expanded by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) to cover elementary and ...

MMB Attorneys Selected to 2020 Best Lawyers in America

Monroe Moxness Berg is pleased to announce that three of our attorneys have been named to The Best Lawyers in AmericaВ© 2020, an annual edition of the oldest peer-review publication in the legal profession.  MMB attorneys selected this year ...

A poorly worded apportionment clause can upend an estate plan

Federal estate tax liability is no longer an issue for many families, now that the gift and estate tax exemption stands at $11.4 million for 2019. But there are still affluent individuals whose estates may be subject to hefty ...

Understanding the contents of a will

You probably don’t have to be told about the need for a will. But do you know what provisions should be included and what’s best to leave out? The answers to those questions depend on your situation and may ...

Mancini’s is still your parents’ restaurant, but they’ll likely treat you to a steak there

Where can you go in the Twin Cities and feel like you can get the same meal your parents had, or, even your grandparents? Mancini’s is definitely the place. It’s a restaurant that has stayed consistent and while it’s ...

What’s the difference between the two types of power of attorney?

When drafting your estate plan, you and your attorney must account for what happens to your children and your assets after you die. But your plan must also spell out your wishes for making financial and medical decisions if ...

A buy-sell agreement can provide the liquidity to cover estate taxes

If you own an interest in a closely held business, it’s critical to have a well-designed, properly funded buy-sell agreement. Without one, an owner’s death can have a negative effect on the surviving owners. If one of your co-owners ...

When Is the Right Time to Sell Your Franchise Company?

Last month I discussed the opportune time to sell a multi-unit, non-franchised restaurant company. I’d like to continue that discussion and look at the sale of a franchise company. Behind every great franchise business is a strong and viable ...

Thinking about a Roth IRA conversion? Now may be the ideal time

Roth IRAs offer significant estate planning and financial benefits. If you have a substantial balance in a traditional IRA and are considering converting it to a Roth IRA, there may be no better time than now. The Tax Cuts ...

Assets with sentimental value require extra planning

When planning your estate, you’re likely focused on major assets, such as real estate, investments and retirement plans. But it’s also important to “sweat the small stuff” — your tangible personal property. Examples include jewelry, antiques and photographs. These ...

Four negative outcomes of jointly owning property with a family member

A common estate planning mistake that people make is to own property jointly with an adult child or other family member. True, adding a loved one to the title of your home, bank account or other property can be ...

MMB Attorneys to Discuss Legal Issues Facing Entrepreneurs

In an upcoming podcast “Dealing with Small Business/Entrepreneur Legal Issues,” a trio of Monroe Moxness Berg attorneys — John Remakel, Joshua Mason and Brian Tunis — will discuss the ways entrepreneurs or small business owners can navigate the legal ...

When to Sell Your Concept

A question I am often asked is “when is the best time to sell my restaurant concept/business?” In approaching this question, it is important to separate concept value from franchise value (though in many cases a company that franchises ...

A divorce necessitates an estate plan review

If you’re divorcing, it’s important to review your estate plan as early as possible, for two reasons: First, you may wish to revise your plan immediately to prevent your spouse from inheriting or gaining control over your assets if ...

All States Ag Parts buys Kern County Tractor Parts

Monroe Moxness Berg provided legal counsel for All States, Ag Parts, LLC (“ASAP”), a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, LLC (“Kinderhook”), in its acquisition of Kern County Tractor Parts, Inc. (“Kern” or the “Company”), a McFarland, California-based provider of ...

Charitable lead trusts offer philanthropic and family benefits

Affluent families who wish to give to charity while minimizing gift and estate taxes should consider a charitable lead trust (CLT). These trusts are most effective in a low-interest-rate environment, so conditions for taking advantage of a CLT currently ...

Leave your mark with a dynasty trust

If a prime objective of your estate plan is to leave a lasting legacy, a dynasty trust may be the right estate planning vehicle for you. And, thanks to the substantially increased generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax exemption amount established ...

Kinderhook-backed Bestop buys Softopper

Monroe Moxness Berg served as legal counsel to Bestop, Inc. (“Bestop”), a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, LLC (“Kinderhook”), in its acquisition of Softopper, LLC (“Softopper”), a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of convertible soft tops for light-duty pickup ...

Beware if your estate plan leaves specific assets to specific heirs

Planning your estate around specific assets is risky and, in most cases, should be avoided. If you leave specific assets — such as homes, cars or stock — to specific people, you may inadvertently disinherit them. Illustrating the problem ...

Make health care decisions while you’re healthy

Estate planning isn’t just about what happens to your assets after you die. It’s also about protecting yourself and your loved ones. This includes having a plan for making critical medical decisions in the event you’re unable to make ...

Estate planning for single parents requires special considerations

Here’s a fast fact: The percentage of U.S. children who live with an unmarried parent has jumped from 13% in 1968 to 32% in 2017, according to Pew Research Center’s most recent poll. While estate planning for single parents ...

All States Ag Parts Acquires John F. Mahaney Company

Monroe Moxness Berg served as legal counsel to All States Ag Parts, LLC (“ASAP”), a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, in its acquisition of John F. Mahaney Company (“Mahaney”). Mahaney, of Sacramento, California, distributes professional-grade tools and supplies to ...

College financing may be an integral part of your estate plan

The staggering cost of college makes it critical for families to plan carefully for this major expense, and in many cases grandparents want to play a role. As you examine the many financing options for your grandchildren, be sure ...

Women in Real Estate Panelists Discuss Measuring Success

Monroe Moxness Berg presented a panel “Measuring Women’s Success in the Industry: What We Know Today” at the second annual Women in Real Estate Summit, organized by Minnesota Real Estate Journal. The panel was moderated by MMB shareholder Patricia ...

Add spendthrift language to a trust to safeguard assets

Protecting assets from creditors is a critical aspect of estate planning, but you need to think about more than just your own creditors: You also need to consider your heirs’ creditors. Adding spendthrift language to a trust benefiting your ...

Tim McEnery of Cooper’s Hawk to Receive 2019 Golden Chain Award

Tim McEnery, CEO of Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants has been chosen to receive the National Restaurant News‘ 2019 Golden Chain Award for building the wine-centric restaurant and retail brand. The annual award celebrates the best in the restaurant ...

What To Know When Acquiring Multi-Unit Real Estate Sites

As we all know, franchise restaurant companies are dynamic and constantly selling and acquiring multi-unit real estate sites, sometimes in fairly significant numbers. I’d like to highlight the key points related to the acquisition of specific real estate sites. ...

MMB’s Attorneys Discuss Twin Cities Craft-Brewing Market Opportunities, Trademarks

In a recent interview with Foodservice News, John Remakel and Marcus Urlaub, who co-lead Monroe Moxness Berg’s craft brewing legal practice, answer questions about the Twin Cities craft brewing market opportunities. They offer advice on how aspiring craft-brewing business ...

Revolutionary: New food hall at Rosedale Mall may be the future model for shopping and eating

Every so often, the restaurant industry comes up with a new kind of concept that’s not just an individual restaurant, but a new way of delivering food to customers using an existing space or a new innovative look. That’s ...

If art donations are part of your estate plan, consider these four tips

Charitable giving is a key part of estate planning for many people. If you have a collection of valuable art and are charitably minded, consider donating one or more pieces to receive tax deductions. Generally, it’s advantageous to donate ...

Dennis Monroe Receives UST Law’s Excellence in Professional Preparation Award

The University Of St. Thomas School of Law has chosen Dennis Monroe as the recipient of the Excellence in Professional Preparation award. The award recognizes members of the law school community who have done an excellent job providing instruction ...

Properly funding your revocable trust is the key to unlocking its benefits

If your estate plan includes a revocable trust — also known as a “living” trust — it’s critical to ensure that the trust is properly funded. Revocable trusts offer significant benefits, including asset management (in the event you become ...

MMB Attorneys Named 2019 Franchise Times “Legal Eagles”

For another year running, four Monroe Moxness Berg attorneys – John Berg, Rick Gibson, Dennis Monroe, and Scott Husaby – were named 2019 “Legal Eagles” by Franchise Times magazine in its April issue. This annual list is designed to identify the very ...

Reinventing your Restaurant Concept

Restaurant concepts, be they single-units, multi-units or chains, must evolve or, more extremely, “re-concept.” There are many examples of restaurants that have tried to reposition themselves by reinventing their concept to attract new or bring back existing consumers. Let’s ...

When or if to franchise: It’s tempting to have someone else finance your expansion, but here’s some food for thought

Business people who develop a successful concept often want to grow it, and in many cases they decide franchising is their growth vehicle. I have a client with a great concept that involves cinnamon rolls and deli sandwiches. It ...

No, it’s not unusual to include your pet in your estate plan

An unexpected outcome of the recent death of designer Karl Lagerfeld is that the topic of estate planning for pets has been highlighted. Lagerfeld’s beloved cat, Choupette, played a major role in his brand. The feline was the subject ...

MMB-Led Panel to Address Reals Costs of Outsourcing Food Delivery

“Understanding the Real Costs of Outsourcing Food Delivery” is a panel organized by Monroe Moxness Berg for the upcoming Food on Demand conference. The panel will discuss the costs of third-party food delivery, focusing on how aggregators can reduce ...

Have you properly substantiated your 2018 charitable gifts?

Donating to charity is a key estate planning strategy for many people. It reduces the size of your taxable estate and it can help you leave a lasting legacy with organizations you care about. The benefit of making such ...

What you need to know about filing gift and estate tax returns

Have you made substantial gifts of wealth to family members? Or are you the executor of the estate of a loved one who died recently? If so, you need to know whether you must file a gift or estate ...

Service Charges: Some ideas on surviving in an era of higher wages and other spiraling costs of doing business

The increase in the minimum wage and, more importantly, the market, particularly in Minnesota, has driven up labor cost in all aspects of the restaurant business; everything from general manager salaries to wait staff. That being said, it doesn’t ...

Building an on-off switch into your estate plan

The right estate planning strategy for you likely is the one that will produce the greatest tax savings for your family. Unfortunately, there can be tension between strategies that save estate tax and ones that save income tax. This ...

Have you had your annual estate plan checkup?

An annual estate plan checkup is critical to the health of your estate plan. Because various exclusion, exemption and deduction amounts are adjusted for inflation, they can change from year to year, impacting your plan. 2019 vs. 2018 amounts ...

Ideas for Financing an Emerging Franchise Concept

I am more convinced than ever that restaurant concepts have to look at new and creative ways to spur growth. This is particularly true for franchise concepts. It seems like every franchisor I know is looking to access large ...

When Your Ownership Structure Doesn’t Meet Your Growth Needs

One of the common problems I’ve seen over the years is the overly complex legal structures of many restaurant companies. When I wrote an article a number of years ago called “Beg, Borrow or Steal,” I made the point ...

Estate planning lite: College-aged children need a basic estate plan

If your son or daughter currently is home from college on winter break, now is a good time to sit down and discuss a few estate planning documents he or she should have at this stage of life. Let’s ...

Business as Unusual: How the combo of Boemer and Rancone go to market with winning, but different, concepts

If you open a local or even national food periodical, you would be hard pressed not to see some comment about the success of Thomas Boemer and Nick Rancone. The chef-businessman combo brings a deep bench of talents and ...

Automatic extension available for making portability election

Portability allows a surviving spouse to apply a deceased spouse’s unused estate tax exemption amount toward his or her own transfers during life or at death. To secure these benefits, however, the deceased spouse’s executor must have made a ...

A prenup or a DAPT: Which is the better choice?

If you or one of your adult children is getting married, you may be concerned about protecting your family’s assets in the event of a divorce. A prenuptial agreement can be an effective tool for overriding marital property rights ...

How incomplete nongrantor trusts can help avoid state income taxes

With the federal gift and estate tax exemption at $11.40 million for 2019, people whose estates are below the exemption amount are shifting their focus to income tax reduction. High-income taxpayers — particularly those who live in high-income-tax states ...

Consider an intrafamily loan to cover estate taxes

Sometimes estates that are large enough for estate taxes to be a concern are asset rich but cash poor, without the liquidity needed to pay those taxes. Life insurance is a popular way to address this liquidity problem. An ...

Intellectual Property: Opening up new sources of capital for restaurant companies looking to grow

Strong branding allows successful restaurants to rise above the fray, remain recognizable in a crowded field of competitors and resonate with loyal customers. The essential elements of a strong brand include not only a protectable trade name and logo, ...

Unleash the power of a nonspringing power of attorney

Estate planning typically focuses on what happens to your children and your assets when you die. But it’s equally important to have a plan for making critical financial and medical decisions if you’re unable to make those decisions yourself. ...

Triple Net Lease: Risks and Benefits for Both Parties

Leases come in all forms. As with any contract, the parties can make the document fit their particular transaction and needs. As a baseline, the parties should first determine which party will be responsible for certain obligations associated with ...

Should you name a trust as IRA beneficiary?

An IRA is a popular vehicle to save for retirement, and it can also be a powerful estate planning tool. Some people designate a trust as beneficiary of their IRAs, but is that a good idea? The answer: possibly. ...

Race Winning Brands Acquires Producer of High-Performance Connecting Rods

Monroe Moxness Berg served as counsel to Race Winning Brands (RWB), a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, LLC, in its acquisition of Giannone Performance Products Inc. dba MGP Connecting Rods, a premium manufacturer of high-performance aluminum connecting rods. Headquartered ...

Review and revise your estate plan to reflect life changes during the past year

Your estate plan shouldn’t be a static document. It needs to change as your life changes. Year end is the perfect time to check whether any life events have taken place in the past 12 months or so that ...

Intellectual property requires careful estate planning

If your estate includes forms of intellectual property (IP), such as patents and copyrights, it’s important to know how to address them in your estate plan. Although these intangible assets can have great value, in many ways they’re treated ...

Four Keys to Starting a Brewery Business Plan

Creating a brewery business plan is a critical and necessary first step for your success. Without a business plan, you leave yourself open to financial pitfalls and potential litigation if all required pieces of the plan are not properly ...

Take caution when including employees in your estate plan

If you’re the owner of a small business, you may think of your tight-knit group of employees as a family. If you wish to include them as beneficiaries in your estate plan, it’s critical to be aware of possible ...

Big Deal: Here’s what some of our local restaurateurs have to say about growing a concept smartly

Most restaurateurs’ dream is to create a concept with the potential to grow into a large regional or national brand. The restaurant industry is full of these kinds of concepts and Minnesota is home to a variety of restaurants ...

Tenancy-in-common: A versatile estate planning tool

If you hold significant real estate investments, tenancy-in-common (TIC) ownership can be a powerful, versatile estate planning tool. A TIC interest is an undivided fractional interest in property. The property isn’t split into separate parcels. Rather, each TIC owner ...

What We Have Learned About The New Tax Law That We Can Use In A Creative Structure

The tax law, passed almost a year ago, isn’t so new anymore. Let’s take what we’ve learned over that time and apply it to ideas for structuring your restaurant business. 1. The Lower Tax Rate for C Corporations. We ...

Lat14: Suburban restaurant adds the right amount of spice to a Golden Valley neighborhood

The brand new Lat14 Asian Eatery has a prominent position in the Minneapolis suburb of Golden Valley, right on Highway 55. The attractive signage is hard to miss, and you would never know that the restaurant was once a ...

Turn down an inheritance using a qualified disclaimer

If you are about to receive an inheritance from a family member, you can use a qualified disclaimer to refuse the bequest. The assets will then bypass your estate and go directly to the next beneficiary in line. It’s ...

The Current Trends in ADA “Drive-By” Law Suits

Recently we have seen a noticeable uptick in so-called American’s with Disability Act (“ADA”) “Drive-by” suits. These suits are labeled as such because plaintiffs often ride around neighbors and areas looking for ADA violations and then catalogue the alleged ...

Educate your children on wealth management

If you’ve worked a lifetime to build a large estate, you undoubtedly would like to leave a lasting legacy to your children and future generations. Educating your children about saving, investing and other money management skills can help keep ...

Panel of MMB Attorneys to Discuss Triple Net Lease Review Process

Monroe Moxness Berg attorneys Amy DuMond Kottke, Vickie Loher-Johnson and Jeff Shea will present a panel discussion “How to Vet Your Triple Net: Reviewing Your Property for Purchase” at the Minnesota Real Estate Journal‘s Net Lease & 1031 Exchange ...

Retiring abroad? Review your estate plan before making the move

If you dream of spending your golden years in a tropical paradise, a culture-rich European city or another foreign locale, it’s important to understand the potential tax and estate planning implications. If you don’t, you could be hit with ...

MN Supreme Court Reaffirms the Limits on Cities’ Ability to Impose Fees on Developers

In August of this year, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued a decision that should curtail statutory cities’ ability to make the approval of subdivision applications contingent on payment of fee or charges not specifically authorized by Minnesota law. The ...

Two ways to transfer a family business

For many people, a family-owned business is their primary source of wealth, so it’s critical to plan carefully for the transition of ownership from one generation to the next. The best approach depends on your particular circumstances. If your ...

MMB Client Takes up the Challenge of Converting a Historic Fire Hall into a Taproom

Two recent articles in local press document our client Travis Temke’s ongoing project to convert a historic fire station in St. Paul into a taproom, coffee shop, dining room and banquet hall. The vacant building at 754 Randolph Ave. ...

The Bungalow Club: Neighborhood Restaurant has the right touch of craftsmanship and craveable food

The Bungalow Club is what I would call the prototype for a successful neighborhood restaurant. It’s located at 43rd and Lake Street just before you cross over the bridge to St. Paul and occupies the place previously known for ...

Why So Much? Three Experts Weigh in on High QSR Multiples

I have been very confused by the high valuations certain QSR concepts are obtaining on sale. After working in the restaurant and franchise marketplace for almost 40 years, I have seldom seen EBITDA multiples this high. There was a ...

Is a significant portion of your wealth concentrated in a single stock?

Estate planning and investment risk management go hand in hand. After all, an estate plan is effective only if you have some wealth to transfer to the next generation. One of the best ways to reduce your investment risk ...

MMB Attorneys to Discuss ADA “Drive-By” Suits, Wage-and-Hour Issues at MN Hospitality Expo

Ansis Viksnins and Aaron Hartman will be speaking to the attendees at the Minnesota Hospitality Conference & Expo on October 23 at Saint Paul’s RiverCentre. The Expo is a free hospitality industry event for relevant learning, food sampling and ...

Four reasons you should continue making lifetime gifts

Now that the gift and estate tax exemption has reached a record high of $11.18 million (for 2018), it may seem that gifting assets to loved ones is less important than it was in previous years. However, lifetime gifts ...

Dennis Monroe Becomes Senior Distinguished Fellow at University of St. Thomas School of Law

Dennis Monroe has accepted the invitation from the University of St. Thomas School of Law to serve as a Senior Distinguished Fellow. The new post extends his ongoing involvement with the law school as a Halloran Center Fellow, supporting ...

Centro at Popol Vuh: Fast-casual eatery is bustling with fine-dining sister on its way

Centro in Northeast Minneapolis may call itself fast casual. It may even check off all the boxes for what consumers are looking for in that style restaurant, but it’s the Cinderella at the fast-casual ball. It has scratch Mexican ...

Addressing long-term care costs with a tax-qualified LTC insurance policy

No matter how diligently you prepare, your estate plan can quickly be derailed if you or a loved one requires long-term home health care or an extended stay at a nursing home or assisted living facility. The annual cost ...

What Do the Lists Tell Us About the Restaurant Industry

I have been studying a number of the restaurant industry rankings that come out this time of year and gleaning what they tell us about the current and future state of the industry. Let’s start with the Restaurant Finance ...

Have you made your burial wishes clear?

It may be difficult to consider, but funeral arrangements are a critical component of your estate plan. Failure to clearly communicate your wishes regarding the disposition of your remains can lead to tension, disputes and even litigation among your ...

Basis consistency rules may come into play if you’re administering an estate or inheriting property

When it comes to tax law changes and estate planning, the substantial increases to the gift and estate tax exemptions under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act are getting the most attention these days. But a tax law change ...

Profit Centers Rule: How local restaurants are making money off their name and branded products

My mantra over the years has always been: Successful restaurant companies have multiple profit centers. The most common profit centers include private dining, catering, off-premise sales, unique bar programs and the in-store sale of branded items, like mugs or ...

The BDIT: A trust with a twist

The beneficiary defective inheritor’s trust (BDIT) allows you to enjoy the benefits of a traditional trust without giving up control over your property. BDITs can hold a variety of assets, but they’re particularly effective for assets that have significant ...

The pros and cons of a SCIN

Many estate planning techniques are intended to minimize or even eliminate gift and estate taxes when transferring assets to family members. Sometimes, the most powerful techniques also have a significant drawback: mortality risk. For example, you may have to ...

Expanding Your Brand

With restaurant profits tight, one tactic that is relevant to continued business success is leveraging and expanding a restaurant’s trade name and reputation. I call it “brand extension” as it seems to work for small chains and local companies, ...

A SLAT offers estate planning benefits and acts as a financial backup plan

The most effective estate planning strategies often involve the use of irrevocable trusts. But what if you’re uncomfortable placing your assets beyond your control? What happens if your financial fortunes take a turn for the worse after you’ve irrevocably ...

Fortify your estate plan against undue influence claims

Of course, you expect the declarations in your will to be carried out, as required by law. Usually, that’s exactly what happens with wills. However, it’s possible your will could be contested and your true intentions defeated if someone ...

Fixing Key Financial Issues in the Restaurant Industry

Last month I addressed specific financial fixes for casual dining. This month, I’ll dig deeper into three areas of concern: dealing with problem stores, leases and senior debt. There are always underperforming stores, both franchised or non-franchised. Sometimes, franchisors ...

Use the proper tools to fix a broken trust

An irrevocable trust has long been a key component of many estate plans. But what if it no longer serves your purposes? Is it too late to change it? Depending on applicable state law, you may have options to ...

Naming a minor as beneficiary of a life insurance policy or retirement plan can lead to unintended outcomes

A common estate planning mistake is to designate a minor as beneficiary — or contingent beneficiary — of a life insurance policy or retirement plan. While making your young child the beneficiary of such assets may seem like an ...

Juggling 101: How to get a bank to say ‘yes’ to a loan, despite the fact you’re a restaurant

Trying to obtain bank financing, equipment leasing or even vendor financing for a restaurant is one of the biggest challenges in the business world. Each week I hear from local restaurateurs who have either hit the wall and need ...

Chris Mumm, Pat Weller Comment on Impact of New Trends on Restaurant Real Estate

The June/July 2018 issue of Foodservice News offers a summary of the panel on new restaurant trends presented by Chris Mumm and Pat Weller at the Retail & Restaurant Summit in April. The two MMB attorneys focused on the ...

If charitable giving is part of your estate plan, consider a donor-advised fund

Do you make sizable gifts to charitable causes? If you’re fortunate enough to afford it, you can realize personal rewards from your generosity and may be able to claim a deduction on your tax return. But once you turn ...

