UPCOMING LLC LAW CHANGE

NOTICE: Owners of pre-2015 limited liability companies in Minnesota: Upcoming changes to the law will affect your business. “The Office of the Secretary of State (OSS) wants to remind all limited liability companies formed prior to August 1, 2015 that they will become subject to a new law passed by the 2015 Legislature, Chapter 322C, beginning January 1, 2018.  It is recommended that owners contact their attorneys, accountants or other business advisors well before the end

KURT W. PORTER PREVAILS AT DISTRICT COURT IN DISPUTE OVER AMBIGUOUS PLAT

We are very pleased to announce that clients of Severson Porter Law prevailed in a contentious matter spanning several years involving an ambiguous plat of valuable lake properties on the Whitefish Chain.  Kurt W. Porter was the lead trial lawyer representing the Defendants and presented the case at trial.  The Plaintiffs were represented by a highly reputable law firm. The ambiguous plat resulted in an extensive disputed territory that, depending on which party prevailed, resulted in a

LAKE HOME RENTAL 101

There are many issues to consider when deciding to offer your lake home for rental. This article focuses on the business and legal aspects by providing a survey of issues surrounding the lake home rental. First, consider that when listing your home through short-term rental service providers such as Airbnb, VRBO, etc. you are essentially running a business. As with any business, consider what risks and liabilities may be present. Does it make sense to

MARK A. SEVERSON CERTIFIED AS MSBA CERTIFIED REAL PROPERTY LAW SPECIALIST

Mark Severson has been certified by the Minnesota State Bar Association as a Real Property Law Specialist. Administered by the MSBA, the certified specialist designation is earned by leading attorneys who have completed a rigorous approval process, including an examination in the specialty area, peer review, and documented experience. This achievement has been earned by fewer than 3% of all licensed Minnesota attorneys.

RIPARIAN RIGHTS: WHAT DO YOU REALLY OWN?

“There are certain interests and rights vested in the shore owner which grow out of his special connection with such waters as an owner. These rights are common to all riparian owners on the same body of water, and they rest entirely upon the fact of title in the fee to the shore land.” – Justice Leroy E. Matson – Minnesota Supreme Court Every person who purchases a lake lot does so with the expectation

NOTHING EASY ABOUT EASEMENTS

With multiple law offices in the Brainerd Lakes Area, a significant portion of our practice is devoted to easements. Clients often come in with their own assumptions of what an easement is and what it entails. The world of easements is as broad as it is complex. Easements can be an incredibly useful tool to resolve disputes or problems either through real estate transactions or litigation. Specifically, an easement can be used to provide access

LAKE IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT AS LEGAL OPTION TO PRESERVE A LAKE

One of the most precious resources in Minnesota is our pristine lakes. The value of lake property is tied to the health of the lake. If a lake is overcome with invasive species it inevitably impacts the value of lake properties. Thankfully, active and sophisticated lake associations accomplish much in the way of maintaining the health of a lake. However, associations do have some limitations that a Lake Improvement District (“LID”) can address. For example,

Common Interest Communities 101: Choosing the Right Type of CIC

The previous post in this series, “What Are CICs”, introduced a few of the most basic concepts related to common interest communities, or “CICs”. As was briefly discussed, all CIC’s in Minnesota are one of three types: (1) a “Condominium”, (2) a “Cooperative”, or (3) a “Planned Community”.  This post explores the three types of CICs and some of the factors that may be considered in determining which type of CIC to use. With this,

SERIES: SHOULD I INCORPORATE MY BUSINESS?

On average, I probably talk to at least one business person each week who asks me whether I think it would be appropriate or necessary for him or her to incorporate his/her business. (By incorporating, I mean operate the business as a corporation, limited liability company or other type of recognized business entity, all of these specific issues will be addressed in a separate blog. For purposes of this blog, when i say “incorporate”, I

COMMON INTEREST COMMUNITIES 101 SERIES: WHAT ARE CICS?

Most land developers may be familiar with the basic concepts of common interest communities, or “CICs”.  Often when one thinks of CICs, the first thought that comes to mind is townhomes: each person owns his or her residential unit and contributes (usually through an association fee) to the taxes, insurance premiums, maintenance costs, or construction costs associated with a different area of land that is generally available for use to all others in the CIC,

ROOTS OF INHERITANCE AND THE FASCINATING HISTORY OF THE DEATH TAX

This op-ed in the Star Tribune penned by a teacher in Lino Lakes proposed an end to inheritance.  In other words, that the government impose a 100% death tax.  The basic idea promoted was to allow the government to take all assets in the name of the decedent and redistribute those assets to individuals the government deems worthy or in need.  After reading it I thought it may be appropriate to offer some background of inheritance in

NON-COMPETITION AGREEMENTS IN MINNESOTA

More often than not, if anyone has signed a non-competition agreement, it is because it was included in their initial employment packet of documents to sign before the first day on the job. It is rare to negotiate the terms of a non-competition agreement, and even if the new employer is open to negotiation there exists an obvious unequal bargaining position. Accordingly, non-competition agreements are generally disfavored in Minnesota. However, that does not mean that

IS MY HOME UNDER WARRANTY?

Did you know that your home may be under warranty per Minnesota Statute Chapter 327A? The warranties within the statute must be in every contract for the construction or sale of a dwelling by a Vendor to a Vendee in Minnesota. The warranty provisions cannot be waived by any of the parties. Under the warranty statute, Minnesota defines a dwelling as a new building not previously occupied and built for the purpose of habitation. Vendor

NAVIGATING PROPERTY LINE DISPUTES

Working in Real Estate Law in beautiful Greater Minnesota with a proud reputation for simply being nice, I often wondered why a Real Estate attorney would ever be necessary to resolve boundary line disputes. However, I quickly discovered that Greater Minnesota is inundated with confusing property lines, complex legal descriptions, and unclear boundaries. Many times the layout of the land is the true culprit to a property line dispute as opposed to neighbors not getting

ARE TRUSTS ONLY FOR THE WEALTHY?

A Trust is oftentimes associated with wealth. The reason for this is that selecting the appropriate Trust based estate plan could save one’s estate from excessive death taxes. However, there are many