Recent U.S. Supreme Court Decision Concerning Arbitration

On May 21, 2018, the United States Supreme Court decided a significant case involving arbitration clauses in employment agreements. The court ruled that employees may be compelled to arbitrate wage-and-hour claims on an individual basis and may be precluded ...

Your original will: Does your family know where to locate it?

In a world that’s increasingly paperless, you’re likely becoming accustomed to conducting a variety of transactions digitally. But when it comes to your last will and testament, only an original, signed document will do. A photocopy isn’t good enough ...

Casual Dining – The Financial Fix

Obviously, the casual dining world has its ups and downs. Right now we are in a down period, with some major players struggling the last few years. There seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel, ...

Provide for your spouse, then your kids, with a QTIP trust

If you want to preserve as much wealth as possible for your children, but you leave property to your spouse outright, there’s no guarantee your objective will be met. This may be a concern if your spouse has poor ...

Four estate planning techniques for blended families

Today, it’s not unusual for a family to include children from prior marriages. These “blended” families can create estate planning complications that may lead to challenges in the courts after your death. Fortunately, you can reduce the chances of ...

What estate planning strategies are available for non-U.S. citizens?

Non-U.S. citizens in the United States face some estate planning challenges when it comes to taxes. If you’re a U.S. resident, but not a citizen, the IRS treats you similarly to a U.S. citizen, with a few exceptions. But ...

Hai Hai: Hola Arepa’s sibling is off to a busy start with long wait times and a tropical vibe

The team behind Hola Arepa has switched gears and opened a South-Asian restaurant in the up-and-becoming trendy Northeast Minneapolis. Hai Hai is in a fairly underdeveloped area at 21st and University, which would normally give rise to lower rents ...

Settlement Reached in Class Action Lawsuit Regarding Tip Pooling

In March 2018, the Hennepin County District Court approved a settlement in a class action lawsuit against Surly Brewing Company in Minneapolis. The settlement is noteworthy not only because of its size – $2.5 Million – but also for ...

A total return unitrust can help maintain family harmony

A traditional trust can sometimes create a conflict between the lifetime and remainder beneficiaries. For example, investment strategies that provide growth that benefits remainder beneficiaries can leave lifetime beneficiaries with little or no annual payouts. This makes it more ...

Apply for a waiver if you’ve missed the 60-day IRA rollover deadline

IRAs and employer-sponsored plans such as 401(k)s are powerful retirement savings tools, but they also provide valuable estate planning benefits. If you hold a traditional IRA for life, for example, your children or other heirs can stretch out distributions ...

Sweet Chow: Fast-casual restaurant in North Loop has right feel, food and, most importantly, profit centers

I am always intrigued by “polished fast-casual” concepts— restaurants with counter service but a little more personal service and also higher price points that can attract customers with the ability to generate higher check averages. Sweet Chow is an ...

Don’t overlook securities laws when planning your estate

For a variety of estate planning and asset management purposes, many affluent families hold their assets in trusts, family investment vehicles or charitable foundations. If assets held in this manner include interests in hedge funds, private equity funds or ...

The Law of Unintended Consequences: Bar and Retail Store Owners Continue to Grapple with the Effects of Equality Legislation

(The following article was published in the Spring 2018 issue of Proof, a magazine published by the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association) Lawmakers and business owners do not always see eye to eye when it comes to progressive legislation. Where ...

Real Estate and the New Tax Law: Great Opportunities Abound

One of the biggest winners under the new tax law is real estate, particularly restaurant real estate. Purchasing sites, making improvements, entering into sale-leasebacks, making renovations and remodels are all constant themes in our industry and stand to benefit ...

Power of attorney abuse: What you can do about it

A financial power of attorney — sometimes called a “power of attorney for property” or a “general power of attorney” — can be a valuable estate planning tool. The main disadvantage is that it’s susceptible to abuse by scam ...

Fig + Farro: Can a fifth eatery make it in the Figlio space? This plant-forward comfort food concept says yes

The third time wasn’t the charm, so now we have what amounts to the fifth try at the Calhoun Square restaurant space in Uptown. Figlio, a Parasole restaurant, had a 20-plus-year run in this spot, but when it was ...

Five estate planning tips for the sandwich generation

The “sandwich generation” accounts for a large segment of the population. These are people who find themselves caring for both their children and their parents at the same time. In some cases, this includes providing parents with financial support. ...

A joint home purchase can ease estate tax liability

If you’re planning on buying a home that you one day wish to pass on to your adult children, a joint purchase can reduce estate tax liability, provided the children have sufficient funds to finance their portion of the ...

Tax Reform and Tax Planning for Restaurant Operators

The tax reform legislation is teeming with new rules, but I’d like to focus on how the new law affects the restaurant industry and how operators should respond to the changes. Along the way, I try to suggest some ...

Dennis Monroe to Moderate Panel on Successful Restaurant Delivery Operations at the Inaugural Food on Demand Conference

Dennis Monroe will moderate a panel “Case Studies from Successful Delivery Operators” at the inaugural Food on Demand Conference at the Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West, March 19-20. The panel will address the general question of how restaurant ...

Dennis Monroe Comments in QSR on VC Funding for Early-Stage Restaurant Concepts

An article “Is Venture Capital Right for Your Restaurant Concept?” in the February issue of QSR, quotes comments from Dennis Monroe, discussing what he sees as an increasing interest on the part of venture capital firms in funding less ...

Only certain trusts can own S corporation stock

S corporations must comply with several strict requirements or risk losing their tax-advantaged status. Among other things, they can have no more than 100 shareholders, can have no more than one class of stock and are permitted to have ...

If you made gifts last year, you may (or may not) need to file a gift tax return

Gifting assets to loved ones is one of the simplest ways of reducing your taxable estate. However, what may not be as simple is determining whether you need to file a gift tax return (Form 709). With the April ...

Jeff Shea and Pat Weller Discuss New Tax Bill’s Impact on Real Estate Industry

In the February issue of Minnesota Real Estate Journal, Jeff Shea and Pat Weller consider the impact of the new tax reform bill on commercial real estate industry. The article discusses expensing increases under Section 179 of the tax code, ...

Martina: Taking over someone else’s place can be challenging until you make it your space

There are a few chefs in town with the ability to take over an existing restaurant space that didn’t hit its numbers and turn it around. Obviously, the master in this town is Kim Bartmann. But now we have ...

Kinderhook-backed Bestop acquires PRP Seats

Bestop Inc, which is backed by Kinderhook Industries LLC, has acquired PRP Seats, a maker of custom seats, harnesses, storage bags and accessories for off-road vehicles (e.g., UTV, Jeep, Buggies, etc.). PRP Seats represents the fourth add-on acquisition for ...

Life insurance can be a powerful estate planning tool for nontaxable estates

For years, life insurance has played a critical role in estate planning, providing a source of liquidity to pay estate taxes and other expenses. It’s been particularly valuable for business owners, whose families might not have the liquid assets ...

The Right Way To Do Refranchising

Over the years, our firm has been involved in many refranchising programs and seen both good and bad approaches. One of the most problematic programs was the Applebee’s refranchising, which was initiated to pay off excessive debt and left ...

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act expands appeal of 529 plans in estate planning

It’s common for grandparents to want to help ensure their grandchildren will get a high quality education. And, along the same lines, they also want the peace of mind that their wealth will be preserved for their children and ...

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: Key provisions affecting estate planning

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) is a sweeping revision of the tax code that alters federal law affecting individuals, businesses and estates. Focusing specifically on estate tax law, the TCJA doesn’t repeal the federal gift ...

Properly planning for incapacity requires specific estate planning strategies

Most estate plans focus on what happens after you die. But without arrangements for what will happen in the event you become mentally incapacitated, your plan is incomplete. If an accident, illness or other circumstances render you unable to ...

Dennis Monroe Co-Hosts Webinar on Tax Reform

Dennis Monroe, along with Jeff Tubaugh of the accounting firm BDO USA, hosted a Restaurant Finance Monitor webinar on the impact of the new tax reform legislation. The webinar will took place Wednesday, January 17, 2018 and provided an up-to-date summary ...

F-Town Brewing Founder Plans a New St. Paul Brewery

Travis Temke, the founder of F-Town Brewing, which has been operating in Faribault, MN, since 2015, has been given a green light by St. Paul’s City Council to convert a historic fire station into a brewery and restaurant. Travis ...

Appointing the right trustee for your living trust provides peace of mind

A living trust is a cornerstone of many estate plans. During your life, you can serve as the trustee and manage the assets just as you would if you owned them outright. However, you must choose a trustee to ...

Intellectual Property: Opening Up New Sources of Capital

Strong branding allows successful restaurants to rise above the fray, remain recognizable in a crowded field of competitors and resonate with loyal customers. The essential elements of a strong brand include not only a protectable tradename and logo, but ...

Nolo’s Kitchen: Experienced restaurateurs bring three dayparts and a fun basement bar to the North Loop

When you walk up to Nolo’s Kitchen and Bar in Minneapolis’ North Loop, you’re struck with the history attached to the building. It started out as a stately Maytag appliance store, then became a jam-packed hardware store and now ...

Who should be the guardian of your minor children?

If you have minor children, arguably the most important estate planning decision you have to make is choosing a guardian for them should the unthinkable occur. It’s critical to put much thought into this decision to ensure your children ...

Tax reform and estate planning: What’s on the table

As Congress and President Trump pursue their stated goal of passing sweeping new tax legislation before the end of the year, many taxpayers are wondering how such legislation will affect them. One area of particular interest is estate planning; ...

The write stuff: a letter of instructions

When you draft an estate plan, the centerpiece is your will or living trust. Such a document determines who gets what, where, when and how, as well as tying up the loose ends of your estate. A valid will ...

Making Money With Your Employees

In last month’s issue, when considering the employment issues likely to arise for restaurant operators, we discussed ways to avoid costs and minimize your losses. Now, let’s look at a few ideas that can actually help not only minimize ...

Update your estate plan to reflect your second marriage

If you’re in a second marriage or planning another trip down the aisle, it’s vital to review and revise (if necessary) your estate plan. You probably want to provide for your current spouse and not inadvertently benefit your former ...

Rebirthing Icons: Two experienced restaurateurs tackle the age-old questions: Why you? Why now? Why there?

What makes a restaurant operator think he or she can succeed in a space where others may have had a good run, but then closed their doors? Sometimes it’s the previous operator’s failings, sometimes it’s the location—the neighborhood’s demographics ...

A charitable remainder trust can provide a multitude of benefits

If you’re charitably inclined but concerned about having sufficient income to meet your needs, a charitable remainder trust (CRT) may be the answer. A CRT allows you to support a favorite charity while potentially boosting your cash flow, shrinking ...

Saving Money on Employment Matters

Employment law is nuanced, and contains many pitfalls and traps for the unwary. The purpose of this article is not to discuss all of the intricate details of the law but to focus on how recent trends affect food ...

Pat Weller to Speak at Data Center Summit

Pat Weller will be a panelist at an upcoming Data Center Summit, organized by Minnesota Real Estate Journal. The panel is on “Marketing Data Centers Properties and Services,” and it will look at properties for sale, consider comparative advantages ...

A dynasty trust keeps on giving long into the future

With a properly executed estate plan, your wealth can be enjoyed by your children and even their children. But did you know that by using a dynasty trust you can extend the estate tax benefits for several generations, and ...

Southeast Metro Is Now the Main Source of Twin Cities’ Aggregate, Star Tribune Reports

As Star Tribune reports in its October 18 issue, Twin Cites’ southeast metro area has now become the main source of sand and gravel, key ingredients in the production of aggregate, a particulate material used in construction. The area ...

Who should own your life insurance policy?

If you own life insurance policies at your death, the proceeds will be included in your taxable estate. Ownership is usually determined by several factors, including who has the right to name the beneficiaries of the proceeds. The way ...

Planning a Family Cabin Succession: What You Need to Know

Family cabins, whether lakeside, hunting, or recreational, abound throughout Minnesota. The most common way ownership of the family cabin is transferred to the next generation is by the provisions of a decedent’s will or by a simple deed transfer. ...

A Crummey trust can preserve the annual gift tax exclusion

Traditionally, taxpayers have looked for ways to make the most of the $14,000 annual gift tax exclusion, and using a Crummey trust is one way to do that. But with the federal gift and estate tax exemption currently at ...

Tenant Has Talent: Chef-owners are in it for the lifestyle and dream of restaurant ownership, not the money

It’s fun to see someone in the restaurant industry pursuing their dream on their own terms. Cameron Cecchini, co-owner of Tenant on Bryant Avenue in South Minneapolis, admitted to me the first time I dined there that he and ...

Tax law uncertainty requires an estate plan that can roll with the changes

Events of the last decade have taught us that taxes are anything but certain. Case in point: Congress is mulling abolishing gift and estate taxes as part of tax reform. So how can people who hope to still have ...

New Approach to Old Techniques for Funding

Last month we talked about new security offerings, new types of IPOs and wonderful new financing techniques. When it comes to the restaurant industry and financing, there are the tried-and-true techniques that will always be around, such as traditional ...

ABCs of HSAs: How an HSA can benefit your estate plan

One health care arrangement that has been soaring in popularity in recent years has been the pairing of a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) with a Health Savings Account (HSA). The good news is that not only does an HSA ...

Charitable giving pièce de résistance: Artwork donations

Charitable giving is a key part of estate planning for many people. If you’re among them and own valuable works of art, they may be ideal candidates for charitable donations during your life. Generally, it’s advantageous to donate appreciated ...

John Remakel to Discuss Recent Trends in Restaurant Transactions

John Remakel will be a speaker at BDO’s Restaurant CFO Bootcamp, discussing “Strategic Transactions in the Restaurant Industry – Recent Trends and Structures.” The conference takes place in Orlando on October 18-20. John’s session will provide an overview of ...

Bar Brigade: Two veteran restaurateurs join forces to give St. Kate’s neighbors a special spot to sup

The Twin Cities has had hit after hit of solid neighborhood restaurants by good chefs, and I believe Bar Brigade will be yet another of those hits for St. Paul. Neighborhoods help define a restaurant so there should be ...

Tax basis planning worth a look if estate taxes aren’t a threat

For many people today, income tax planning offers far greater tax-saving opportunities than gift and estate tax planning. A record-high federal gift and estate tax exemption — currently $5.49 million ($10.98 million for married couples) — means that fewer ...

Have you properly funded your revocable trust?

If your estate plan includes a revocable trust — also known as a “living” trust — it’s critical to ensure that the trust is properly funded. Revocable trusts offer significant benefits, including asset management (in the event you become ...

New Fun in the Equity Market

The IPO market always has been a funding source for growing restaurant brands. And, restaurants are active in raising equity through individuals and private equity, using creative approaches. With the help of my law partner John Remakel who is ...

Powers of attorney: Springing vs. nonspringing

Estate planning typically focuses on what happens to your assets when you die. But it’s equally important (some might say more important) to have a plan for making critical financial and medical decisions if you’re unable to make those ...

New law changes affecting Minnesota LLCs

Starting January 1, 2018, all Minnesota limited liability companies (whether active now or to be formed in the future) will be subject to a new law, Chapter 322C of Minnesota Statutes, known as the Minnesota Revised Uniform Limited Liability ...

Beware the GST tax when transferring assets to grandchildren

As you plan your estate, don’t overlook the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax. Despite a generous $5.49 million GST tax exemption, complexities surrounding its allocation can create several tax traps for the unwary. GST basics The GST tax is a ...

Reconstruction Partners Facilitates Complex Francesca’s Restaurant Group Transactions

Our client Reconstruction Partners recently announced the completion of several simultaneous transactions by its client, Francesca’s Restaurant Group (FRG, Inc.), with GSI Partners, a privately-held Chicago-based holding company with related interests in the food purveying business. Reconstruction Partners provided ...

Use a noncharitable purpose trust to achieve a variety of goals

Generally, trusts must have one or more human beneficiaries, but there’s an exception for certain “purpose” trusts. One type of purpose trust that you may be familiar with is the charitable trust. But don’t overlook the noncharitable purpose (NCP) ...

Why Do Restaurants Close? A Financial Perspective on Why the Demise of Fine Dining Is Closing in on Us

In this column I write about new restaurants and their chances for financial success, but this month I wanted to make some observations on the recent closings of some beloved high-end restaurants in the Twin Cities. While my expertise ...

Don’t overlook tax apportionment when planning your estate

If you expect your estate to have a significant estate tax liability at your death, be sure to include a well-thought-out tax apportionment clause in your will or revocable trust. An apportionment clause specifies how the estate tax burden ...

Are you familiar with fraudulent transfer laws?

A primary goal of your estate plan is to transfer wealth to your family according to your wishes and at the lowest possible tax cost. However, if you have creditors, be aware of fraudulent transfer laws. In a nutshell, ...

Let’s Invest in Restaurants

Often I’m asked why people invest in restaurants, and in my articles I’ve certainly offered many reasons why. This time, let’s look at it differently: What if I had $750,000, or $250,000 or $50,000 to invest? Below are some ...

Leaving specific assets to specific heirs can be an estate planning no-no

Planning your estate around specific assets is risky and, in most cases, should be avoided. If you leave specific assets — such as a home, a car or stock — to specific people, you could end up inadvertently disinheriting ...

What makes for a sound buy-sell agreement and why you need one

If you own an interest in a closely held business, whether a collision repair shop, brewery, restaurant, manufacturer, distributor or contractor, no matter the industry, it’s critical to have a well-designed, properly funded buy-sell agreement. It provides a business’s ...

Is now the time for a charitable lead trust?

Families who wish to give to charity while minimizing gift and estate taxes should consider a charitable lead trust (CLT). These trusts are most effective in a low-interest-rate environment, so conditions for taking advantage of a CLT currently are ...

Videotaping your will-signing may not produce the desired outcome

Some people make video recordings of their will signings in an effort to create evidence that they possess the requisite testamentary capacity. For some, this strategy may help stave off a will contest. But in most cases, the risk ...

My Take on the Top 200 Franchisees

(The article refers to the Restaurant Finance Monitor’s list of top 200 restaurant franchisees of 2017.) The Monitor 200 provides an interesting look at key franchisee operators who have a bearing on our industry and the financing world. The ...

Gwen Stanley and Michael Zenk Win Entrepreneur of the Year Award Upper Midwest Awards

Monroe Moxness Berg congratulates our clients and friends Gwen Stanley and Michael Zenk, who are among the winners of the Entrepreneur of the Year Award Upper Midwest, sponsored by accounting firm EY. Gwen and Michael are both veterans of ...

Are your retirement savings secure from creditors?

A primary goal of estate planning is asset protection. After all, no matter how well your estate plan is designed, it won’t do much good if you wind up with no wealth to share with your family. If you ...

Prepaid funeral plans may not provide peace of mind

The cost of a funeral has increased steadily during the past two decades. In fact, once all funeral-related costs are factored in, the typical traditional funeral service will cost an average family $8,000 to $10,000. To relieve their families ...

A family bank professionalizes intrafamily lending

If you’re interested in lending money to your children or other family members, consider establishing a “family bank.” These entities enhance the benefits of intrafamily loans, while minimizing unintended consequences. Upsides and downsides of intrafamily lending Lending can be ...

Pajarito Sings: Upscale Mexican restaurant has 2 talented chefs, classy good looks and best of all, ROI potential

The first time I visited Pajarito was in the company of Rick Nelson, the restaurant reviewer for the Star Tribune (Rick and I aren’t close personal friends; this dinner for four was a silent auction item from last year’s ...

Worried about challenges to your estate plan? Make it no contest

Estate planning is all about protecting your family and ensuring that your wealth is distributed according to your wishes. So the idea that someone might challenge your estate plan can be disconcerting. One strategy for protecting your plan is ...

Dealing With Problematic Sale/Leaseback Transactions

The restaurant industry has been one of the most prolific users of sale-leaseback financing. Over the last few years, cap rates have been favorable. That means the price the potential tenant gets for their property has been high, with ...

In Memoriam: Randy Evans

Minneapolis, May 23, 2017 — We are grieved to announce the death of our shareholder Randy Evans, who passed away today following a courageous battle with cancer. Randy was a leader in the firm’s Corporate Finance/M&A group, where he ...

Asset valuations and your estate plan go hand in hand

If your estate plan calls for making noncash gifts in trust or outright to beneficiaries, you need to know the values of those gifts and disclose them to the IRS on a gift tax return. For substantial gifts of ...

Restoring Glory: It’ll need high volumes, but The Lexington’s three revenue sources put it in a position to succeed

It was a long time coming, but the newly refurbished Lexington in St. Paul appears to be worth the wait. The beautiful, old building, once the sipping grounds for St. Paul notables, has been restored to its original glory, ...

Monroe Moxness Berg Welcomes New Associate Brian Tunis

Monroe Moxness Berg is pleased to announce that Brian Tunis has joined the firm as an associate in the firm’s Business Law and Corporate Finance/M&A practice groups. Brian has substantial experience in a wide array of transactional work. Brian ...

Life insurance and an estate plan may not always mix well

A life insurance policy can be an important part of an estate plan. The tax benefits are twofold: The policy can provide a source of wealth for your family income-tax-free, and it can supply funds to pay estate taxes ...

MMB Client HeadFlyer Brewing to Hold Grand Opening on April 22

Monroe Moxness Berg client HeadFlyer Brewing is readying its new brewery and taproom for a grand opening celebration on April 22. Located in the old Miller Textile building in Northeast Minneapolis, HeadFlyer is a newcomer in the area, poised ...

What Makes a Successful Chef-Driven Restaurant?

I must be asked once a week by a chef or someone looking to invest with them: “What makes a successful chef-driven restaurant?” The reason is we’ve become a country of foodies. Chefs dream of their own restaurants, and ...

Acquaint yourself with the Roth IRA as an estate planning tool

A Roth IRA can be a valuable estate planning tool, offering the opportunity for tax-free growth as long as it exists and requiring no distributions during your life, thus allowing you to pass on a greater amount of wealth ...

Dennis Monroe to Discuss Restaurant Finance at Spring Restaurant Business Summit

How do restaurateurs convince bankers that they aren’t risky businesses? Are there well-heeled investors out there who might fund a talented chef’s dream of owning a restaurant? Dennis Monroe will be among the panelists who will address these and ...

Divorce necessitates an estate plan review

There are few events that can completely upend a person’s life more than divorce. Of course, there’s the emotional toll on you and your family to contend with, but you also have to consider the divorce’s impact on your ...

The Trifecta: There’s a lot to love about the renovation and expansion of the Alma hospitality brand

I love numerous profit centers in restaurants. I also love maximizing the use of the real estate. With the addition of a café concept and a boutique hotel to his high-end Restaurant Alma, award-winning chef Alex Roberts has me ...

Keep family matters out of the public eye by avoiding probate

Although probate can be time consuming and expensive, perhaps its biggest downside is that it’s public — anyone who’s interested can find out what assets you owned and how they’re being distributed after your death. The public nature of ...

Dennis Monroe Discusses Restaurant Investing, Trends in Biz Journal

In an interview with the Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal, Dennis Monroe talks about restaurant investing and the principles he relies on to gauge a restaurant’s potential for business success. He also discusses current restaurant trends and local hot spots for ...

Ideas for Post-Election Tax Planning

There has been a great deal of speculation about the post-election tax policy and when it will, if at all, be implemented. What we would like to do in this article is not just speculate about the policy but ...

Make health care decisions while you’re healthy

Estate planning isn’t just about what happens to your assets after you die. It’s also about protecting yourself and your loved ones. This includes having a plan for making critical medical decisions in the event you’re unable to make ...

Italian Animal: Red Rabbit has less protein but just as much potential as its sister restaurant, Red Cow

It’s ironic that “Red” would be in the name of both of Luke Shimp’s restaurant offerings since Red Cow, and now Red Rabbit, aren’t in the red but smartly in the black. Shimp understands his customers and the ways ...

A New Dynamic for Restaurant Profitability

A discussion of the financial aspects of the restaurant industry would not be complete without a look at market trends and new market segments. As the model of creating profitable restaurants continues to evolve, it begs this question: What ...

Are you leaving your IRA to someone other than your spouse?

An IRA can be a powerful wealth-building tool, offering tax-deferred growth (tax-free in the case of a Roth IRA), asset protection and other benefits. But if you leave an IRA to your children — or to someone else other ...

2016 Charitable Deductions: Substantiate Them or Lose Them

Sharing your wealth with a favorite charity can benefit those in need and reduce your taxable estate. In addition, your donations can ease your income tax liability. But you must meet IRS substantiation requirements. If you fail to do ...

Limiting Your Exposure to Drive-By Lawsuits

(The following article was published in the January/February 2017 issue of Proof, a magazine published by the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association) During the last several years, hundreds of Minnesota businesses have fallen victim to “drive-by” lawsuits. The name pretty ...

Urban Chic: In Downtown East Minneapolis, McKinney Roe has made a sizeable investment in the future

At first glance, the beautiful new McKinney Roe may not be a bean counter’s dream, but it has a lot going for it that doesn’t take a spreadsheet to uncover. While those of us who are cost-conscious and consumed ...

Five questions single parents should ask about their estate plans

In many respects, estate planning for single parents of minor children is similar to estate planning for families with two parents. Single parents want to provide for their children’s care and financial needs after they’re gone. But when only ...

Two postmortem estate planning strategies for married couples

It’s crucial to review and update your estate plan in light of significant life changes or new tax laws. It’s equally important to be aware of strategies that can be implemented after your death to achieve your estate planning ...

Aaron Hartman to Discuss 2017 Restaurant Employment Issues and Strategies for Owners

Aaron Hartman will be a presenter in a Foodservice News webinar “Labor Pains: Top Issues Facing Restaurant Owners in 2017 and Strategies for Coping.” He will be joined by Amber Duncan, manager in compensation consulting at CBIZ Human Capital ...

Why Is There a Disconnect in Selling Prices?

2016 was an interesting year in restaurant finance. All the year’s action—the growing impact of activist shareholders, changes at the SBA franchise registry, the overall beating in casual dining’s performance and yet, new finance players in the restaurant space— ...

Should you set up trusts in a more “trust-friendly” state?

While it’s natural to set up trusts in the state where you live, you may be losing out on significant benefits available in more “trust-friendly” states. For example, some states: Don’t tax trust income, Authorize domestic asset protection trusts, ...

Explore all of your options when appointing the executor of your estate

The executor’s role is critical to the administration of an estate and the achievement of estate planning objectives. So your first instinct may be to name a trusted family member as executor (also referred to as a personal representative). ...

Going back to basics with asset protection strategies

Asset protection trusts — both offshore and domestic — can be effective vehicles for protecting your wealth in today’s litigious society. But these trusts can be complex and expensive, so they’re not right for everyone. For those seeking simpler ...

Get smart when tackling estate planning for intellectual property

If you own intellectual property (IP), such as a patent or copyright, you need to know how to account for it in your estate plan. These intangible assets can be highly valuable, and you’ll want them to be handled ...

2016 charitable donations offer both estate planning and income tax benefits

During the holiday season your thoughts likely turn to helping those in need by making charitable donations. Doing so will benefit your favorite organizations and help you achieve your estate planning goal of reducing the size of your taxable ...

Family matters: Stepchildren and your estate plan

If you have unadopted stepchildren, estate planning is critical to ensure that your property is distributed the way you desire. Stepchildren generally don’t have any inheritance rights with respect to their parents’ new spouses unless the spouse legally adopts ...

Relocating into or out of a community property state requires extra estate planning

When a married couple lives in a community property state, the money earned and property acquired by either spouse during their marriage generally belongs to the “community.” This means that each spouse has an undivided one-half interest in the ...

National Theatre for Children Featured in Star Tribune

In its November 29 issue, Minneapolis Star Tribune has a feature article on Monroe Moxness Berg client National Theatre for Children (NTC). Founded in 1978 by Ward Eames, the theater company works with businesses and government agencies that seek ...

Viking Value: Call it Nordic or Barbarian barbecue, Erik the Red is a smorgasbord of meats and sides

It’s not often you can walk into a restaurant and instantly know it’s going to be a success. Erik the Red, developed by Erik Forsberg out of the old Hubert’s space in what is now being called the “East ...

Family mission statements promote a harmonious estate plan

Typically, much of the estate planning process focuses on money. But the most successful estate plans are founded on relationships. Building and preserving family wealth isn’t an end in itself. Rather, it’s a tool for promoting shared family values ...

Have you addressed elderly parents in your estate plan?

Your estate plan likely accommodates your spouse, children and grandchildren. But have you overlooked your parents? How can you best handle their financial affairs in the later stages of life? You may want to incorporate their needs into your ...

Hotel Dining’s Future: Urbana’s three-in-one concept allows guests to decide how and where they want to dine

Talking with Chef Paul Lynch of the Urbana Craeft Kitchen & Market in the Hyatt Regency near Mall of America made the whole restaurant come alive for me. His version of a three-in-one concept is truly the wave of ...

What is the Future of Restaurant Companies?

Iconic restaurant companies are unique to the U.S. restaurant industry. Every major U.S. city has restaurant companies that have developed multi-brands and have established a special position in the city, like Union Square Hospitality in New York, Talk of ...

Private foundations aren’t only for the rich and famous

If creating a family legacy of charitable giving is important to you, a private foundation might be the right estate planning vehicle. And this option isn’t just for billionaires. You may be able to effectively establish a foundation with ...

Grantor and Crummey trusts can be good options to fund a grandchild’s education

Do you wish to play an active role in funding your grandchildren’s college educations? As you examine the financing options, don’t forget about their impact on your estate plan. Two trust types to consider are grantor and Crummey trusts. ...

Prenups and estate plans: Make sure they work together

If you’re getting married, estate planning likely is the last thing you want to think about. But if you and your future spouse plan to sign a prenuptial agreement (commonly referred to as simply a “prenup”), it’s a good ...

Have you provided for the removal of a trustee in your estate plan?

When drafting an estate plan, it’s critical to select the right trustee to carry out your wishes and protect your beneficiaries. It’s also important to establish procedures for removing a trustee in the event that circumstances change. Failing to ...

John Remakel Discusses Restaurant Financing at CFO Bootcamp

John Remakel participated in the panel “Structuring Your Company for Growth” on September 22 at the Restaurant CFO Bootcamp presented by BDO in Las Vegas. Along with co-panelist Adam Berebitsky of BDO, he discussed restaurant financing, focusing on formation/holding ...

Finding Revenue Under the Rocks

My last few columns have dealt with non-traditional restaurant venues. What is significant about them is they create more revenue sources. It is not that people, if they had their druthers, wouldn’t prefer traditional stand-alone sites; it’s just that ...

Profit Center Prowess: Mucci’s Italian in St. Paul has a true modern-day restaurant business plan for sustainability

I had difficulty finding Mucci’s the first time. There is no signage on the building, only something small in the window stating its name and the hours. I had already read a number of reviews and knew there would ...

Estate planning benefits of FLPs may be in danger

For many years, family limited partnerships (FLPs) have been a popular estate planning tool, in part due to their tax benefits. Specifically, they can allow you to transfer assets to your children (and other family members) at discounted values ...

Getting started on your estate plan: Inventory and value assets; estimate tax liability

If you’ve decided it’s time to create your estate plan, congratulations! A good place to begin is to work with us to determine what your estate is worth and whether you need to worry about estate taxes. What is ...

Monroe Moxness Berg Welcomes New Shareholder Amy DuMond Kottke

Monroe Moxness Berg is pleased to announce that Amy DuMond Kottke joined the firm as a shareholder in the Real Estate practice. Amy focuses on real estate development, financing, acquisition and sales, commercial leasing and construction. Her practice has ...

Vacation home should keep families together, not tear them apart

A shared family vacation home can be a great place for family bonding. And a little estate planning can go a long way toward avoiding conflict and keeping the home in the family. Who owns it and how? All ...

Could a tax-free exchange help cover LTC insurance costs?

No estate plan is complete without considering long-term care (LTC) expenses and how to pay for them. LTC insurance is an option, but these policies can be expensive. One solution is to use a total or partial tax-free exchange ...

National Restaurant News Selects Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant for Its Next 20 List

In its August issue, National Restaurant News names MMB client Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant among its Next 20, a list of established restaurant brands developing at a pace that makes them best-positioned to move to the NRN Top ...

Bestop Acquires Tuffy Security Products

Monroe Moxness Berg served as legal counsel to Bestop, a manufacturer of soft tops and other accessories for Jeeps, in its acquisition of Tuffy Security Products, a provider of premium storage products for Jeeps, trucks, SUVs and other commercial ...

Funding Finder: Money doesn’t fall from the sky, so how does restaurant financing get done?

In the 18 months I’ve written this column, I’ve reviewed approximately 15 new restaurants, so I thought it would be a good time to reflect back and discuss how they found the money to open. Very seldom does the ...

Giving real estate to charity is rewarding, but beware of tax traps

Did you know that the estate of director John Hughes donated the family’s Illinois mansion to a nonprofit hospital? After allowing another charity to use the home for a fundraising event, the hospital sold the home and used the ...

Traditional Food Courts to be Traditional No More

Probably the best known nontraditional restaurant sites—and maybe, in some ways, they are traditional—are food courts. In my quest to get a handle on them, I have come to the conclusion I’m not sure what the definition is. The ...

Take care of a loved one who has special needs with an SNT

Special needs trusts (SNTs), also called “supplemental needs trusts,” benefit children or other family members with a disability that requires extended-term care or that prevents them from being able to support themselves. This trust type can provide peace of ...

Dennis Monroe and Jim Wahl Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America

We are pleased to announce that two of our attorneys have once again been recognized in the 23rd edition of The Best Lawyers In America©. Dennis Monroe and James Wahl were selected by their peers for recognition in the ...

Tread carefully if you and your spouse have similar trusts

When spouses have similar irrevocable trusts for each other’s benefit, they can be subject to the “reciprocal trust” doctrine. It prohibits tax avoidance through trusts that 1) are interrelated, and 2) place both grantors in the same economic position ...

Our Client Indeed Brewing Celebrates Four Years in Business

On August 10, 2012, Indeed Brewing, the client of our craft brewing practice, sold its first beer. Just within last two years they grown from a staff of six to a staff of over 50, going from one taproom ...

Review your powers of attorney at least every 5 years

Powers of attorney are critical components of an effective estate plan. After you’ve executed powers of attorney, it’s important to review them periodically — at least every five years and preferably more frequently — and consider executing new ones. ...

Old World Gem: The Commodore’s dining room caters to the country club set, while the swingers hang in the bar

When you walk in the Commodore Bar and Restaurant in St. Paul you immediately look around to see if F. Scott and Zelda are sitting at their usual corner table in the bar sipping gin martinis. Then you watch ...

Direct payments of tuition and medical expenses can reduce future estate tax exposure

With the federal gift and estate tax exemption at $5.45 million in 2016, you may be less concerned about these taxes. But if you don’t take advantage of making tax-free direct payments of tuition and medical expenses, you’re missing ...

Making the Grade with Non-Traditional Restaurant Sites: Airports, Colleges and Pop-ups/Kiosks

There has been a great deal written about nontraditional restaurant sites (NTS), but not about their economic viability. While traditional restaurant sites are defined as stand-alone, inline or first floors of hotels and office buildings, the definition for NTS ...

The tax and estate planning pitfalls of retiring overseas

Have you dreamed of spending your golden years in a tropical paradise or a culture-rich European city? If so, it’s important to understand the potential tax and estate planning implications so there are no surprises. These include: 1. Double ...

New Client HeadFlyer Brewing to Open Brewery in Northeast Minneapolis

HeadFlyer Brewing, a new client of our craft brewing legal services group, is moving into the newly renovated Miller Textile building in northeast Minneapolis. It will open its taproom and brewery in a 9,435 square-foot space in the building. ...

Follow all rules when transferring assets to an irrevocable trust

Irrevocable trusts can provide a variety of benefits, including gift and estate tax savings, creditor protection, and the ability to control how assets are distributed. To preserve these benefits, however, it’s critical to respect all trust formalities. Case in ...

Three benefits of donor-advised fund giving

Charitable giving through donor-advised funds (DAFs) has grown in popularity in recent years. Generally, creating a DAF requires no more than completing a short application and making an initial contribution as low as $10,000 to a sponsoring organization, such ...

Are your children prepared to handle your wealth?

If you’ve built up a large estate and are eager to share your wealth with your children, you may be concerned about their ability to handle it. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help ensure they won’t ...

Private Equity-Backed Bestop Acquires Baja

Monroe Moxness Berg PA served as legal counsel to Bestop, Inc., a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, LLC, in its acquisition of Baja Designs, a provider of premium branded off-road lighting systems for the automotive market. Baja represents the ...

Couples with a noncitizen spouse play by different estate planning rules

Many traditional estate planning strategies are based on the assumption that everyone involved is a U.S. citizen. But if you or your spouse is a noncitizen, special rules apply that require additional planning. General rules If you’re a U.S. ...

Legal and Financial Thoughts for The Top 200

As you can see from the Monitor’s annual Top 200 ranking of the largest franchisees, a significant share are multi-concept operators. Multiple concepts seem to be the trend and a way for the large multi-unit operators to grow. They ...

NightOwl recognized among the Top 20 Most Promising Legal Technology Solution Providers of 2016 by CIO Review

Monroe Moxness Berg client NightOwl Discovery has been chosen as one of the Top 20 Most Promising Legal Technology Solution Providers in 2016 by CIO Review. This recognition is based on an evaluation of NightOwl Discovery’s specialization in bringing ...

Sweat the small stuff: Don’t forget to address personal items in your estate plan

It’s natural that your estate planning efforts focus on big-ticket items, such as real estate, business interests, retirement assets and brokerage accounts. But don’t ignore the “small stuff,” like artwork, jewelry, furniture, antiques, clothing and collectibles. These items may ...

Making an intrafamily loan “bona fide” to avoid gift tax

The simplest way to provide financial assistance to a child or other family member is to get out your checkbook and make a gift. But if you’re concerned about gift taxes, a loan may be preferable. Intrafamily loans must ...

Two Years in Craft Brewing Business: Interview with Blake Verdon of LTD Brewing Co.

Just over two years ago, Blake Verdon and Jeremy Hale left their corporate jobs to pursue the dream of starting their own brewery and taproom. On June 4, 2014, their efforts came to fruition when LTD Brewing Co. in ...

Life insurance remains a powerful estate planning tool for nontaxable estates

For years, life insurance has played a critical role in estate planning, providing a source of liquidity to pay estate taxes and other expenses. Today, estate taxes are no longer a concern for many families because the federal estate ...

Third Year’s a Charm: Nontraditional Kyatchi Mixes Japanese Cuisine and Hot Dogs in Near-Perfect Harmony

There’s more than one reason hot dogs are on the menu at a Japanese sushi restaurant on Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis. One, they’re a welcome item on the kids’ menu; two, Chef Hide Tozawa, who traveled on the road ...

Giving back: How to help your parents fund LTC and associated medical costs

If you have aging parents who aren’t as financially well off as you are, one of your estate planning goals may be to help fund their long-term care (LTC) and associated medical expenses. The annual cost of LTC — ...

Gail Shore’s Cultural Jambalaya initiative featured in Star Tribune column

Monroe Moxness Berg client Gail Shore and her nonprofit Cultural Jambalaya are subjects of Neal St. Anthony’s column in the May 15 issue of Star Tribune. A former communications professional, Shore is now the unpaid CEO of Cultural Jambalaya, ...

Early Stage Restaurant Investing

A good friend of mine invests in early stage restaurant companies and new concepts. The first thing he asks is, “What are my dining privileges?” and “How many gift cards do I get?” It’s interesting how people get emotional ...

Properly fund your living trust to shield assets from probate

Many people set up a revocable, or “living,” trust to shield assets from probate and take advantage of other benefits. For the trust to work, you must transfer assets to it that would otherwise go through probate — a ...

Is a charitable IRA rollover right for you?

If you’re charitably inclined, age 70½ or older and have a significant balance in an IRA, a charitable IRA rollover — formally called a “qualified charitable distribution” — permits you to annually make up to $100,000 in tax-free IRA ...

529 plans: Saving for college is also good for your estate plan

A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged and flexible education-savings tool. In addition to generous contribution limits and tax-free withdrawals for college expenses, these plans provide unique estate planning benefits for parents and grandparents. On the plus side . . ...

KBP Foods Continues Expansion with Recent Acquisition

Monroe Moxness Berg is proud to have represented KBP Foods, a leading franchisee of quick service restaurants in the U.S., in its acquisition of 91 KFC & Taco Bell restaurants in the Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and ...

Nostalgic Niche: Hi-Lo Diner’s unique building brings interstate highway dining to Minneapolis

There are only 38 diners on the National Registry of Historical places. Before coming to rest at 4020 East Lake Street in Minneapolis, the Hi-Lo Diner was a 1950s Fodero Diner, from Gibsonia, Pennsylvania. It has that classic silver-bullet ...

QTIP trusts may be the estate planning solution for second marriages

If you’re in a second marriage, or planning another trip down the aisle, estate planning can be complicated, especially if you have children from a previous marriage and your net worth is large enough that estate taxes are a ...

A Fair Approach to Franchising

As franchisees become more sophisticated, they are more discerning when choosing that next opportunity. Assembled with the help of my partner, Jim Wahl, below is a checklist of the key elements franchisors need to offer when they set out ...

The tax dangers of providing for employees in your estate plan

If you’re an employer, you may think of your employees as family. But if you plan to provide for employees in your estate plan, watch out for unintended tax consequences. IRS rules Generally, money or other property received by ...

Five tools for addressing incapacity in your estate plan

Estate planning is often associated with death. But it’s just as important for your plan to address incapacity associated with illness, injury, advanced age or other circumstances. Unless you specify how financial and health care decisions will be made ...

Ensure your high-cash-value life insurance policy fully benefits your loved ones

If you own a life insurance policy that has built up a sizable cash value, be aware that the death benefit will be included in your taxable estate. Depending on the size of the policy and the applicable estate ...

Neighborhood Gift: Steven Brown’s St. Genevieve is the true French bistro the Twin Cities deserve

St. Genevieve, Chef Steven Brown’s latest establishment, is already attracting the fine dining neighborhood crowd looking for someone setting a high bar. It is a true French bistro of the ilk you would see on the West Bank in ...

Dennis Monroe to Moderate Panel on Running a Restaurant in 2016

Dennis Monroe will moderate a discussion titled “Running a Restaurant in 2016” on April 12 at the Restaurant Business Summit presented by FOODSERVICE NEWS. The talk will feature panelists Peter Mihajlov, Founder & Partner of Parasole Restaurant Holdings, and ...

Monroe Moxness Berg Attorneys Named 2016 Franchise Times Legal Eagles

For another year running, six Monroe Moxness Berg attorneys – John Berg, Rick Gibson, Dennis Monroe, Scott Husaby, Jim Wahl, and Randy Evans – were named 2016 “Legal Eagles” by Franchise Times magazine in its April issue. This annual ...

One Company or Twenty Companies?

One of the old debates in the restaurant industry concerns the way to structure the overall company—whether to create a single or multiple companies organized by units, property ownership or geographic region. Here are my thoughts: A. Basic Legal ...

Achieve greater charitable giving flexibility with a nonqualified CRT

As the federal gift and estate tax exemption continues to climb, the number of people subject to estate taxes is shrinking. For those with charitable giving goals, this may increase interest in charitable remainder trusts (CRTs). A lifetime CRT, ...

A critical decision: Naming the guardian of your minor children

If you have minor children, perhaps the most important element of your estate plan doesn’t involve your assets. Rather, it involves who will be your children’s guardian.   Questions to consider When evaluating potential guardians, ask these questions: Do ...

Greater estate planning options available to same-sex married couples

Last year’s landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision making same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states affects estate planning for many same-sex married couples. Now, like opposite-sex married couples, same-sex married couples may be able to take advantage of gift ...

All the Pieces Fit: New St. Paul restaurant Heirloom is neighborhood fine dining done right

A tomato grown from a seed with a history of being passed down through generations becomes an heirloom tomato with an unusual shape and a wonderful taste. Recent visits to the aptly named Heirloom restaurant at Marshall and Cretin ...

Do you need to file a gift tax return?

It’s tax-filing season, and the April 18 deadline to file a 2015 gift tax return is fast approaching. But do you need to file a return? The rules surrounding gift tax returns can be confusing, so let’s review some ...

A Wider Use of Private Individual Funding

You know the old adage “How do you make a million dollars in the restaurant industry? You start out with two million.” It may not apply in today’s more thoughtful restaurant business environment, but for a restaurant to make ...

Think twice before naming a minor as a beneficiary

A common estate planning mistake is to designate a minor as beneficiary — or contingent beneficiary — of a life insurance policy or retirement plan. Insurance companies and financial institutions won’t pay large sums of money directly to a ...

A helping hand: Addressing your parents in your estate plan

The “sandwich generation” is a large segment of the population. These are people who find themselves caring for both their children and their parents at the same time. As a result, estate planning — which traditionally focuses on providing ...

Monroe Moxness Berg Panel to Address Franchise Financing Puzzle

Monroe Moxness Berg will present a panel “Solving the Financing Puzzle” on March 15 at the Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference in Las Vegas. The panel will consider how to use senior debt effectively in combination with other ...

Do you have a buy-sell agreement for your business?

  If you own an interest in a closely held business, it’s critical to have a well-designed, properly funded buy-sell agreement. It provides a business’s owners and their families with valuable protection upon an owner’s death. The risks Without ...

Monello Ups Hotel Dining: With multiple profit centers, Jester Concepts is reviving the hotel restaurant

Each month in Foodservice News, Dennis Monroe reviews a new restaurant’s business proposition, based on his years as a business attorney and former CEO of a local multi-concept restaurant company. In his February 2016 article, Dennis shares his thoughts ...

MMB advises Primeritus in Acquisition of Roquemore Holdings

Monroe Moxness Berg provided legal advice to Primeritus Financial Services, a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries LLC, in its acquisition of Roquemore Holdings LLC. Dallas-based Roquemore provides vehicle skip tracing services and repossession management to the credit union and ...

Follow IRS rules to avoid losing some of your 2015 charitable donation deductions

Sharing your estate with charity by making donations during your life not only benefits your favorite organizations and reduces your taxable estate, but also can reduce your income tax bill. However, if you don’t meet IRS substantiation requirements for ...

Restaurant Finance Highlights for the Year

The year 2015 was not a terribly monumental 12 months for new financing ideas. Instead, it was an overall dynamic market, a continuation of current trends and an acceleration of competition because of the availability of funding. Below are ...

Direct tuition payments: An attractive option for funding your grandchild’s college education

It’s no secret that the cost of a college education continues to soar. If you’d like to help fund your grandchild’s higher education, a simple but effective technique is to make tuition payments on behalf of him or her. ...

The new year is a perfect time for an estate planning checkup

  An annual estate plan checkup is critical to the health of your estate plan. Because various exclusion, exemption and deduction amounts are adjusted for inflation, they can change from year to year, impacting your plan:   2015 2016 ...

2015 Tax Savings Ideas for Restaurant Owners

Restaurant owners constantly need to evolve their concepts and update their facilities. Owners are aware of this fact and accept this as part of ongoing success. I wish the same could be said about Congress. As we go into ...

Second-to-die life insurance is a vehicle to pay estate taxes

For married couples with large estates, second-to-die life insurance (sometimes called “survivorship insurance” or “dual-life insurance”) can be a useful tool for providing liquidity to pay estate taxes. This type of policy pays off when the surviving spouse dies. ...

Protecting your retirement savings from creditors

Estate planning and asset protection go hand-in-hand. After all, no matter how well your estate plan is designed, it won’t do much good if you have no wealth to share with your family. If you have significant assets in ...

Unmarried couples must take extra steps to reduce estate tax liability

Unlike married couples, who can take advantage of the marital deduction, unmarried partners can’t transfer unlimited amounts to each other tax-free. To reduce their estate tax bills, they must take some additional steps. One option is to make lifetime ...

Seek an appraisal before donating artwork

Valuable works of art may be ideal candidates for lifetime charitable donations. Generally, it’s advantageous to donate appreciated property because, in addition to reducing your taxable estate and garnering an income tax deduction, you avoid capital gains taxes on ...

Monroe Moxness Berg Welcomes New Associate Lucas Frasz

Monroe Moxness Berg is pleased to announce that Lucas Frasz has joined the firm as an associate with the Real Estate and Business Law practice groups. Luke focuses his practice on representing businesses and individuals in a variety of ...

Evolving Industry: What the closure of white tablecloth restaurants in the Twin Cities really means

No one could be sadder than I am about the recent closures of three fine-dining restaurants in Minneapolis. Not only was I a frequent and extremely satisfied guest over the years, but I also had close personal and working ...

Have you factored GST tax into your gifting strategy?

If your adult children face the prospect of high taxes on their estates, consider skipping a generation with some of your bequests and gifts. But beware of the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax, which applies to transfers to a “skip ...

A Fresh View of Equipment Leasing Today

Equipment leasing was one of the earliest forms of financing for restaurants, used typically to fund furniture, fixtures, equipment and, at times, leaseholds. I got involved in franchise and restaurant finance in 1980, and one of the major players ...

Pat Weller to Offer Presentation on Sale-Leaseback Techniques and Implementation

Pat Weller will give a presentation “Sale-Leaseback: Techniques and Implementation” during the Minnesota Real Estate Exchangors (MREE) continued education event on November 18. MREE is a networking organization for real estate professionals, investors, allied vendors and advisors. The event ...

The Fifth Annual Charlie Awards Celebrate Local Independent Food and Beverage Community

Monroe Moxness Berg is proud to sponsor the Charlie Awards, which recognize the exceptional contributions of the Twin Cities metro area restaurant, food and beverage industry. Among the recipients are restaurants, beverage manufacturers, suppliers, culinary schools, chefs, staff and ...

Dennis Monroe Sees Sound Business Prospects for 4 Bells Restaurant

In his November “By the Numbers” column for Foodservice News, Dennis Monroe considers the business proposition of a new restaurant 4 Bells, located in the Loring Park area of Minneapolis. 4 Bells is the latest concept from the team ...

Three Reasons an Estate Valuation Can Be Beneficial

With the gift and estate tax exemption currently at $5.43 million, you might think that estate valuations are less important. But even if you believe that your estate’s value is under the exemption amount, here are three reasons to ...

How Mezzanine Lenders/Investors Approach the Restaurant Industry

This is the last in a series of three articles examining the reasons why lenders and investors like the restaurant industry. The first article was about equity investors, drawing insight from three private equity funds that have a long-time ...

Owning Life Insurance Can Make Estate Planning Complicated

If you own an insurance policy on your life and want to keep the policy’s proceeds out of your taxable estate, one option is selling the policy to an irrevocable grantor trust. This is preferable to gifting the policy ...

The Window May Be Closing on Valuation Discounts

If selling or gifting an interest in family-owned businesses or entities is part of your long-term estate/tax plan, the window may be closing on the use of valuation discounts as part of that strategy. Today, when gifting minority interests ...

Holding Joint Title to Property with Loved Ones Has Pitfalls

Owning assets jointly with one or more of your children or other heirs is a common estate planning “shortcut.” Two potential advantages are convenience and probate avoidance. But joint ownership can also create a number of problems, including: Unnecessary ...

Charity Remainder of Trust: Should a CRT be part of your estate plan?

To benefit a charity while helping ensure your own financial future, consider a charitable remainder trust (CRT): For a given term, the CRT pays an amount to you annually (some of which generally is taxable). At the term’s end, ...

Dennis Monroe Praises Nighthawks Diner in His Review Column

In October’s Foodservice News, Dennis Monroe reviews Nighthawks Diner, opened recently by the creator of the North Loop’s successful restaurant Haute Dish. Assessment of Nighthawks Diner’s overall business proposition leads Dennis to conclude that the eatery “will elevate the ...

Make Tax-Free Gifts with a Minor’s Trust

Do you want to make annual exclusion gifts to your young children or grandchildren but are worried about giving minors unfettered access to the funds? Then a Section 2503(c) minor’s trust might be the solution. For a transfer to ...

Why Are More Banks Getting Into Restaurant and Franchise Lending?

Last month we discussed why sophisticated investors like to invest in restaurants. This month, with the help of my partner Randy Evans, we are asking the question, “Why are more commercial banks getting into the restaurant franchise lending business?” ...

Revisiting your estate plan after a divorce is a must

People generally remember to amend their wills or revocable trusts after a divorce, but there are many other estate planning and financial arrangements you should address that are easily overlooked. These include: Jointly owned assets. Be sure your former ...

Now’s the time to consider short-term GRATs

The fact that a minimum term for grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs) has been discussed in Congress but not become law — combined with low interest rates — may make it an ideal time to add short-term GRATs to ...

Monroe Moxness Berg Welcomes New Shareholder Aaron Hartman

Monroe Moxness Berg is pleased to announce that Aaron Hartman has joined the firm as a shareholder. Aaron is a trial attorney who focuses first on practical solutions that advance the client’s business objectives. Aaron provides advice and litigation ...

New Associate Mae Beeler Joins Monroe Moxness Berg

Monroe Moxness Berg welcomes new associate Mae Beeler. Mae has joined the firm’s Litigation practice group, where she will focus her practice on an array of civil and commercial litigation matters. Before joining the firm, Mae served as a ...

By the Numbers: A Tale of Two Restaurants

In his review column for the September 2015 issue of Foodservice News, Dennis Monroe takes a look at the business proposition behind two Italian concepts, Parella and Lela, opening in previously hot-then-cold Twin Cities locations. For his verdict, read ...

Accounting for Digital Assets in Your Estate Plan

If you die without addressing your digital assets (such as online financial accounts, social media accounts, loyalty program benefits, etc.) in your estate plan, your loved ones or other representatives may not be able to access them without going ...

Why Sophisticated Investors Invest in the Restaurant Space

I’m often asked why sophisticated investors invest in the restaurant space, so I queried three individuals who all have extensive experience in restaurant investing—Jeff Brock, a long-time veteran financier, now managing partner of Hargett Hunter Capital Partners; Navin Nagrani, ...

How an ILIT Can Eliminate Estate Tax Liability on Your Life Insurance

If you own life insurance policies at your death, the proceeds will be included in your taxable estate. Ownership is usually determined by several factors, including who has the right to name the beneficiaries of the proceeds. One way ...

Dennis Monroe and Jim Wahl Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America 2016

The law firm of Monroe Moxness Berg is pleased to announce that two of its attorneys have once again been recognized in the 2016 edition of The Best Lawyers In America©. Dennis Monroe and James Wahl were selected by ...

Brew Pub v. Taproom: Which Business Model Is Right for You?

DOWNLOAD THE FULL SUMMER 2015 ISSUE OF BAR EXAMINER The Minnesota craft brewery scene continues to grow, with new styles and colorfully-marketed brands filling local shelves and exciting new breweries cropping up throughout the greater metro and outstate areas. ...

Sunday Growler Ordinance-Drafting for Brewers

DOWNLOAD THE FULL SUMMER 2015 ISSUE OF BAR EXAMINER   Earlier this year, Governor Mark Dayton signed a bill into law allowing for Sunday growler sales. Now, under Minnesota Statute 340A.301, subdivision 7(b), brewers that possess the requisite authorization ...

Tax Tips on Tap

DOWNLOAD THE FULL SUMMER 2015 ISSUE OF BAR EXAMINER Our guest contributor Jon Fedder, CPA, is a tax associate in the Edina, MN office of BDO USA, LLP a leading provider of tax, audit, and consulting services   There ...

Don’t Forget to Plan for Long-Term Care Expenses

Too often, people planning their estates focus on tax and asset-protection issues and overlook long-term health care needs. But the high cost of long-term care (LTC) can quickly devour resources you need to maintain your lifestyle during retirement and ...

Use Caution When Transferring Home Ownership to Your Children

Many people mistakenly believe they can transfer their home to their children while retaining the right to continue living in it for the rest of their life, and remove the home’s value from their taxable estate. But in fact, ...

Dennis Monroe Gives Thumbs Up to Revival Restaurant’s Business Proposition

In the August issue of Foodservice News, Dennis Monroe’s monthly restaurant review considers Revival, Nick Rancone’s and Thomas Boemer’s new restaurant at 457 Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis. While the review praises the restaurant’s menu that “gives the consumer great ...

Will Your Loved Ones Be Able to Locate Your Documents?

Your estate planning efforts may go for naught if your family can’t find your documents. Here are several tips for ensuring that critical documents are readily accessible when needed: Wills and trusts. Ensure your family has clear instructions on ...

Tax Ideas for Real Estate and Business Sales

The Monitor’s focus on real estate this month gives me the opportunity to discuss two tax items: allocation of purchase price and like-kind exchanges. These are sometimes overlooked in real estate transactions even though they can set the stage ...

Two Key Franchise Issues: Development Rights and Capital Expenditures

When you review the Top 200 list , you realize the big influence franchisees have on their franchise systems. Nonetheless, there’s always some tension between franchisor and franchisee. This often appears ...

MMB Office Design Featured in Finance and Commerce

In a June 17 article “Making the Case for Open Design,” Franchise and Commerce looks at the Monroe Moxness Berg office design as a departure from the traditional design elements associated with law firms. In place of dark wood ...

Dennis Monroe Sees Bright Prospects for Agra Culture

In his June/July Foodservice News review column, Dennis Monroe turns his attention to Agra Culture Kitchen & Press, a “polished fast casual” concept with three Twin Cities locations, serving healthy, sustainable fare. As usual, Dennis’s review focuses not so ...

Revisiting the Convenience of Community Banks

Recently I spoke at a conference to lawyers on the current status of community banking, and it got me thinking about how much things have changed on that front for the restaurant industry. The federal regulations primarily directed at ...

Dennis Monroe Reviews Salt Cellar Restaurant from Business Perspective

In his monthly Foodservice News column, Dennis Monroe offers a review of St. Paul’s Salt Cellar restaurant. Once again, the review focuses not on the cuisine but on the restaurant’s overall business proposition, assessed on the basis of specific ...

Monroe Moxness Berg to Present Workshop on 21st Century Funding Options for Restaurants

As part of the Franchise Times Workshops to be held during the upcoming National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago, Monroe Moxness Berg will present a panel “You Can Finance Anything: 21st Century Funding Options for Your Restaurants.” Moderated by ...

Joshua Mason Joins Monroe Moxness Berg

Monroe Moxness Berg is pleased to announce that Joshua Mason has joined the firm as an associate in the Business Law and Corporate Finance/Mergers and Acquisitions practice groups. He focuses on mergers and acquisitions, securities regulation, and an array ...

MMB Celebrates Employee Appreciation Week with Craft Beer from Client LTD Brewing

As part of the Employee Appreciation Week in April, Monroe Moxness Berg employees quaffed fine craft Pilsner craft brewed by our client LTD Brewing in Hopkins, MN.

Monroe Moxness Berg Attorneys Named 2015 Franchise Times Legal Eagles

For another year running, seven Monroe Moxness Berg attorneys – John Berg, Rick Gibson, Dennis Monroe, Scott Husaby, Jim Wahl, Ryan Palmer, and Randy Evans – were named 2015 “Legal Eagles” by Franchise Times magazine in its April issue. ...

Dennis Monroe Reviews Third Bird in Foodservice News

The April 2015 issue of Foodservice News features the second in the series of Dennis Monroe’s monthly review columns in which he evaluates new Twin Cities restaurants on the basis of their business proposition (for additional information and the ...

Insurance Crafted for Brewing: Specialized Types of Coverage for Brewery Operations

Our guest contributor Marc Cohen is a risk consultant with the Property & Casualty department at Bearence Management Group. All businesses follow the same general principles of insurance, and some of those businesses will be entirely covered by the ...

Three Key Steps in Raising Capital to Fund Breweries

  In our December 2014 newsletter, we outlined the various securities laws considerations for breweries and taprooms looking to raise money through a private placement offering. Now we turn our attention to the mechanics of actually approaching and securing ...

Be Careful What You Broadcast!

  With the historic Mayweather-Pacquiao fight just days away, we thought it would be timely to remind our brewpub and taproom clients and friends to make sure they have the proper commercial licenses and accounts in place if they ...

A New Look at Labor Savings

Much has been written about the pressure on restaurants to contain its labor costs so as to counter the potential impact of the Affordable Health Care Act and the increase in minimum wages in various states. At this point, ...

Monroe Moxness Berg Attorneys to Lead a Panel on “What Franchisees Want”

Ryan Palmer will moderate a panel discussion “What Franchisees Want” at Franchise Times’ annual Franchise Finance & Growth Conference on April 21 in Las Vegas. The panelists will be Dennis Monroe; Jeff Kiecke, partner at Bandon Holdings and multi-unit ...

Are We in a Real Estate Bubble?

For years, John Hamburger and I have expounded on the virtues of real estate ownership and the flexibility it provides. But it seems as if the current market conditions discourage ownership in favor of a sale-leaseback structure. As we ...

Former Famous Dave’s General Counsel Paul Ziccarelli Joins Monroe Moxness Berg as Shareholder

Monroe Moxness Berg is pleased to announce that Paul Ziccarelli, former general counsel at Famous Dave’s of America, has joined the firm as a shareholder. Paul brings more than 25 years of in-house counsel experience with companies in industries ...

Dennis Monroe Reviews Spoon and Stable in Foodservice News

In the March 2015 issue of Foodservice News, Dennis Monroe presents the first in the series of monthly review columns that evaluate Twin Cities restaurants on the basis of their business concept (for additional information and the criteria used ...

John Remakel Comments in QSR Magazine on the Recent Increase in Restaurant IPOs

In the February 2015 issue of QSR magazine, John Remakel is quoted in the article “The Push for Public.” The article examines the recent increase in restaurant IPOs, particularly in the fast-casual space. Commenting on this trend, John attributes ...

Monroe Moxness Berg Sponsors Business Solution Roundtables at the 2015 IFA Convention

Monroe Moxness Berg participated in the 2015 International Franchise Association Convention in Las Vegas on February 15-18. At the event, the firm reprised its longtime sponsorship of Business Solution Roundtables, a unique opportunity for franchisees to exchange ideas, challenges, ...

Tax Tips – It’s Not Too Late to Do Something for Your 2014 Return

Even though the new year has begun, it is not too late to take advantage of some tax savings ideas on your 2014 tax returns. Let’s look at some things you should not forget. 1. Depreciation. Thankfully at the ...

John Remakel and Christopher Mumm Are Elected Monroe Moxness Berg Shareholders

The law firm of Monroe Moxness Berg is pleased to announce that John Remakel and Christopher Mumm have been elected shareholders of the firm. John joined the firm in 2011. He quickly distinguished himself as a highly skilled and ...

Dennis Monroe’s Column on Restaurant Economics Debuts in Foodservice News

In its February issue, Foodservice News has launched an ongoing column by Dennis Monroe which offers a different approach to reviewing Twin Cities restaurants. Rather than focusing on the cuisine — something that is already expertly handled by a ...

Monroe Moxness Berg Represents SSCP Management in Acquisition of Roy’s Restaurant

  MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 28, 2015 — Monroe Moxness Berg represented SSCP Management, a company headed by Applebee’s franchisee Sunil Dharod, in an acquisition of Roy’s Restaurant chain. The addition of the restaurants to Dharod’s portfolio was officially announced on ...

Getting Noticed

Recently, I have been writing about emerging concepts, which seems to be the hot area for restaurant financing and acquisition. The availability of funding, the overpricing of more mature concepts and the opportunity to make significant returns, all contribute ...

Rick Gibson’s Remarks on Restaurant M&As Quoted in Franchise Times

In an article “M&A Pros Tell How to Close a Deal,” the January issue of Franchise Times reports on the M&A-centered panel discussions held at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference in November 2014. Rick Gibson, who participated in ...

Securities Laws FAQ for Craft Breweries and Taprooms

A private placement of securities, coupled with a commercial bank loan, is becoming an increasingly common method to finance the operations and expansion plans of both startup and existing craft breweries and taprooms. While there is a strong appetite ...

From Guest Contributor Robin Shellman: Better Beer Society Offers Beer Education, Draft Maintenance Programs for Restaurants and Bars

  Robin Shellman is the founder and Certified Cicerone at Monroe Moxness Berg’s client Better Beer Society, an organization dedicated to the growth of the craft beer industry and expertise through education. Better Beer Society helps restaurants and bars ...

Happy Holidays from MMB Shareholders!

2014 Holiday Carol

How to Bring Value to an Emerging Concept

As Monitor readers know, emerging concepts are getting a lot of press, particularly because of private equity’s investment in earlier-stage concepts. Examples of this type of investment would be Sentinel Capital Partners’ investment in Newk’s Eatery, Morehead Capital’s investment ...

Dennis Monroe Interviewed About New Restaurant Funding Approaches

In an interview with Franchise Times‘ Beth Ewen, Denis Monroe discusses several new approaches to funding restaurants.

Monroe Moxness Berg Welcomes New Associates Julie Duckstad and Erika Donner

Monroe Moxness Berg is pleased to announce that Julie Duckstad and Erika Donner recently joined the firm as associates. Julie focuses her practice in the areas of commercial real estate and environmental law. Her experience includes sales and acquisitions, ...

The Best Financing Ideas of 2014

2014 was an exciting year: Financing not only continued to be available, but we saw several new and innovative approaches. Here are my thoughts on the best financing ideas of 2014: Effective Use of IPOs We’ve seen a number ...

MMB Attorneys to Speak at Restaurant Finance & Development Conference

Monroe Moxness Berg attorneys are among the speakers at the 25th annual Restaurant Finance & Development Conference in Las Vegas on November 10-12. The conference is the industry’s “must attend” event for growth-minded restaurant company owners and executives focused ...

Funding True Restaurants

There are three types of financing in the restaurant industry. The first source of financing is the public sector, and it gets all the press and discussions that typically surround an initial public offering or merger and acquisition. The ...

Dennis Monroe to Discuss Alternative Funding Sources at SS&G’s Restaurant CFO Bootcamp

Dennis Monroe will guide the audience through alternative restaurant funding sources during SS&G’s Restaurant CFO Bootcamp in New York on October 23-24. His session will focus on such funding sources as crowd funding, private placement, EB-5 visa programs, captive ...

Transition Time in the Restaurant Industry

In the last couple of years we have seen a proliferation of early-stage franchisees selling. Most of these sellers are entrepreneurs and have spent their lives growing a concept. Most notably, we have seen this transition in the Applebee’s, ...

Franchise Lenders Speak on Panel Moderated by Ryan Palmer at BoeFly Conference

Ryan Palmer moderated a panel “Franchise Lending Today” at the Franchise Lending Spotlight Conference organized by BoeFly on October 1 in Philadelphia. The panelists were Kate Bartosik, team leader at FRANdata; David Dickson, district director at SBA; Brian Burke, ...

MMB Attorneys to Speak at Hotel & Hospitality Conference

Monroe Moxness Berg attorneys will present panels on employment issues and on current legal trends in the hotel and hospitality industry at the upcoming Hotel & Hospitality conference, organized by the Minnesota Real Estate Journal. The conference takes place ...

Use of Benefit Corporations by the Restaurant Industry

  Benefit Corporations (BCs) are not limited liability companies, C corporations, S corporations or partnerships. They are a new type of entity that is becoming more popular as many states pass legislation to establish them. The sustainable business movement ...

New Associate Brad Cashman Joins Monroe Moxness Berg

Monroe Moxness Berg welcomes Brad Cashman, who has joined the firm as an associate with Corporate Finance/Mergers & Acquisitions and Real Estate practices. Brad has broad experience with financing, corporate and real estate issues and represents clients in commercial ...

Creative Uses of Friends and Family for Funding

  A recent article in the Small Business section of the Wall Street Journal, “Local Investing Takes Off” (June 12, 2014), caught my attention. The tagline was, “More entrepreneurs are turning to a new source of funds: their neighbors.” ...

Recording of Webcast on Restaurant Franchise Valuation Now Available Online

A recording of “Considerations for Buyers & Sellers of Restaurant Franchises,” a webcast recently presented by Monroe Moxness Berg and Valuation Research Corporation (VRC) in now available on VRC’s website. The webcast provides an overview of the restaurant industry ...

How Franchisees Can Successfully Roll Up New Concepts

  When reviewing this year’s Monitor 200 franchisees, it is apparent the large multi-unit franchisees are getting larger and diversifying their holdings. This growth is a result of available financing, the influx of private equity, the desire to take ...

Cliff Anderson Offers Employment Law Tips for Restaurant Businesses at Restaurant CFO Bootcamp

Cliff Anderson was a presenter at Restaurant CFO Bootcamp, a three-day conference for finance and accounting professionals in the restaurant industry, organized by the accounting firm of SS&G and held this summer in Las Vegas from June 4 – ...

Susie King to Present Asset-Based Guide to Probate

Susie King will serve as one of the faculty on the National Business Institute’s continuing education program “Asset-Based Guide to Probate” on June 27. The program, which is a live video webcast, will provide a detailed guide to the ...

Monroe Moxness Berg and Valuation Research Corporation to Present Webcast on Valuing Franchises

“Considerations for Buyers & Sellers of Restaurant Franchises” to be held on June 17 Minneapolis, MN — May 22, 2014. Monroe Moxness Berg (MMB), together with Valuation Research Corporation (VRC), a leading provider of independent valuations, will present the ...

What Happens When You Think Big?

  In last month’s lead article “Five Things That Set Good Operators Apart,” Jonathan Maze had a wonderful discussion of the success of large, multi-unit franchisees. One of the things Jonathan pointed out is that even large operators need ...

Monroe Moxness Berg Attorneys Discuss Craft Brewing Business and Fast Casual Restaurants at Retail & Restaurant Summit

Monroe Moxness Berg attorneys presented two panels at the Minnesota Real Estate Journal Retail & Restaurant Summit on May 30. John Remakel, Marcus Urlaub and their guests Blake Verdon of the LTD (Live the Dream) Brewery, Clint Roberts (Minnesota ...

Dennis Monroe and Ryan Palmer Discuss Growing and Selling Restaurant Businesses at the National Restaurant Association Show

Dennis Monroe and Ryan Palmer presented a panel on “How to Grow and Sell Your Restaurant Business” at the annual National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago on May 17. The panel guided the audience through the complete process from ...

Franchise Times Recaps MMB Panel from Franchise Finance & Growth Conference

The May issue of Franchise Times includes a special report on the annual Franchise Finance & Growth Conference, which took place on March 26-27 in Las Vegas. Featured in the report is an article summarizing the panel on franchise ...

What Lenders Want When Making Franchise Loans

  There is no doubt significant credit is available for the franchise community. This credit comes from different sources — large traditional lenders; sale/leaseback providers; smaller, niche lenders; unisource lenders; small or regional banks; private equity funds; individuals, and ...

John Remakel Discusses the Business of Beer at Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild Meeting

John Remakel was one of the speakers on “The Business of Beer,” a panel held at the quarterly meeting of the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild on April 15 at Lift Bridge Brewing Co. in Stillwater, MN. The panel addressed ...

Dennis Monroe Featured in the 2014 Dealmakers Issue of Franchise Times

Dennis Monroe, who received the Special Achievement award in this year’s Franchise Times Dealmakers project (see related article), is featured in the magazine’s April issue, which presents the twelve 2014 award winners. The Dealmakers awards recognize the boldest players ...

Monroe Moxness Berg Attorneys Named 2014 Franchise Times Legal Eagles

For another year running, seven Monroe Moxness Berg attorneys – John Berg, Rick Gibson, Dennis Monroe, Scott Husaby, Jim Wahl, Ryan Palmer, and Randy Evans – were named 2014 “Legal Eagles” by Franchise Times magazine in its April issue. ...

Susie King Nominated to State Bar Association’s Elder Law Governing Council

Susie King has been nominated to serve on the Elder Law Governing Council of the Elder Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association. She will serve a two-year term beginning in July 2014. Susie was nominated by the ...

Dennis Monroe Offers New Perspective on Labor Costs in Restaurant Industry

Dennis Monroe’s latest Restaurant Finance Monitor column, “Some New Thoughts on Labor Costs,” challenges the doomsayers who predict that the impending increases in labor costs will have dire consequences to the restaurant industry. Read more.

Some New Thoughts on Labor Costs

I’ve been reading everything I can to come to my own conclusions about proper approaches regarding impending increased labor costs for the restaurant industry. I also talk daily with multi-unit operators to get their take. The threats for increased ...

Susie King Discusses Measuring a Client’s Capacity

In a CLE organized by the Ramsey County Bar Association on April 23, Susie King gave a presentation on “How To Measure a Client’s Capacity.” She discussed different levels of capacity required for different tasks, reviewing tests or standards of ...

Announcing Acquisition, Primeritus Notes Monroe Moxness Berg’s Role as Counsel

On February 25, the firm’s client Primeritus Financial, a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries LLC, announced the acquisition of Repo Marketing, Inc., a vehicle recovery and remarketing firm. Repo Remarketing represents the fourth acquisition on the Primeritus platform and ...

Investing in Early Stage Restaurant Companies

I have seen everything from a salsa and chip kiosk in Iowa to a 20,000-square-foot casual dining jungle. Yet the appetite for new, potentially lucrative restaurant concepts seems inexhaustible. In today’s market, with all of the private equity money ...

Dennis Monroe Facilitates NACD Roundtable Discussion on Role of Directors in Helping Family-Owned Companies Grow

On March 19, Dennis Monroe joined Allen Bettis, director of National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Minnesota chapter, to facilitate a roundtable discussion on “Using Great Non-Family Executives to Grow Business — How Boards Can Help Forge Successful Alliances.” ...

Dennis Monroe Receives 2014 Special Achievement Dealmaker Award from Franchise Times

Dennis Monroe was the recipient of the Special Achievement award in the 2014 Franchise Times Dealmakers, the second annual project recognizing the boldest players driving mergers and acquisitions in franchising. The award, announced on February 11, honors Dennis’s 30-year ...

Ryan Palmer and Jim Wahl Participate in Roundtable Sessions at IFA Convention

Ryan Palmer and Jim Wahl were facilitators at the Supplier Forum Business Solutions Roundtables, part of the International Franchise Association (IFA) annual convention held this year in New Orleans on February 22-25. The Business Solutions Roundtables give franchisors, franchisees ...

What We Learned From 2013 Deals: Proceeds Are Still King

The year 2013 was a busy year for restaurant deals that ended with a flurry of transactions in the public and private markets and the entire franchise industry. The year also included a significant number of consolidation transactions. Small ...

Ryan Palmer Moderates Panel Focusing on Franchise Lending

Ryan Palmer moderated a panel “Franchise Lending Today” at the BoeFly Franchise Lending Spotlight Conference in Houston on February 5. The panelists were Jim Kahler, vice president of SBA Credit & Operations, First United Bank; Kate Bartosik, team leader ...

New Associate Jeanne Krigbaum Joins Estate Planning Group

Monroe Moxness Berg welcomes Jeanne Krigbaum, a new associate in the estate planning group. Jeanne’s focus is on estate planning, trust administration, wealth preservation and tax. She is admitted to practice before the Minnesota Supreme Court, the United States ...

Cliff Anderson Joins Monroe Moxness Berg As New Shareholder

We are pleased to announce that Cliff Anderson has joined Monroe Moxness Berg as a new shareholder. He is chair of the firm’s Employment Law practice group and vice-chair of the Commercial Litigation practice group. Cliff works with a ...

Dennis Monroe Considers Pros and Cons of EB-5 Program in Nation’s Restaurant News

In “Securing Capital: EB-5 Program Pros and Cons,” an article co-authored with Greg Remeikis and Stephanie O’Rourk of CohnReznick in the November 12 edition of Nation’s Restaurant News, Dennis Monroe outlines the tactics for finding growth capital by using ...

Gerry Duffy Takes Part in Seminar on Wisconsin and Minnesota Frac Sand Mining Law

Gerry Duffy was one of the presenters on the National Business Institute (NBI) seminar “Wisconsin and Minnesota Frac Sand Mining Law: Regulation, Land Purchasing/Leasing and Environmental Issues from Both Sides of the Table.” He discussed negotiating key contract in ...

Monroe Moxness Berg Relocates to New Office

On November 18, Monroe Moxness Berg begins working out of its new office on the seventh floor of The Minnesota Center, located at 7760 France Avenue in Minneapolis. The 18,000 sq. ft. space has been designed and developed with ...

The Booming Market for Public Funding

The public finance markets are again open to emerging restaurant concepts. This is due to the supply of capital, the desire of investors to invest in high growth and the liberalization of securities. The Monitor has highlighted some recent ...

Effective Use of Private Placements for Emerging Restaurant Concepts

The one consistent issue in the restaurant industry is the inability of small, start-up or emerging restaurant companies to find a source of early-stage financing, particularly equity capital. Further, it is rare for an intermediary (such as a broker/dealer) ...

EB-5 Program Opens a New Finance Avenue for Restaurants

The restaurant community has recently embraced a unique tool to secure additional capital for restaurant development. Restaurant owners who have proven concepts and need to develop are taking advantage of the EB-5 Program, also known as “buying a Green ...

Dealing With Negative Net Worth

by Dennis Monroe from Restaurant Finance Monitor, August 16, 2013 Download article One of the big issues for restaurants trying to secure financing is the problem of having negative equity on the balance sheet. Restaurants are notorious for running ...

“Things to Remember, From Our Long-Time Finance Columnist”

After 14 years of writing this column for Franchise Times, I am going to take a break from the publication’s monthly deadlines. But first I want to reflect one last time on some of the ways financing has changed ...

Dennis Monroe Leads Panel on Legislative and Regulatory Developments Affecting Restaurant Industry

On November 6, Dennis Monroe moderated a panel discussion “What Restaurant Operators Are Doing About Obamacare, Increased Labor Regulations, Union Activity And Higher Minimum Wage” at the Restaurant Finance and Development Conference in Las Vegas. The panel discussed what ...

Working Out: How to Prevent or Work Through Financially Troubled Franchisees

A franchise system is defined by the strength of its franchisees. But franchisees within a system are seldom uniformly strong, because they vary in their operational, developmental and financial capabilities. In light of this diversity, let’s look at a ...

December-May Duo: Mature Brand May Make Fine Partner for Up-And-Comer

We all know how difficult it is to grow a franchise system. But there is one bright spot. Strategic partners seem to have significant investment interest in early-stage concepts, and for a variety of reasons—to build more diversity, find ...

Win-Win: Four Topics Often Vex Relationships, But Smart Fixes Do Exist

Four key topics arise again and again in the relationship between franchisors and franchisees, generating frequent and significant discussion, and sometimes controversy. Let’s examine each topic and offer some reasonable solutions. They are: store closures and related consequences; personal ...

Randy Evans Examines M&A’s at 2013 Southeastern Restaurant Financing and Accounting Roundtable

Randy Evans spoke about mergers and acquisitions in the restaurant industry at the 2013 Southeastern Restaurant Finance and Accounting Roundtable in Atlanta on September 19. The event, co-sponsored by the firm with Benett Thrasher, Wells Fargo, Roark Capital and NetFinancials, ...

Ryan Palmer Moderates Panel on Franchise Lending at BoeFly Conference in Atlanta

Ryan Palmer moderated a panel discussion “The State of Franchise Lending” at the Franchise Lending Spotlight Conference in Atlanta on October 7. The panel discussed the current environment for franchise lending and some unique strategies deployed by lenders to help drive ...

Dennis Monroe Speaks at 2013 SS&G Restaurant CFO Bootcamp

Dennis Monroe gave a presentation on “Deals, Funding, Structures and New Ideas” at SS&G’s Restaurant CFO Bootcamp in Chicago, September 18-20. The Bootcamp provides an opportunity for intense study of restaurant financial management with a focus on unique aspects ...

Gerry Duffy Criticizes City of Medina’s Handling of a Developer’s Application

An August 21 Star Tribune article cites Gerald Duffy’s critical remarks concerning the city of Medina’s handling of a building application by PRDC, a developer represented by Gerry. PRDC and another developer, Stonegate Farm Inc., have sued the city ...

Dennis Monroe Discusses Private Company Boards in an NACD Program

On September 18, Dennis Monroe was one of the panelists in a program “Smart Choices — How Private & Family Owned Companies Use Their Boards for Critical Choices,” presented by the Minnesota chapter of the National Association of Corporate ...

Immigrant Attraction: EB-5 Program Is Creative Route to Capital, But There Are Hoops

The franchise community has been developing unique tools to secure additional capital. One exciting approach is the use of the EB-5 program (better known as “buying a Green Card”). This legislation was enacted in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. ...

Dennis Monroe Comments in QSR on Current State of Restaurant Financing

Access to financing for new restaurant ventures may be easing after the freeze that followed the Great Recession; but, as Dennis Monroe tells QSR magazine, lenders remain risk-averse. “If you’re an established operator, it’s pretty simple to get financing,” ...

New Associate Whitney Anderson Joins Monroe Moxness Berg

Monroe Moxness Berg PA welcomes Whitney Anderson, a new associate who will practice in the firm’s Franchise, Distribution & Intellectual Property and Corporate Finance-M&A groups. Prior to joining the firm, she specialized in franchise litigation and has broad experience ...

Off Balance: Seven Ways for Franchisors to Lend a Financial Hand

by Dennis Monroe from March 2013 Franchise Times Download article Even though the credit markets have loosened to give the franchise community more credit, that does not mean money is plentiful (particularly for emerging concepts and non-national brands). Proactive ...

For Your Consideration: Franchisors Can Ponder Eight Concepts Before Expanding Abroad

Franchise companies often make mistakes in their international development strategy, and a common misstep is premature financing. Too often international development strategies are opportunistic rather than financially strategic. When I talk to franchisors about international development, I often hear ...

Dennis Monroe Comments in Restaurant Finance Monitor on Funding Sources for Small Franchisees

Dennis Monroe‘s comments on the advantages of sale-leasebacks and private placements as funding options for early-unit franchisees appear in the article “How to Help Small Franchisees Get Financed” in the May issue of Restaurant Finance Monitor. Sale-leaseback financing, according ...

Ryan Palmer and Randy Evans Speak at the National Restaurant Association Show

Ryan Palmer and Randy Evans were panelists during the National Restaurant Association Show held in Chicago on May 18-21. Ryan moderated a panel “Is My Restaurant Ready to Franchise?” while Randy participated in a session called “Financing A – ...

Susie King Examines Contested Guardianship and Conservatorship Proceedings

In “Contested Guardianship and Conservatorship Proceedings,” an article for The Hennepin Lawyer, Susie King recommends a broad, careful and nuanced approach to these often highly contested proceedings, one that would allow all parties to salvage familial relations while maintaining ...

Seven Milestones – Concept May Be Ready to Franchise When It Meets Major Goals

When considering how to grow a concept, it’s hard to overlook the advantages of franchising. But before making the decision, thoroughly explore if franchising is in fact the right approach to grow the concept. Too often it is used ...

John Berg and Randy Evans Featured in Franchise Times “Dealmakers” Article

In the April issue of Franchise Times John Berg and Randy Evans remarked on the increasing complexity of transactions in the realm of franchise finance. Their comments are part of the feature story on the magazine’s Dealmaker award winners, ...

John Remakel on Fundamentals of Drafting Contracts

On April 8, John Remakel served as one of the faculty members for the Minnesota State Bar Association’s CLE seminar Drafting Your First Contract. John’s presentation, “Fundamentals of Drafting Contracts,” covered language, grammar, punctuation, canons of construction and use ...

Monroe Moxness Berg Attorneys Named Franchise Times Legal Eagles

For another year in a row, seven firm attorneys – John Berg, Rick Gibson, Dennis Monroe, Scott Husaby, Jim Wahl, Ryan Palmer, and Randy Evans – were named 2013 “Legal Eagles” by Franchise Times magazine in its April issue. ...

Monroe Moxness Berg Named Dealmakers of the Year

Monroe Moxness Berg has been named the Dealmakers of the Year in the contest launched this year by Franchise Times. The award recognizes excellence in facilitating multiple deals in franchising from July 2011-December 2012. The awards will be presented ...

Susie King Speaks on Terminating Guardianships and Conservatorships

Susie King was a presenter at the Guardianship and Conservatorship Law Handbook Seminar, a CLE program offered by the Minnesota State Bar Association on February 27, 2013. Using the new second edition of Robert A. McLeod’s Guardianship and Conservatorship ...

Monroe Moxness Berg Attorneys Speak at IFA Convention

Randy Evans, Ryan Palmer and Jim Wahl represented the firm as speakers at the 53rd annual International Franchise Association (IFA) convention in Las Vegas, February 17-20, 2013: Randy was one of the panelists in a session on “Effective Use ...

Susie King Appointed to Hennepin County Guardianship/Conservatorship Attorney Panel

Monroe Moxness Berg associate Susie King has been appointed by the Fourth Judicial Court, in conjunction with Hennepin County, to the Hennepin County Guardianship/Conservatorship Attorney Panel. The panel provides the court with a qualified pool of attorneys to represent ...

Out of Bounds: Smaller Firms, Too, Can Expand Abroad — with the Right Partner

The franchise world has embraced international activity for many years and regards global expansion as a viable and, at times, a primary opportunity for development. As we know, the IFA is active internationally, and recent trade missions co-sponsored by ...

“Sales Tactics: Why Sell Sizzle When You Can Sell the Steak? Here’s How It’s Done”

There is a great deal written on how to attract franchisees to a franchise system. When Googling the topic, one gets such article titles as “marketing to attract franchisees,” “eight seldom asked questions before you buy a franchise,” and ...

Gift Now or Pay Later?

The good news is that the opportunity for tax-free transfers of wealth to future generations has never been better during our lifetimes. The bad news is that the window on this opportunity is closing in four months. For the ...

When Franchising Won’t Do, Tap 5 Ways to Grow

People are always looking for ways to finance growth, but franchising is not effective with all concepts. For example, franchising doesn’t work well when a concept is not fully developed, has not been proven with diverse demographic and geographic ...

Good Partners, Bad Partners: Because Investors Aren’t Equal, Finding the Former Takes Work

The number of outside investors teaming up with good operators to buy into franchise systems is proliferating of late. In particular, private equity has served as the funding for consolidation of franchisee units and the acquisition of franchisors. But ...

Done Deal: The Questions to Get Your Piece of Stepped-Up M&A Activity

There seems to be a more robust market for mergers and acquisitions in the franchise world. Pent-up demand exists (particularly for franchisee units) and many franchisees have been waiting to sell. Even though the senior-debt market is still tight, ...

Franchisors Should Focus on Survival of the System

Many lawyers and franchise professionals seem to be stuck in a rut as to how franchise businesses should operate, particularly with regard to the franchise fees and royalty matrix. In light of the kind of return on investment franchisees ...

Analyzing Your Balance Sheet

Last month we looked at P&Ls as the window to a company’s success. Now let’s analyze the balance sheet, which is more analogous to looking at the financial health of a company. A review of the balance sheet is ...

Bottom Line: P&L Statements Are a Window into Your Company’s Success

It is said that the eyes are the window to the soul. I would say the same about a company’s profit and loss statement (or P&L). Profit and loss statements are the window to a company’s success. Here are ...

Five Reasons Why It Is Time to Grow Again

For the last several years, growth in the franchise world (in terms of new units opening) has been slow. The reasons are obvious: The economy has not grown at the pace we would all like, capital has been short, ...

Middle Ground: Taking a New Approach to Old Franchisor Problems

Franchise agreements are frequently criticized as being over-reaching in protecting the franchisor. While criticism is justified in many cases, more and more franchisors are realizing a balancing of the parties’ interests is necessary for long-term success of both franchisor ...

10 Key Provisions: How to Translate a Loan Agreement into (Almost) Plain English

As a business owner, you either have existing debt financing, are currently working on debt financing and/or at some point in the future will be seeking debt financing. It is simply the nature of the business, whether you are ...

Do You ‘Trust’? 10 Reasons for Franchisors to Embrace Succession Trusts

Two of my partners, John Berg and Scott Husaby, have spent a great deal of time as panelists on the Franchise Times Exit Strategies Seminar Series and have been travelling around the country speaking to franchisors and franchisees on ...

Health Monitor: How to Gather Key Info from Franchisees and Then Evaluate It

In these volatile economic times, the challenge every franchisor faces is effectively monitoring the financial health of a franchise system. This type of monitoring is not just a luxury, but a necessity. Prior to a prospective franchisee entering a ...

Checking the Weather: 2011 Franchise Climate Presents Challenges and Opportunities

As covered in last month’s column, there were a number of positive developments in franchise finance in 2010. In addition, the franchise trade press has been active with reports of many encouraging developments. Still, not all the news is ...

Countdown: Our Columnist’s 10 Best Franchise Finance Occurrences of 2010

Each year I reflect back on the high points of the previous year and look at the ideas, transactions and developments I think had the greatest positive effects on financing for the franchise community. In reverse order, here is ...

Old Benchmarks vs. New Tests

From food costs to fiscal health: a half-dozen areas to double-check Old benchmarks are being exacerbated by the economic downturn and the change in consumer attitudes. Here’s how to redefine the long-standing benchmarks for operating franchise businesses:   Emphasis ...

A Taxing Situation:

Mining the Benefits from the Onslaught of New Tax Law Changes Much has been written about taxes this year, so I’ve asked my partner, Rick Gibson, an attorney and CPA (inactive) to collaborate on this month’s column. This latest ...

Study Closely: How Creative Franchises Are Securing ‘Situational Financing’

In today’s tight financing market for franchise businesses, it is key for us to share our success stories and help each other find financing. This column discusses three actual situations where a franchise business was able to secure financing. ...

What Works:

Franchisors Helping Franchisees Means Being Part of the Solution Many of you know from reading this column over the years that I believe franchisors should play an active role in helping their franchisees. Franchisors historically seem to take three ...

Sourcing Deals: An Increase in M&A Activity Could Bode Well for the Future

While the economics (particularly in the franchise world) have not substantially improved, there recently has been an increase in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity. In large part, this is due to the fact that there has been little activity ...

Getting to 57: How to Convince a Lender to Say ‘Yes’ – Or At Least, Not to Say ‘No’

There is no question that trying to obtain bank financing, equipment or even financing from a national finance company is now about as difficult as it has ever been; however, all is not lost. The most important approach to ...

Know Thyself: The Direction in Which Franchisors Should Be Driving Franchisees

In today’s fluid and volatile franchise world, it is imperative that a franchise system knows itself and where it’s going. As I have discovered in my representation of many franchisors and franchisees, it is rare a franchisor that has ...

Avoiding Pitfalls: The Top 10 Financial Mistakes New Franchisees Make

For years, my partner, Randy Evans, and I have been helping franchisors and franchisees navigate the tricky waters of getting into the franchise world, then developing a franchise business. Many of our franchisee clients have gone from one unit ...

New Financing Ideas: Think Outside the Box When Searching for Funding in 2010

Regular readers of my column know I am always searching for new financing ideas, and it has not been an easy process in 2008 and 2009. However, I have come up with some new ideas for this month’s column ...

Financing Matrix: How to Play the Financing Game

Financing is certainly a different game than it used to be. Here are some unique ideas. Financing for real-estate assets Multi-tenant facilities Let’s look at the variety of ideas for sourcing the funding for leasehold improvements. Most franchise businesses ...

In Search of Equity: Finding Available Lending Sources

No debt and little equity have made it difficult for franchise systems to plan for the future. But do not lose hope. Here are some tools to assist you. First, equity is most effective when there is debt at ...

GoodCo vs. BadCo: A Tale of Two Companies, One Owner

In these times there is a real need to think outside the box. My colleague, Andy Hall, and I have come up with a theoretical situation that involves completing a reorganization of a borderline insolvent restaurant company that may ...

He Has a Dream: The Evidence of 10 Years of Finance Columns

When I started writing for Franchise Times 10 years ago, I had been practicing in franchise finance for almost 20 years. All along I had a dream. I had a dream that each solid franchisee would be able to ...

Credit Contraction: Financing Opportunities in Tough Times

I don’t have to tell you franchise financing is tight. All you have to do is open up The Wall Street Journal, local newspapers or trade magazines to understand the present credit crunch. In my 30 years of working ...

Teamwork: Offering Help Without Losing Revenues

It seems that there are very few franchise systems that are immune from the economic downturn. In almost all areas of franchising, unit sales are down over what they were in 2006 and 2007. While certain areas of the ...

What’s My Franchise Worth?

In these tough economic times, the question I am asked most often is, “What is my franchise business worth?” This month’s column will outline a few key points that may be helpful in determining that worth. In many cases, ...

The Trickle Down: Impact on Equity in a Tight Credit Market

There has been no small amount of discussion, and hand wringing, related to the current conditions in the credit markets. Not as much has been said about equity markets in our industry. There is certainly a trickle-down effect in ...

Redoing Debt: Steps in a Successful Restructure

Last month’s column dealt with getting ready for a downturn. Much of the column discussed appropriate steps to take to minimize issues if, for some reason, the franchise business has to go through a restructure. Some of the key ...

2008 Expectations: What’s Happening in the Finance Market?

Here’s what you can expect in the 2008 financing market. It is no secret that all financing has tightened and the amount of time it takes to get a financing deal closed has almost doubled. Interest rates have not ...

What Does Exit Planning Have To Do With The Franchise World?

The franchise world is getting older. Most of the major franchise systems were developed at least 20 to 30 years ago, and the average franchisee has aged along with the franchise. The aging of the franchise systems and the ...

Smart Use of Sale/Leaseback: Ways to Add Value, Flexibility

Over the years this column has addressed the use of sale/leaseback as a franchise finance vehicle. While interest rates have been moving up fairly quickly and the prime rate of interest is now above 8 percent, the cap rates ...

Five Key Components to Financing Real Estate

Many sectors of the real estate market continue to remain strong and attract significant attention in the financing markets. Notwithstanding the recent slow down in the housing market, demand for and the valuation and financing of commercial real estate ...

Raising Money With A One Unit Concept

“Can I raise money when I have only one location?” “Can I start franchising with one location?” These are questions our firm is regularly asked. In the past, our answer to both questions has always been “no”, but we ...

A Quick Preview of 2006 in the Franchise Finance World

Two key words in the franchise finance world for 2006 will be “multiples” and “activity.” It is apparent, through recent and pending transactions, that the valuation Multiples (the cash flow from the target business times a multiple) are at ...

Protecting Your Value

Successful franchisees often have a problem in effectively transitioning and protecting the value of their business interests from events such as estate taxes, creditor collections and forced sales. As franchisee organizations mature, they become what we call “cash cows”, ...

Beg, Borrow and be Original

“I need some money to get started. Do you know someone who could help?” or, “I need an angel investor. Can you find an angel for me?” or “I’ve heard from a number of people that you are the ...

Investing in the Restaurant Sector

In the last several years we have seen a proliferation of private equity investment in the restaurant sector. Many of today’s leading restaurant chains started out with significant private investment. This private investment was secured through established private equity ...

The Current Trends in ADA “Drive-By” Law Suits

Recently we have seen a noticeable uptick in so-called American’s with Disability Act (“ADA”) “Drive-by” suits. These suits are labeled as such because plaintiffs often ride around neighbors and areas looking for ADA violations and then catalogue the alleged ...

MN Supreme Court Reaffirms the Limits on Cities’ Ability to Impose Fees on Developers

In August of this year, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued a decision that should curtail statutory cities’ ability to make the approval of subdivision applications contingent on payment of fee or charges not specifically authorized by Minnesota law. The ...

BDIT lets you give away property without losing control

By temporarily doubling the gift and estate tax exemption, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) opened a window of opportunity for affluent families to transfer assets tax-free. To take advantage of the higher exemption amount, many families that ...

Understanding the contents of a will

You probably don’t have to be told about the need for a will. But do you know what provisions should be included and what’s best to leave out? The answers to those questions depend on your situation and may ...

Make health care decisions while you’re healthy

Estate planning isn’t just about what happens to your assets after you die. It’s also about protecting yourself and your loved ones. This includes having a plan for making critical medical decisions in the event you’re unable to make ...

Unleash the power of a nonspringing power of attorney

Estate planning typically focuses on what happens to your children and your assets when you die. But it’s equally important to have a plan for making critical financial and medical decisions if you’re unable to make those decisions yourself. ...

Should you name a trust as IRA beneficiary?

An IRA is a popular vehicle to save for retirement, and it can also be a powerful estate planning tool. Some people designate a trust as beneficiary of their IRAs, but is that a good idea? The answer: possibly. ...

Intellectual property requires careful estate planning

If your estate includes forms of intellectual property (IP), such as patents and copyrights, it’s important to know how to address them in your estate plan. Although these intangible assets can have great value, in many ways they’re treated ...

ABCs of HSAs: How an HSA can benefit your estate plan

One health care arrangement that has been soaring in popularity in recent years has been the pairing of a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) with a Health Savings Account (HSA). The good news is that not only does an HSA ...

Don’t overlook tax apportionment when planning your estate

If you expect your estate to have a significant estate tax liability at your death, be sure to include a well-thought-out tax apportionment clause in your will or revocable trust. An apportionment clause specifies how the estate tax burden ...

Are you familiar with fraudulent transfer laws?

A primary goal of your estate plan is to transfer wealth to your family according to your wishes and at the lowest possible tax cost. However, if you have creditors, be aware of fraudulent transfer laws. In a nutshell, ...

MMB Attorneys to Discuss Legal Issues Facing Entrepreneurs

In an upcoming podcast “Dealing with Small Business/Entrepreneur Legal Issues,” a trio of Monroe Moxness Berg attorneys — John Remakel, Joshua Mason and Brian Tunis — will discuss the ways entrepreneurs or small business owners can navigate the legal ...

MMB Attorneys to Discuss ADA “Drive-By” Suits, Wage-and-Hour Issues at MN Hospitality Expo

Ansis Viksnins and Aaron Hartman will be speaking to the attendees at the Minnesota Hospitality Conference & Expo on October 23 at Saint Paul’s RiverCentre. The Expo is a free hospitality industry event for relevant learning, food sampling and ...

Dennis Monroe to Moderate Panel on Successful Restaurant Delivery Operations at the Inaugural Food on Demand Conference

Dennis Monroe will moderate a panel “Case Studies from Successful Delivery Operators” at the inaugural Food on Demand Conference at the Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West, March 19-20. The panel will address the general question of how restaurant ...

Dennis Monroe Co-Hosts Webinar on Tax Reform

Dennis Monroe, along with Jeff Tubaugh of the accounting firm BDO USA, hosted a Restaurant Finance Monitor webinar on the impact of the new tax reform legislation. The webinar will took place Wednesday, January 17, 2018 and provided an up-to-date summary ...

John Remakel to Discuss Recent Trends in Restaurant Transactions

John Remakel will be a speaker at BDO’s Restaurant CFO Bootcamp, discussing “Strategic Transactions in the Restaurant Industry – Recent Trends and Structures.” The conference takes place in Orlando on October 18-20. John’s session will provide an overview of ...

Dennis Monroe to Discuss Restaurant Finance at Spring Restaurant Business Summit

How do restaurateurs convince bankers that they aren’t risky businesses? Are there well-heeled investors out there who might fund a talented chef’s dream of owning a restaurant? Dennis Monroe will be among the panelists who will address these and ...

Aaron Hartman to Discuss 2017 Restaurant Employment Issues and Strategies for Owners

Aaron Hartman will be a presenter in a Foodservice News webinar “Labor Pains: Top Issues Facing Restaurant Owners in 2017 and Strategies for Coping.” He will be joined by Amber Duncan, manager in compensation consulting at CBIZ Human Capital ...

Monroe Moxness Berg Panel to Address Franchise Financing Puzzle

Monroe Moxness Berg will present a panel “Solving the Financing Puzzle” on March 15 at the Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference in Las Vegas. The panel will consider how to use senior debt effectively in combination with other ...

Happy Holidays from MMB Shareholders!

2014 Holiday Carol

MMB to Present a Panel on Funding Sources for Restaurant Businesses

Dennis Monroe will moderate a panel “Sources to Fund Your Business” at the annual Minnesota Hospitality Expo. The panel will provide restaurant and other hospitality business operators with practical information about various types of funding available to them based ...

MMB Attorneys Selected to 2020 Best Lawyers in America

Monroe Moxness Berg is pleased to announce that three of our attorneys have been named to The Best Lawyers in AmericaВ© 2020, an annual edition of the oldest peer-review publication in the legal profession.  MMB attorneys selected this year ...

All States Ag Parts buys Kern County Tractor Parts

Monroe Moxness Berg provided legal counsel for All States, Ag Parts, LLC (“ASAP”), a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, LLC (“Kinderhook”), in its acquisition of Kern County Tractor Parts, Inc. (“Kern” or the “Company”), a McFarland, California-based provider of ...

Kinderhook-backed Bestop buys Softopper

Monroe Moxness Berg served as legal counsel to Bestop, Inc. (“Bestop”), a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, LLC (“Kinderhook”), in its acquisition of Softopper, LLC (“Softopper”), a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of convertible soft tops for light-duty pickup ...

All States Ag Parts Acquires John F. Mahaney Company

Monroe Moxness Berg served as legal counsel to All States Ag Parts, LLC (“ASAP”), a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, in its acquisition of John F. Mahaney Company (“Mahaney”). Mahaney, of Sacramento, California, distributes professional-grade tools and supplies to ...

Women in Real Estate Panelists Discuss Measuring Success

Monroe Moxness Berg presented a panel “Measuring Women’s Success in the Industry: What We Know Today” at the second annual Women in Real Estate Summit, organized by Minnesota Real Estate Journal. The panel was moderated by MMB shareholder Patricia ...

Tim McEnery of Cooper’s Hawk to Receive 2019 Golden Chain Award

Tim McEnery, CEO of Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants has been chosen to receive the National Restaurant News‘ 2019 Golden Chain Award for building the wine-centric restaurant and retail brand. The annual award celebrates the best in the restaurant ...

MMB’s Attorneys Discuss Twin Cities Craft-Brewing Market Opportunities, Trademarks

In a recent interview with Foodservice News, John Remakel and Marcus Urlaub, who co-lead Monroe Moxness Berg’s craft brewing legal practice, answer questions about the Twin Cities craft brewing market opportunities. They offer advice on how aspiring craft-brewing business ...

Dennis Monroe Receives UST Law’s Excellence in Professional Preparation Award

The University Of St. Thomas School of Law has chosen Dennis Monroe as the recipient of the Excellence in Professional Preparation award. The award recognizes members of the law school community who have done an excellent job providing instruction ...

MMB Attorneys Named 2019 Franchise Times “Legal Eagles”

For another year running, four Monroe Moxness Berg attorneys – John Berg, Rick Gibson, Dennis Monroe, and Scott Husaby – were named 2019 “Legal Eagles” by Franchise Times magazine in its April issue. This annual list is designed to identify the very ...

MMB-Led Panel to Address Reals Costs of Outsourcing Food Delivery

“Understanding the Real Costs of Outsourcing Food Delivery” is a panel organized by Monroe Moxness Berg for the upcoming Food on Demand conference. The panel will discuss the costs of third-party food delivery, focusing on how aggregators can reduce ...

Panel of MMB Attorneys to Discuss Triple Net Lease Review Process

Monroe Moxness Berg attorneys Amy DuMond Kottke, Vickie Loher-Johnson and Jeff Shea will present a panel discussion “How to Vet Your Triple Net: Reviewing Your Property for Purchase” at the Minnesota Real Estate Journal‘s Net Lease & 1031 Exchange ...

MMB Client Takes up the Challenge of Converting a Historic Fire Hall into a Taproom

Two recent articles in local press document our client Travis Temke’s ongoing project to convert a historic fire station in St. Paul into a taproom, coffee shop, dining room and banquet hall. The vacant building at 754 Randolph Ave. ...

MMB Attorneys to Discuss ADA “Drive-By” Suits, Wage-and-Hour Issues at MN Hospitality Expo

Ansis Viksnins and Aaron Hartman will be speaking to the attendees at the Minnesota Hospitality Conference & Expo on October 23 at Saint Paul’s RiverCentre. The Expo is a free hospitality industry event for relevant learning, food sampling and ...

Dennis Monroe Becomes Senior Distinguished Fellow at University of St. Thomas School of Law

Dennis Monroe has accepted the invitation from the University of St. Thomas School of Law to serve as a Senior Distinguished Fellow. The new post extends his ongoing involvement with the law school as a Halloran Center Fellow, supporting ...

Chris Mumm, Pat Weller Comment on Impact of New Trends on Restaurant Real Estate

The June/July 2018 issue of Foodservice News offers a summary of the panel on new restaurant trends presented by Chris Mumm and Pat Weller at the Retail & Restaurant Summit in April. The two MMB attorneys focused on the ...

Dennis Monroe to Moderate Panel on Successful Restaurant Delivery Operations at the Inaugural Food on Demand Conference

Dennis Monroe will moderate a panel “Case Studies from Successful Delivery Operators” at the inaugural Food on Demand Conference at the Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West, March 19-20. The panel will address the general question of how restaurant ...

Dennis Monroe Comments in QSR on VC Funding for Early-Stage Restaurant Concepts

An article “Is Venture Capital Right for Your Restaurant Concept?” in the February issue of QSR, quotes comments from Dennis Monroe, discussing what he sees as an increasing interest on the part of venture capital firms in funding less ...

Kinderhook-backed Bestop acquires PRP Seats

Bestop Inc, which is backed by Kinderhook Industries LLC, has acquired PRP Seats, a maker of custom seats, harnesses, storage bags and accessories for off-road vehicles (e.g., UTV, Jeep, Buggies, etc.). PRP Seats represents the fourth add-on acquisition for ...

F-Town Brewing Founder Plans a New St. Paul Brewery

Travis Temke, the founder of F-Town Brewing, which has been operating in Faribault, MN, since 2015, has been given a green light by St. Paul’s City Council to convert a historic fire station into a brewery and restaurant. Travis ...

Pat Weller to Speak at Data Center Summit

Pat Weller will be a panelist at an upcoming Data Center Summit, organized by Minnesota Real Estate Journal. The panel is on “Marketing Data Centers Properties and Services,” and it will look at properties for sale, consider comparative advantages ...

Reconstruction Partners Facilitates Complex Francesca’s Restaurant Group Transactions

Our client Reconstruction Partners recently announced the completion of several simultaneous transactions by its client, Francesca’s Restaurant Group (FRG, Inc.), with GSI Partners, a privately-held Chicago-based holding company with related interests in the food purveying business. Reconstruction Partners provided ...

Gwen Stanley and Michael Zenk Win Entrepreneur of the Year Award Upper Midwest Awards

Monroe Moxness Berg congratulates our clients and friends Gwen Stanley and Michael Zenk, who are among the winners of the Entrepreneur of the Year Award Upper Midwest, sponsored by accounting firm EY. Gwen and Michael are both veterans of ...

In Memoriam: Randy Evans

Minneapolis, May 23, 2017 — We are grieved to announce the death of our shareholder Randy Evans, who passed away today following a courageous battle with cancer. Randy was a leader in the firm’s Corporate Finance/M&A group, where he ...

Monroe Moxness Berg Welcomes New Associate Brian Tunis

Monroe Moxness Berg is pleased to announce that Brian Tunis has joined the firm as an associate in the firm’s Business Law and Corporate Finance/M&A practice groups. Brian has substantial experience in a wide array of transactional work. Brian ...

MMB Client HeadFlyer Brewing to Hold Grand Opening on April 22

Monroe Moxness Berg client HeadFlyer Brewing is readying its new brewery and taproom for a grand opening celebration on April 22. Located in the old Miller Textile building in Northeast Minneapolis, HeadFlyer is a newcomer in the area, poised ...

Dennis Monroe Discusses Restaurant Investing, Trends in Biz Journal

In an interview with the Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal, Dennis Monroe talks about restaurant investing and the principles he relies on to gauge a restaurant’s potential for business success. He also discusses current restaurant trends and local hot spots for ...

Aaron Hartman to Discuss 2017 Restaurant Employment Issues and Strategies for Owners

Aaron Hartman will be a presenter in a Foodservice News webinar “Labor Pains: Top Issues Facing Restaurant Owners in 2017 and Strategies for Coping.” He will be joined by Amber Duncan, manager in compensation consulting at CBIZ Human Capital ...

National Theatre for Children Featured in Star Tribune

In its November 29 issue, Minneapolis Star Tribune has a feature article on Monroe Moxness Berg client National Theatre for Children (NTC). Founded in 1978 by Ward Eames, the theater company works with businesses and government agencies that seek ...

John Remakel Discusses Restaurant Financing at CFO Bootcamp

John Remakel participated in the panel “Structuring Your Company for Growth” on September 22 at the Restaurant CFO Bootcamp presented by BDO in Las Vegas. Along with co-panelist Adam Berebitsky of BDO, he discussed restaurant financing, focusing on formation/holding ...

Monroe Moxness Berg Welcomes New Shareholder Amy DuMond Kottke

Monroe Moxness Berg is pleased to announce that Amy DuMond Kottke joined the firm as a shareholder in the Real Estate practice. Amy focuses on real estate development, financing, acquisition and sales, commercial leasing and construction. Her practice has ...

National Restaurant News Selects Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant for Its Next 20 List

In its August issue, National Restaurant News names MMB client Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant among its Next 20, a list of established restaurant brands developing at a pace that makes them best-positioned to move to the NRN Top ...

Bestop Acquires Tuffy Security Products

Monroe Moxness Berg served as legal counsel to Bestop, a manufacturer of soft tops and other accessories for Jeeps, in its acquisition of Tuffy Security Products, a provider of premium storage products for Jeeps, trucks, SUVs and other commercial ...

Dennis Monroe and Jim Wahl Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America

We are pleased to announce that two of our attorneys have once again been recognized in the 23rd edition of The Best Lawyers In America©. Dennis Monroe and James Wahl were selected by their peers for recognition in the ...

Our Client Indeed Brewing Celebrates Four Years in Business

On August 10, 2012, Indeed Brewing, the client of our craft brewing practice, sold its first beer. Just within last two years they grown from a staff of six to a staff of over 50, going from one taproom ...

New Client HeadFlyer Brewing to Open Brewery in Northeast Minneapolis

HeadFlyer Brewing, a new client of our craft brewing legal services group, is moving into the newly renovated Miller Textile building in northeast Minneapolis. It will open its taproom and brewery in a 9,435 square-foot space in the building. ...

Private Equity-Backed Bestop Acquires Baja

Monroe Moxness Berg PA served as legal counsel to Bestop, Inc., a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, LLC, in its acquisition of Baja Designs, a provider of premium branded off-road lighting systems for the automotive market. Baja represents the ...

Gail Shore’s Cultural Jambalaya initiative featured in Star Tribune column

Monroe Moxness Berg client Gail Shore and her nonprofit Cultural Jambalaya are subjects of Neal St. Anthony’s column in the May 15 issue of Star Tribune. A former communications professional, Shore is now the unpaid CEO of Cultural Jambalaya, ...

KBP Foods Continues Expansion with Recent Acquisition

Monroe Moxness Berg is proud to have represented KBP Foods, a leading franchisee of quick service restaurants in the U.S., in its acquisition of 91 KFC & Taco Bell restaurants in the Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and ...

Monroe Moxness Berg Welcomes New Associate Lucas Frasz

Monroe Moxness Berg is pleased to announce that Lucas Frasz has joined the firm as an associate with the Real Estate and Business Law practice groups. Luke focuses his practice on representing businesses and individuals in a variety of ...

The Fifth Annual Charlie Awards Celebrate Local Independent Food and Beverage Community

Monroe Moxness Berg is proud to sponsor the Charlie Awards, which recognize the exceptional contributions of the Twin Cities metro area restaurant, food and beverage industry. Among the recipients are restaurants, beverage manufacturers, suppliers, culinary schools, chefs, staff and ...

Monroe Moxness Berg Welcomes New Shareholder Aaron Hartman

Monroe Moxness Berg is pleased to announce that Aaron Hartman has joined the firm as a shareholder. Aaron is a trial attorney who focuses first on practical solutions that advance the client’s business objectives. Aaron provides advice and litigation ...

New Associate Mae Beeler Joins Monroe Moxness Berg

Monroe Moxness Berg welcomes new associate Mae Beeler. Mae has joined the firm’s Litigation practice group, where she will focus her practice on an array of civil and commercial litigation matters. Before joining the firm, Mae served as a ...

Dennis Monroe and Jim Wahl Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America 2016

The law firm of Monroe Moxness Berg is pleased to announce that two of its attorneys have once again been recognized in the 2016 edition of The Best Lawyers In America©. Dennis Monroe and James Wahl were selected by ...

MMB Office Design Featured in Finance and Commerce

In a June 17 article “Making the Case for Open Design,” Franchise and Commerce looks at the Monroe Moxness Berg office design as a departure from the traditional design elements associated with law firms. In place of dark wood ...

Monroe Moxness Berg to Present Workshop on 21st Century Funding Options for Restaurants

As part of the Franchise Times Workshops to be held during the upcoming National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago, Monroe Moxness Berg will present a panel “You Can Finance Anything: 21st Century Funding Options for Your Restaurants.” Moderated by ...

Joshua Mason Joins Monroe Moxness Berg

Monroe Moxness Berg is pleased to announce that Joshua Mason has joined the firm as an associate in the Business Law and Corporate Finance/Mergers and Acquisitions practice groups. He focuses on mergers and acquisitions, securities regulation, and an array ...

MMB Celebrates Employee Appreciation Week with Craft Beer from Client LTD Brewing

As part of the Employee Appreciation Week in April, Monroe Moxness Berg employees quaffed fine craft Pilsner craft brewed by our client LTD Brewing in Hopkins, MN.

Monroe Moxness Berg Attorneys Named 2015 Franchise Times Legal Eagles

For another year running, seven Monroe Moxness Berg attorneys – John Berg, Rick Gibson, Dennis Monroe, Scott Husaby, Jim Wahl, Ryan Palmer, and Randy Evans – were named 2015 “Legal Eagles” by Franchise Times magazine in its April issue. ...

Former Famous Dave’s General Counsel Paul Ziccarelli Joins Monroe Moxness Berg as Shareholder

Monroe Moxness Berg is pleased to announce that Paul Ziccarelli, former general counsel at Famous Dave’s of America, has joined the firm as a shareholder. Paul brings more than 25 years of in-house counsel experience with companies in industries ...

Monroe Moxness Berg Sponsors Business Solution Roundtables at the 2015 IFA Convention

Monroe Moxness Berg participated in the 2015 International Franchise Association Convention in Las Vegas on February 15-18. At the event, the firm reprised its longtime sponsorship of Business Solution Roundtables, a unique opportunity for franchisees to exchange ideas, challenges, ...

John Remakel and Christopher Mumm Are Elected Monroe Moxness Berg Shareholders

The law firm of Monroe Moxness Berg is pleased to announce that John Remakel and Christopher Mumm have been elected shareholders of the firm. John joined the firm in 2011. He quickly distinguished himself as a highly skilled and ...

Monroe Moxness Berg Represents SSCP Management in Acquisition of Roy’s Restaurant

  MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 28, 2015 — Monroe Moxness Berg represented SSCP Management, a company headed by Applebee’s franchisee Sunil Dharod, in an acquisition of Roy’s Restaurant chain. The addition of the restaurants to Dharod’s portfolio was officially announced on ...

Monroe Moxness Berg Welcomes New Associates Julie Duckstad and Erika Donner

Monroe Moxness Berg is pleased to announce that Julie Duckstad and Erika Donner recently joined the firm as associates. Julie focuses her practice in the areas of commercial real estate and environmental law. Her experience includes sales and acquisitions, ...

MMB Attorneys to Speak at Restaurant Finance & Development Conference

Monroe Moxness Berg attorneys are among the speakers at the 25th annual Restaurant Finance & Development Conference in Las Vegas on November 10-12. The conference is the industry’s “must attend” event for growth-minded restaurant company owners and executives focused ...

Dennis Monroe to Discuss Alternative Funding Sources at SS&G’s Restaurant CFO Bootcamp

Dennis Monroe will guide the audience through alternative restaurant funding sources during SS&G’s Restaurant CFO Bootcamp in New York on October 23-24. His session will focus on such funding sources as crowd funding, private placement, EB-5 visa programs, captive ...

Franchise Lenders Speak on Panel Moderated by Ryan Palmer at BoeFly Conference

Ryan Palmer moderated a panel “Franchise Lending Today” at the Franchise Lending Spotlight Conference organized by BoeFly on October 1 in Philadelphia. The panelists were Kate Bartosik, team leader at FRANdata; David Dickson, district director at SBA; Brian Burke, ...

MMB Attorneys to Speak at Hotel & Hospitality Conference

Monroe Moxness Berg attorneys will present panels on employment issues and on current legal trends in the hotel and hospitality industry at the upcoming Hotel & Hospitality conference, organized by the Minnesota Real Estate Journal. The conference takes place ...

New Associate Brad Cashman Joins Monroe Moxness Berg

Monroe Moxness Berg welcomes Brad Cashman, who has joined the firm as an associate with Corporate Finance/Mergers & Acquisitions and Real Estate practices. Brad has broad experience with financing, corporate and real estate issues and represents clients in commercial ...

Monroe Moxness Berg Attorneys Discuss Craft Brewing Business and Fast Casual Restaurants at Retail & Restaurant Summit

Monroe Moxness Berg attorneys presented two panels at the Minnesota Real Estate Journal Retail & Restaurant Summit on May 30. John Remakel, Marcus Urlaub and their guests Blake Verdon of the LTD (Live the Dream) Brewery, Clint Roberts (Minnesota ...

Dennis Monroe Featured in the 2014 Dealmakers Issue of Franchise Times

Dennis Monroe, who received the Special Achievement award in this year’s Franchise Times Dealmakers project (see related article), is featured in the magazine’s April issue, which presents the twelve 2014 award winners. The Dealmakers awards recognize the boldest players ...

Monroe Moxness Berg Attorneys Named 2014 Franchise Times Legal Eagles

For another year running, seven Monroe Moxness Berg attorneys – John Berg, Rick Gibson, Dennis Monroe, Scott Husaby, Jim Wahl, Ryan Palmer, and Randy Evans – were named 2014 “Legal Eagles” by Franchise Times magazine in its April issue. ...

Susie King Nominated to State Bar Association’s Elder Law Governing Council

Susie King has been nominated to serve on the Elder Law Governing Council of the Elder Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association. She will serve a two-year term beginning in July 2014. Susie was nominated by the ...

Susie King Discusses Measuring a Client’s Capacity

In a CLE organized by the Ramsey County Bar Association on April 23, Susie King gave a presentation on “How To Measure a Client’s Capacity.” She discussed different levels of capacity required for different tasks, reviewing tests or standards of ...

Announcing Acquisition, Primeritus Notes Monroe Moxness Berg’s Role as Counsel

On February 25, the firm’s client Primeritus Financial, a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries LLC, announced the acquisition of Repo Marketing, Inc., a vehicle recovery and remarketing firm. Repo Remarketing represents the fourth acquisition on the Primeritus platform and ...

Dennis Monroe Facilitates NACD Roundtable Discussion on Role of Directors in Helping Family-Owned Companies Grow

On March 19, Dennis Monroe joined Allen Bettis, director of National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Minnesota chapter, to facilitate a roundtable discussion on “Using Great Non-Family Executives to Grow Business — How Boards Can Help Forge Successful Alliances.” ...

Dennis Monroe Receives 2014 Special Achievement Dealmaker Award from Franchise Times

Dennis Monroe was the recipient of the Special Achievement award in the 2014 Franchise Times Dealmakers, the second annual project recognizing the boldest players driving mergers and acquisitions in franchising. The award, announced on February 11, honors Dennis’s 30-year ...

Ryan Palmer and Jim Wahl Participate in Roundtable Sessions at IFA Convention

Ryan Palmer and Jim Wahl were facilitators at the Supplier Forum Business Solutions Roundtables, part of the International Franchise Association (IFA) annual convention held this year in New Orleans on February 22-25. The Business Solutions Roundtables give franchisors, franchisees ...

New Associate Jeanne Krigbaum Joins Estate Planning Group

Monroe Moxness Berg welcomes Jeanne Krigbaum, a new associate in the estate planning group. Jeanne’s focus is on estate planning, trust administration, wealth preservation and tax. She is admitted to practice before the Minnesota Supreme Court, the United States ...

Cliff Anderson Joins Monroe Moxness Berg As New Shareholder

We are pleased to announce that Cliff Anderson has joined Monroe Moxness Berg as a new shareholder. He is chair of the firm’s Employment Law practice group and vice-chair of the Commercial Litigation practice group. Cliff works with a ...

Dennis Monroe Considers Pros and Cons of EB-5 Program in Nation’s Restaurant News

In “Securing Capital: EB-5 Program Pros and Cons,” an article co-authored with Greg Remeikis and Stephanie O’Rourk of CohnReznick in the November 12 edition of Nation’s Restaurant News, Dennis Monroe outlines the tactics for finding growth capital by using ...

Monroe Moxness Berg Relocates to New Office

On November 18, Monroe Moxness Berg begins working out of its new office on the seventh floor of The Minnesota Center, located at 7760 France Avenue in Minneapolis. The 18,000 sq. ft. space has been designed and developed with ...

New Associate Whitney Anderson Joins Monroe Moxness Berg

Monroe Moxness Berg PA welcomes Whitney Anderson, a new associate who will practice in the firm’s Franchise, Distribution & Intellectual Property and Corporate Finance-M&A groups. Prior to joining the firm, she specialized in franchise litigation and has broad experience ...

Monroe Moxness Berg Attorneys Named Franchise Times Legal Eagles

For another year in a row, seven firm attorneys – John Berg, Rick Gibson, Dennis Monroe, Scott Husaby, Jim Wahl, Ryan Palmer, and Randy Evans – were named 2013 “Legal Eagles” by Franchise Times magazine in its April issue. ...

Monroe Moxness Berg Named Dealmakers of the Year

Monroe Moxness Berg has been named the Dealmakers of the Year in the contest launched this year by Franchise Times. The award recognizes excellence in facilitating multiple deals in franchising from July 2011-December 2012. The awards will be presented ...

BDIT lets you give away property without losing control

By temporarily doubling the gift and estate tax exemption, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) opened a window of opportunity for affluent families to transfer assets tax-free. To take advantage of the higher exemption amount, many families that ...

The Reality of Food on Demand Delivery Costs

Food delivery can be EXPENSIVE! Restaurant operators are all too familiar with increasing costs and shrinking margins. Don’t let delivery drain your bottom line. Don’t be afraid to innovate. For example, there are ongoing market tests in which restaurants ...

Don’t worry! A broken trust can be fixed

There are good reasons why estate planning advisors recommend you revisit and, if necessary, revise your estate plan periodically: changing circumstances, including family situations and new tax laws. While it’s relatively simple to change a beneficiary, what if an ...

Leave a philanthropic legacy with a charitable remainder trust

Let’s say you’re charitably inclined but have concerns about maintaining a sufficient amount of income to meet your current needs. The good news is that there’s a trust for that: a charitable remainder trust (CRT). This type of trust ...

Common Estate Planning Myths

Estate planning can be a very difficult process. While it’s not brain surgery, making the decision to move forward with the planning requires us to face the fact that we will not live forever. This thought can stop many ...

Estate Planning Awareness Week: The Importance of Having an Estate Plan

In 2008, Congress recognized the need for the public to understand the importance and benefits of estate planning by passing House Resolution 1499, which designated the third week of October as National Estate Planning Awareness Week. Nevertheless, according to ...

Sec. 6166: Estate tax relief for family businesses

Fewer people currently are subject to transfer taxes than ever before. But gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer (GST) taxes continue to place a burden on families with significant amounts of wealth tied up in illiquid closely held businesses, including ...

Booming Food on Demand Market Attracts Consumers and Investors

Increasingly, consumers are staying home while consuming mass amounts of information, entertainment, and food. They insist on having their desires met “on demand,” and there are meaningful opportunities in the market for businesses that choose to participate in the ...

The Crummey trust: Still relevant after all these years

Traditionally, trusts used in estate planning contain “Crummey” withdrawal powers to ensure that contributions qualify for the annual gift tax exclusion. Today, the exclusion allows you to give up to $15,000 per year ($30,000 for married couples) to any ...

When it comes to asset protection, a hybrid DAPT offers the best of both worlds

A primary estate planning goal for most people is to hold on to as much of their wealth as possible to pass on to their children and other loved ones. To achieve this, you must limit estate tax liability ...

Control how your charitable gifts are used by adding restrictions

If philanthropy is an important part of your estate planning legacy, consider taking steps to ensure that your donations are used to fulfill your intended charitable purposes. Outright gifts can be risky, especially large donations that will benefit a ...

Take intrafamily lending to the next level by establishing a family bank

One of the primary goals of estate planning is to put in writing how you want your wealth distributed to loved ones after your death. But what if you’d like to use that wealth to help a family member ...

New Minnesota Wage Theft Law Imposes New Employer Requirements and Allows both Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violations

Minnesota’s new wage theft law, which went into effect on August 1, 2019, expands the required information that employers must disclose to employees upon hiring and throughout their employment. The law also requires employers to maintain additional records, clarifies ...

Expanded 529 plans offer unique estate planning benefits

If you’re putting aside money for college or other educational expenses, consider a tax-advantaged 529 savings plan. Also known as “college savings plans,” 529 plans were expanded by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) to cover elementary and ...

A poorly worded apportionment clause can upend an estate plan

Federal estate tax liability is no longer an issue for many families, now that the gift and estate tax exemption stands at $11.4 million for 2019. But there are still affluent individuals whose estates may be subject to hefty ...

Understanding the contents of a will

You probably don’t have to be told about the need for a will. But do you know what provisions should be included and what’s best to leave out? The answers to those questions depend on your situation and may ...

What’s the difference between the two types of power of attorney?

When drafting your estate plan, you and your attorney must account for what happens to your children and your assets after you die. But your plan must also spell out your wishes for making financial and medical decisions if ...

A buy-sell agreement can provide the liquidity to cover estate taxes

If you own an interest in a closely held business, it’s critical to have a well-designed, properly funded buy-sell agreement. Without one, an owner’s death can have a negative effect on the surviving owners. If one of your co-owners ...

Thinking about a Roth IRA conversion? Now may be the ideal time

Roth IRAs offer significant estate planning and financial benefits. If you have a substantial balance in a traditional IRA and are considering converting it to a Roth IRA, there may be no better time than now. The Tax Cuts ...

Assets with sentimental value require extra planning

When planning your estate, you’re likely focused on major assets, such as real estate, investments and retirement plans. But it’s also important to “sweat the small stuff” — your tangible personal property. Examples include jewelry, antiques and photographs. These ...

Four negative outcomes of jointly owning property with a family member

A common estate planning mistake that people make is to own property jointly with an adult child or other family member. True, adding a loved one to the title of your home, bank account or other property can be ...

A divorce necessitates an estate plan review

If you’re divorcing, it’s important to review your estate plan as early as possible, for two reasons: First, you may wish to revise your plan immediately to prevent your spouse from inheriting or gaining control over your assets if ...

Charitable lead trusts offer philanthropic and family benefits

Affluent families who wish to give to charity while minimizing gift and estate taxes should consider a charitable lead trust (CLT). These trusts are most effective in a low-interest-rate environment, so conditions for taking advantage of a CLT currently ...

Leave your mark with a dynasty trust

If a prime objective of your estate plan is to leave a lasting legacy, a dynasty trust may be the right estate planning vehicle for you. And, thanks to the substantially increased generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax exemption amount established ...

Beware if your estate plan leaves specific assets to specific heirs

Planning your estate around specific assets is risky and, in most cases, should be avoided. If you leave specific assets — such as homes, cars or stock — to specific people, you may inadvertently disinherit them. Illustrating the problem ...

Make health care decisions while you’re healthy

Estate planning isn’t just about what happens to your assets after you die. It’s also about protecting yourself and your loved ones. This includes having a plan for making critical medical decisions in the event you’re unable to make ...

Estate planning for single parents requires special considerations

Here’s a fast fact: The percentage of U.S. children who live with an unmarried parent has jumped from 13% in 1968 to 32% in 2017, according to Pew Research Center’s most recent poll. While estate planning for single parents ...

College financing may be an integral part of your estate plan

The staggering cost of college makes it critical for families to plan carefully for this major expense, and in many cases grandparents want to play a role. As you examine the many financing options for your grandchildren, be sure ...

Add spendthrift language to a trust to safeguard assets

Protecting assets from creditors is a critical aspect of estate planning, but you need to think about more than just your own creditors: You also need to consider your heirs’ creditors. Adding spendthrift language to a trust benefiting your ...

If art donations are part of your estate plan, consider these four tips

Charitable giving is a key part of estate planning for many people. If you have a collection of valuable art and are charitably minded, consider donating one or more pieces to receive tax deductions. Generally, it’s advantageous to donate ...

Properly funding your revocable trust is the key to unlocking its benefits

If your estate plan includes a revocable trust — also known as a “living” trust — it’s critical to ensure that the trust is properly funded. Revocable trusts offer significant benefits, including asset management (in the event you become ...

No, it’s not unusual to include your pet in your estate plan

An unexpected outcome of the recent death of designer Karl Lagerfeld is that the topic of estate planning for pets has been highlighted. Lagerfeld’s beloved cat, Choupette, played a major role in his brand. The feline was the subject ...

Have you properly substantiated your 2018 charitable gifts?

Donating to charity is a key estate planning strategy for many people. It reduces the size of your taxable estate and it can help you leave a lasting legacy with organizations you care about. The benefit of making such ...

What you need to know about filing gift and estate tax returns

Have you made substantial gifts of wealth to family members? Or are you the executor of the estate of a loved one who died recently? If so, you need to know whether you must file a gift or estate ...

Building an on-off switch into your estate plan

The right estate planning strategy for you likely is the one that will produce the greatest tax savings for your family. Unfortunately, there can be tension between strategies that save estate tax and ones that save income tax. This ...

Have you had your annual estate plan checkup?

An annual estate plan checkup is critical to the health of your estate plan. Because various exclusion, exemption and deduction amounts are adjusted for inflation, they can change from year to year, impacting your plan. 2019 vs. 2018 amounts ...

Estate planning lite: College-aged children need a basic estate plan

If your son or daughter currently is home from college on winter break, now is a good time to sit down and discuss a few estate planning documents he or she should have at this stage of life. Let’s ...

Automatic extension available for making portability election

Portability allows a surviving spouse to apply a deceased spouse’s unused estate tax exemption amount toward his or her own transfers during life or at death. To secure these benefits, however, the deceased spouse’s executor must have made a ...

A prenup or a DAPT: Which is the better choice?

If you or one of your adult children is getting married, you may be concerned about protecting your family’s assets in the event of a divorce. A prenuptial agreement can be an effective tool for overriding marital property rights ...

How incomplete nongrantor trusts can help avoid state income taxes

With the federal gift and estate tax exemption at $11.40 million for 2019, people whose estates are below the exemption amount are shifting their focus to income tax reduction. High-income taxpayers — particularly those who live in high-income-tax states ...

Consider an intrafamily loan to cover estate taxes

Sometimes estates that are large enough for estate taxes to be a concern are asset rich but cash poor, without the liquidity needed to pay those taxes. Life insurance is a popular way to address this liquidity problem. An ...

Unleash the power of a nonspringing power of attorney

Estate planning typically focuses on what happens to your children and your assets when you die. But it’s equally important to have a plan for making critical financial and medical decisions if you’re unable to make those decisions yourself. ...

Should you name a trust as IRA beneficiary?

An IRA is a popular vehicle to save for retirement, and it can also be a powerful estate planning tool. Some people designate a trust as beneficiary of their IRAs, but is that a good idea? The answer: possibly. ...

Review and revise your estate plan to reflect life changes during the past year

Your estate plan shouldn’t be a static document. It needs to change as your life changes. Year end is the perfect time to check whether any life events have taken place in the past 12 months or so that ...

Intellectual property requires careful estate planning

If your estate includes forms of intellectual property (IP), such as patents and copyrights, it’s important to know how to address them in your estate plan. Although these intangible assets can have great value, in many ways they’re treated ...

Four Keys to Starting a Brewery Business Plan

Creating a brewery business plan is a critical and necessary first step for your success. Without a business plan, you leave yourself open to financial pitfalls and potential litigation if all required pieces of the plan are not properly ...

Take caution when including employees in your estate plan

If you’re the owner of a small business, you may think of your tight-knit group of employees as a family. If you wish to include them as beneficiaries in your estate plan, it’s critical to be aware of possible ...

Tenancy-in-common: A versatile estate planning tool

If you hold significant real estate investments, tenancy-in-common (TIC) ownership can be a powerful, versatile estate planning tool. A TIC interest is an undivided fractional interest in property. The property isn’t split into separate parcels. Rather, each TIC owner ...

Turn down an inheritance using a qualified disclaimer

If you are about to receive an inheritance from a family member, you can use a qualified disclaimer to refuse the bequest. The assets will then bypass your estate and go directly to the next beneficiary in line. It’s ...

The Current Trends in ADA “Drive-By” Law Suits

Recently we have seen a noticeable uptick in so-called American’s with Disability Act (“ADA”) “Drive-by” suits. These suits are labeled as such because plaintiffs often ride around neighbors and areas looking for ADA violations and then catalogue the alleged ...

Educate your children on wealth management

If you’ve worked a lifetime to build a large estate, you undoubtedly would like to leave a lasting legacy to your children and future generations. Educating your children about saving, investing and other money management skills can help keep ...

Retiring abroad? Review your estate plan before making the move

If you dream of spending your golden years in a tropical paradise, a culture-rich European city or another foreign locale, it’s important to understand the potential tax and estate planning implications. If you don’t, you could be hit with ...

MN Supreme Court Reaffirms the Limits on Cities’ Ability to Impose Fees on Developers

In August of this year, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued a decision that should curtail statutory cities’ ability to make the approval of subdivision applications contingent on payment of fee or charges not specifically authorized by Minnesota law. The ...

Two ways to transfer a family business

For many people, a family-owned business is their primary source of wealth, so it’s critical to plan carefully for the transition of ownership from one generation to the next. The best approach depends on your particular circumstances. If your ...

Is a significant portion of your wealth concentrated in a single stock?

Estate planning and investment risk management go hand in hand. After all, an estate plan is effective only if you have some wealth to transfer to the next generation. One of the best ways to reduce your investment risk ...

Four reasons you should continue making lifetime gifts

Now that the gift and estate tax exemption has reached a record high of $11.18 million (for 2018), it may seem that gifting assets to loved ones is less important than it was in previous years. However, lifetime gifts ...

Addressing long-term care costs with a tax-qualified LTC insurance policy

No matter how diligently you prepare, your estate plan can quickly be derailed if you or a loved one requires long-term home health care or an extended stay at a nursing home or assisted living facility. The annual cost ...

Have you made your burial wishes clear?

It may be difficult to consider, but funeral arrangements are a critical component of your estate plan. Failure to clearly communicate your wishes regarding the disposition of your remains can lead to tension, disputes and even litigation among your ...

Basis consistency rules may come into play if you’re administering an estate or inheriting property

When it comes to tax law changes and estate planning, the substantial increases to the gift and estate tax exemptions under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act are getting the most attention these days. But a tax law change ...

The BDIT: A trust with a twist

The beneficiary defective inheritor’s trust (BDIT) allows you to enjoy the benefits of a traditional trust without giving up control over your property. BDITs can hold a variety of assets, but they’re particularly effective for assets that have significant ...

The pros and cons of a SCIN

Many estate planning techniques are intended to minimize or even eliminate gift and estate taxes when transferring assets to family members. Sometimes, the most powerful techniques also have a significant drawback: mortality risk. For example, you may have to ...

A SLAT offers estate planning benefits and acts as a financial backup plan

The most effective estate planning strategies often involve the use of irrevocable trusts. But what if you’re uncomfortable placing your assets beyond your control? What happens if your financial fortunes take a turn for the worse after you’ve irrevocably ...

Fortify your estate plan against undue influence claims

Of course, you expect the declarations in your will to be carried out, as required by law. Usually, that’s exactly what happens with wills. However, it’s possible your will could be contested and your true intentions defeated if someone ...

Use the proper tools to fix a broken trust

An irrevocable trust has long been a key component of many estate plans. But what if it no longer serves your purposes? Is it too late to change it? Depending on applicable state law, you may have options to ...

Naming a minor as beneficiary of a life insurance policy or retirement plan can lead to unintended outcomes

A common estate planning mistake is to designate a minor as beneficiary — or contingent beneficiary — of a life insurance policy or retirement plan. While making your young child the beneficiary of such assets may seem like an ...

If charitable giving is part of your estate plan, consider a donor-advised fund

Do you make sizable gifts to charitable causes? If you’re fortunate enough to afford it, you can realize personal rewards from your generosity and may be able to claim a deduction on your tax return. But once you turn ...

Recent U.S. Supreme Court Decision Concerning Arbitration

On May 21, 2018, the United States Supreme Court decided a significant case involving arbitration clauses in employment agreements. The court ruled that employees may be compelled to arbitrate wage-and-hour claims on an individual basis and may be precluded ...

Your original will: Does your family know where to locate it?

In a world that’s increasingly paperless, you’re likely becoming accustomed to conducting a variety of transactions digitally. But when it comes to your last will and testament, only an original, signed document will do. A photocopy isn’t good enough ...

Provide for your spouse, then your kids, with a QTIP trust

If you want to preserve as much wealth as possible for your children, but you leave property to your spouse outright, there’s no guarantee your objective will be met. This may be a concern if your spouse has poor ...

Four estate planning techniques for blended families

Today, it’s not unusual for a family to include children from prior marriages. These “blended” families can create estate planning complications that may lead to challenges in the courts after your death. Fortunately, you can reduce the chances of ...

What estate planning strategies are available for non-U.S. citizens?

Non-U.S. citizens in the United States face some estate planning challenges when it comes to taxes. If you’re a U.S. resident, but not a citizen, the IRS treats you similarly to a U.S. citizen, with a few exceptions. But ...

Settlement Reached in Class Action Lawsuit Regarding Tip Pooling

In March 2018, the Hennepin County District Court approved a settlement in a class action lawsuit against Surly Brewing Company in Minneapolis. The settlement is noteworthy not only because of its size – $2.5 Million – but also for ...

A total return unitrust can help maintain family harmony

A traditional trust can sometimes create a conflict between the lifetime and remainder beneficiaries. For example, investment strategies that provide growth that benefits remainder beneficiaries can leave lifetime beneficiaries with little or no annual payouts. This makes it more ...

Apply for a waiver if you’ve missed the 60-day IRA rollover deadline

IRAs and employer-sponsored plans such as 401(k)s are powerful retirement savings tools, but they also provide valuable estate planning benefits. If you hold a traditional IRA for life, for example, your children or other heirs can stretch out distributions ...

Don’t overlook securities laws when planning your estate

For a variety of estate planning and asset management purposes, many affluent families hold their assets in trusts, family investment vehicles or charitable foundations. If assets held in this manner include interests in hedge funds, private equity funds or ...

The Law of Unintended Consequences: Bar and Retail Store Owners Continue to Grapple with the Effects of Equality Legislation

(The following article was published in the Spring 2018 issue of Proof, a magazine published by the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association) Lawmakers and business owners do not always see eye to eye when it comes to progressive legislation. Where ...

Power of attorney abuse: What you can do about it

A financial power of attorney — sometimes called a “power of attorney for property” or a “general power of attorney” — can be a valuable estate planning tool. The main disadvantage is that it’s susceptible to abuse by scam ...

Five estate planning tips for the sandwich generation

The “sandwich generation” accounts for a large segment of the population. These are people who find themselves caring for both their children and their parents at the same time. In some cases, this includes providing parents with financial support. ...

A joint home purchase can ease estate tax liability

If you’re planning on buying a home that you one day wish to pass on to your adult children, a joint purchase can reduce estate tax liability, provided the children have sufficient funds to finance their portion of the ...

Only certain trusts can own S corporation stock

S corporations must comply with several strict requirements or risk losing their tax-advantaged status. Among other things, they can have no more than 100 shareholders, can have no more than one class of stock and are permitted to have ...

If you made gifts last year, you may (or may not) need to file a gift tax return

Gifting assets to loved ones is one of the simplest ways of reducing your taxable estate. However, what may not be as simple is determining whether you need to file a gift tax return (Form 709). With the April ...

Life insurance can be a powerful estate planning tool for nontaxable estates

For years, life insurance has played a critical role in estate planning, providing a source of liquidity to pay estate taxes and other expenses. It’s been particularly valuable for business owners, whose families might not have the liquid assets ...

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act expands appeal of 529 plans in estate planning

It’s common for grandparents to want to help ensure their grandchildren will get a high quality education. And, along the same lines, they also want the peace of mind that their wealth will be preserved for their children and ...

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: Key provisions affecting estate planning

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) is a sweeping revision of the tax code that alters federal law affecting individuals, businesses and estates. Focusing specifically on estate tax law, the TCJA doesn’t repeal the federal gift ...

Properly planning for incapacity requires specific estate planning strategies

Most estate plans focus on what happens after you die. But without arrangements for what will happen in the event you become mentally incapacitated, your plan is incomplete. If an accident, illness or other circumstances render you unable to ...

Appointing the right trustee for your living trust provides peace of mind

A living trust is a cornerstone of many estate plans. During your life, you can serve as the trustee and manage the assets just as you would if you owned them outright. However, you must choose a trustee to ...

Who should be the guardian of your minor children?

If you have minor children, arguably the most important estate planning decision you have to make is choosing a guardian for them should the unthinkable occur. It’s critical to put much thought into this decision to ensure your children ...

Tax reform and estate planning: What’s on the table

As Congress and President Trump pursue their stated goal of passing sweeping new tax legislation before the end of the year, many taxpayers are wondering how such legislation will affect them. One area of particular interest is estate planning; ...

The write stuff: a letter of instructions

When you draft an estate plan, the centerpiece is your will or living trust. Such a document determines who gets what, where, when and how, as well as tying up the loose ends of your estate. A valid will ...

Update your estate plan to reflect your second marriage

If you’re in a second marriage or planning another trip down the aisle, it’s vital to review and revise (if necessary) your estate plan. You probably want to provide for your current spouse and not inadvertently benefit your former ...

A charitable remainder trust can provide a multitude of benefits

If you’re charitably inclined but concerned about having sufficient income to meet your needs, a charitable remainder trust (CRT) may be the answer. A CRT allows you to support a favorite charity while potentially boosting your cash flow, shrinking ...

A dynasty trust keeps on giving long into the future

With a properly executed estate plan, your wealth can be enjoyed by your children and even their children. But did you know that by using a dynasty trust you can extend the estate tax benefits for several generations, and ...

Southeast Metro Is Now the Main Source of Twin Cities’ Aggregate, Star Tribune Reports

As Star Tribune reports in its October 18 issue, Twin Cites’ southeast metro area has now become the main source of sand and gravel, key ingredients in the production of aggregate, a particulate material used in construction. The area ...

Who should own your life insurance policy?

If you own life insurance policies at your death, the proceeds will be included in your taxable estate. Ownership is usually determined by several factors, including who has the right to name the beneficiaries of the proceeds. The way ...

Planning a Family Cabin Succession: What You Need to Know

Family cabins, whether lakeside, hunting, or recreational, abound throughout Minnesota. The most common way ownership of the family cabin is transferred to the next generation is by the provisions of a decedent’s will or by a simple deed transfer. ...

A Crummey trust can preserve the annual gift tax exclusion

Traditionally, taxpayers have looked for ways to make the most of the $14,000 annual gift tax exclusion, and using a Crummey trust is one way to do that. But with the federal gift and estate tax exemption currently at ...

Tax law uncertainty requires an estate plan that can roll with the changes

Events of the last decade have taught us that taxes are anything but certain. Case in point: Congress is mulling abolishing gift and estate taxes as part of tax reform. So how can people who hope to still have ...

ABCs of HSAs: How an HSA can benefit your estate plan

One health care arrangement that has been soaring in popularity in recent years has been the pairing of a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) with a Health Savings Account (HSA). The good news is that not only does an HSA ...

Charitable giving pièce de résistance: Artwork donations

Charitable giving is a key part of estate planning for many people. If you’re among them and own valuable works of art, they may be ideal candidates for charitable donations during your life. Generally, it’s advantageous to donate appreciated ...

Tax basis planning worth a look if estate taxes aren’t a threat

For many people today, income tax planning offers far greater tax-saving opportunities than gift and estate tax planning. A record-high federal gift and estate tax exemption — currently $5.49 million ($10.98 million for married couples) — means that fewer ...

Have you properly funded your revocable trust?

If your estate plan includes a revocable trust — also known as a “living” trust — it’s critical to ensure that the trust is properly funded. Revocable trusts offer significant benefits, including asset management (in the event you become ...

Powers of attorney: Springing vs. nonspringing

Estate planning typically focuses on what happens to your assets when you die. But it’s equally important (some might say more important) to have a plan for making critical financial and medical decisions if you’re unable to make those ...

New law changes affecting Minnesota LLCs

Starting January 1, 2018, all Minnesota limited liability companies (whether active now or to be formed in the future) will be subject to a new law, Chapter 322C of Minnesota Statutes, known as the Minnesota Revised Uniform Limited Liability ...

Beware the GST tax when transferring assets to grandchildren

As you plan your estate, don’t overlook the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax. Despite a generous $5.49 million GST tax exemption, complexities surrounding its allocation can create several tax traps for the unwary. GST basics The GST tax is a ...

Use a noncharitable purpose trust to achieve a variety of goals

Generally, trusts must have one or more human beneficiaries, but there’s an exception for certain “purpose” trusts. One type of purpose trust that you may be familiar with is the charitable trust. But don’t overlook the noncharitable purpose (NCP) ...

Don’t overlook tax apportionment when planning your estate

If you expect your estate to have a significant estate tax liability at your death, be sure to include a well-thought-out tax apportionment clause in your will or revocable trust. An apportionment clause specifies how the estate tax burden ...

Are you familiar with fraudulent transfer laws?

A primary goal of your estate plan is to transfer wealth to your family according to your wishes and at the lowest possible tax cost. However, if you have creditors, be aware of fraudulent transfer laws. In a nutshell, ...

Leaving specific assets to specific heirs can be an estate planning no-no

Planning your estate around specific assets is risky and, in most cases, should be avoided. If you leave specific assets — such as a home, a car or stock — to specific people, you could end up inadvertently disinheriting ...

What makes for a sound buy-sell agreement and why you need one

If you own an interest in a closely held business, whether a collision repair shop, brewery, restaurant, manufacturer, distributor or contractor, no matter the industry, it’s critical to have a well-designed, properly funded buy-sell agreement. It provides a business’s ...

Is now the time for a charitable lead trust?

Families who wish to give to charity while minimizing gift and estate taxes should consider a charitable lead trust (CLT). These trusts are most effective in a low-interest-rate environment, so conditions for taking advantage of a CLT currently are ...

Videotaping your will-signing may not produce the desired outcome

Some people make video recordings of their will signings in an effort to create evidence that they possess the requisite testamentary capacity. For some, this strategy may help stave off a will contest. But in most cases, the risk ...

Are your retirement savings secure from creditors?

A primary goal of estate planning is asset protection. After all, no matter how well your estate plan is designed, it won’t do much good if you wind up with no wealth to share with your family. If you ...

Prepaid funeral plans may not provide peace of mind

The cost of a funeral has increased steadily during the past two decades. In fact, once all funeral-related costs are factored in, the typical traditional funeral service will cost an average family $8,000 to $10,000. To relieve their families ...

A family bank professionalizes intrafamily lending

If you’re interested in lending money to your children or other family members, consider establishing a “family bank.” These entities enhance the benefits of intrafamily loans, while minimizing unintended consequences. Upsides and downsides of intrafamily lending Lending can be ...

Worried about challenges to your estate plan? Make it no contest

Estate planning is all about protecting your family and ensuring that your wealth is distributed according to your wishes. So the idea that someone might challenge your estate plan can be disconcerting. One strategy for protecting your plan is ...

Asset valuations and your estate plan go hand in hand

If your estate plan calls for making noncash gifts in trust or outright to beneficiaries, you need to know the values of those gifts and disclose them to the IRS on a gift tax return. For substantial gifts of ...

Life insurance and an estate plan may not always mix well

A life insurance policy can be an important part of an estate plan. The tax benefits are twofold: The policy can provide a source of wealth for your family income-tax-free, and it can supply funds to pay estate taxes ...

Acquaint yourself with the Roth IRA as an estate planning tool

A Roth IRA can be a valuable estate planning tool, offering the opportunity for tax-free growth as long as it exists and requiring no distributions during your life, thus allowing you to pass on a greater amount of wealth ...

Divorce necessitates an estate plan review

There are few events that can completely upend a person’s life more than divorce. Of course, there’s the emotional toll on you and your family to contend with, but you also have to consider the divorce’s impact on your ...

Keep family matters out of the public eye by avoiding probate

Although probate can be time consuming and expensive, perhaps its biggest downside is that it’s public — anyone who’s interested can find out what assets you owned and how they’re being distributed after your death. The public nature of ...

Make health care decisions while you’re healthy

Estate planning isn’t just about what happens to your assets after you die. It’s also about protecting yourself and your loved ones. This includes having a plan for making critical medical decisions in the event you’re unable to make ...

Are you leaving your IRA to someone other than your spouse?

An IRA can be a powerful wealth-building tool, offering tax-deferred growth (tax-free in the case of a Roth IRA), asset protection and other benefits. But if you leave an IRA to your children — or to someone else other ...

2016 Charitable Deductions: Substantiate Them or Lose Them

Sharing your wealth with a favorite charity can benefit those in need and reduce your taxable estate. In addition, your donations can ease your income tax liability. But you must meet IRS substantiation requirements. If you fail to do ...

Limiting Your Exposure to Drive-By Lawsuits

(The following article was published in the January/February 2017 issue of Proof, a magazine published by the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association) During the last several years, hundreds of Minnesota businesses have fallen victim to “drive-by” lawsuits. The name pretty ...

Five questions single parents should ask about their estate plans

In many respects, estate planning for single parents of minor children is similar to estate planning for families with two parents. Single parents want to provide for their children’s care and financial needs after they’re gone. But when only ...

Two postmortem estate planning strategies for married couples

It’s crucial to review and update your estate plan in light of significant life changes or new tax laws. It’s equally important to be aware of strategies that can be implemented after your death to achieve your estate planning ...

Should you set up trusts in a more “trust-friendly” state?

While it’s natural to set up trusts in the state where you live, you may be losing out on significant benefits available in more “trust-friendly” states. For example, some states: Don’t tax trust income, Authorize domestic asset protection trusts, ...

Explore all of your options when appointing the executor of your estate

The executor’s role is critical to the administration of an estate and the achievement of estate planning objectives. So your first instinct may be to name a trusted family member as executor (also referred to as a personal representative). ...

Going back to basics with asset protection strategies

Asset protection trusts — both offshore and domestic — can be effective vehicles for protecting your wealth in today’s litigious society. But these trusts can be complex and expensive, so they’re not right for everyone. For those seeking simpler ...

Get smart when tackling estate planning for intellectual property

If you own intellectual property (IP), such as a patent or copyright, you need to know how to account for it in your estate plan. These intangible assets can be highly valuable, and you’ll want them to be handled ...

2016 charitable donations offer both estate planning and income tax benefits

During the holiday season your thoughts likely turn to helping those in need by making charitable donations. Doing so will benefit your favorite organizations and help you achieve your estate planning goal of reducing the size of your taxable ...

Family matters: Stepchildren and your estate plan

If you have unadopted stepchildren, estate planning is critical to ensure that your property is distributed the way you desire. Stepchildren generally don’t have any inheritance rights with respect to their parents’ new spouses unless the spouse legally adopts ...

Relocating into or out of a community property state requires extra estate planning

When a married couple lives in a community property state, the money earned and property acquired by either spouse during their marriage generally belongs to the “community.” This means that each spouse has an undivided one-half interest in the ...

Family mission statements promote a harmonious estate plan

Typically, much of the estate planning process focuses on money. But the most successful estate plans are founded on relationships. Building and preserving family wealth isn’t an end in itself. Rather, it’s a tool for promoting shared family values ...

Have you addressed elderly parents in your estate plan?

Your estate plan likely accommodates your spouse, children and grandchildren. But have you overlooked your parents? How can you best handle their financial affairs in the later stages of life? You may want to incorporate their needs into your ...

Private foundations aren’t only for the rich and famous

If creating a family legacy of charitable giving is important to you, a private foundation might be the right estate planning vehicle. And this option isn’t just for billionaires. You may be able to effectively establish a foundation with ...

Grantor and Crummey trusts can be good options to fund a grandchild’s education

Do you wish to play an active role in funding your grandchildren’s college educations? As you examine the financing options, don’t forget about their impact on your estate plan. Two trust types to consider are grantor and Crummey trusts. ...

Prenups and estate plans: Make sure they work together

If you’re getting married, estate planning likely is the last thing you want to think about. But if you and your future spouse plan to sign a prenuptial agreement (commonly referred to as simply a “prenup”), it’s a good ...

Have you provided for the removal of a trustee in your estate plan?

When drafting an estate plan, it’s critical to select the right trustee to carry out your wishes and protect your beneficiaries. It’s also important to establish procedures for removing a trustee in the event that circumstances change. Failing to ...

Estate planning benefits of FLPs may be in danger

For many years, family limited partnerships (FLPs) have been a popular estate planning tool, in part due to their tax benefits. Specifically, they can allow you to transfer assets to your children (and other family members) at discounted values ...

Getting started on your estate plan: Inventory and value assets; estimate tax liability

If you’ve decided it’s time to create your estate plan, congratulations! A good place to begin is to work with us to determine what your estate is worth and whether you need to worry about estate taxes. What is ...

Vacation home should keep families together, not tear them apart

A shared family vacation home can be a great place for family bonding. And a little estate planning can go a long way toward avoiding conflict and keeping the home in the family. Who owns it and how? All ...

Could a tax-free exchange help cover LTC insurance costs?

No estate plan is complete without considering long-term care (LTC) expenses and how to pay for them. LTC insurance is an option, but these policies can be expensive. One solution is to use a total or partial tax-free exchange ...

Giving real estate to charity is rewarding, but beware of tax traps

Did you know that the estate of director John Hughes donated the family’s Illinois mansion to a nonprofit hospital? After allowing another charity to use the home for a fundraising event, the hospital sold the home and used the ...

Take care of a loved one who has special needs with an SNT

Special needs trusts (SNTs), also called “supplemental needs trusts,” benefit children or other family members with a disability that requires extended-term care or that prevents them from being able to support themselves. This trust type can provide peace of ...

Tread carefully if you and your spouse have similar trusts

When spouses have similar irrevocable trusts for each other’s benefit, they can be subject to the “reciprocal trust” doctrine. It prohibits tax avoidance through trusts that 1) are interrelated, and 2) place both grantors in the same economic position ...

Review your powers of attorney at least every 5 years

Powers of attorney are critical components of an effective estate plan. After you’ve executed powers of attorney, it’s important to review them periodically — at least every five years and preferably more frequently — and consider executing new ones. ...

Direct payments of tuition and medical expenses can reduce future estate tax exposure

With the federal gift and estate tax exemption at $5.45 million in 2016, you may be less concerned about these taxes. But if you don’t take advantage of making tax-free direct payments of tuition and medical expenses, you’re missing ...

The tax and estate planning pitfalls of retiring overseas

Have you dreamed of spending your golden years in a tropical paradise or a culture-rich European city? If so, it’s important to understand the potential tax and estate planning implications so there are no surprises. These include: 1. Double ...

Follow all rules when transferring assets to an irrevocable trust

Irrevocable trusts can provide a variety of benefits, including gift and estate tax savings, creditor protection, and the ability to control how assets are distributed. To preserve these benefits, however, it’s critical to respect all trust formalities. Case in ...

Three benefits of donor-advised fund giving

Charitable giving through donor-advised funds (DAFs) has grown in popularity in recent years. Generally, creating a DAF requires no more than completing a short application and making an initial contribution as low as $10,000 to a sponsoring organization, such ...

Are your children prepared to handle your wealth?

If you’ve built up a large estate and are eager to share your wealth with your children, you may be concerned about their ability to handle it. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help ensure they won’t ...

Couples with a noncitizen spouse play by different estate planning rules

Many traditional estate planning strategies are based on the assumption that everyone involved is a U.S. citizen. But if you or your spouse is a noncitizen, special rules apply that require additional planning. General rules If you’re a U.S. ...

Sweat the small stuff: Don’t forget to address personal items in your estate plan

It’s natural that your estate planning efforts focus on big-ticket items, such as real estate, business interests, retirement assets and brokerage accounts. But don’t ignore the “small stuff,” like artwork, jewelry, furniture, antiques, clothing and collectibles. These items may ...

Making an intrafamily loan “bona fide” to avoid gift tax

The simplest way to provide financial assistance to a child or other family member is to get out your checkbook and make a gift. But if you’re concerned about gift taxes, a loan may be preferable. Intrafamily loans must ...

Life insurance remains a powerful estate planning tool for nontaxable estates

For years, life insurance has played a critical role in estate planning, providing a source of liquidity to pay estate taxes and other expenses. Today, estate taxes are no longer a concern for many families because the federal estate ...

Giving back: How to help your parents fund LTC and associated medical costs

If you have aging parents who aren’t as financially well off as you are, one of your estate planning goals may be to help fund their long-term care (LTC) and associated medical expenses. The annual cost of LTC — ...

Properly fund your living trust to shield assets from probate

Many people set up a revocable, or “living,” trust to shield assets from probate and take advantage of other benefits. For the trust to work, you must transfer assets to it that would otherwise go through probate — a ...

Is a charitable IRA rollover right for you?

If you’re charitably inclined, age 70½ or older and have a significant balance in an IRA, a charitable IRA rollover — formally called a “qualified charitable distribution” — permits you to annually make up to $100,000 in tax-free IRA ...

529 plans: Saving for college is also good for your estate plan

A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged and flexible education-savings tool. In addition to generous contribution limits and tax-free withdrawals for college expenses, these plans provide unique estate planning benefits for parents and grandparents. On the plus side . . ...

QTIP trusts may be the estate planning solution for second marriages

If you’re in a second marriage, or planning another trip down the aisle, estate planning can be complicated, especially if you have children from a previous marriage and your net worth is large enough that estate taxes are a ...

The tax dangers of providing for employees in your estate plan

If you’re an employer,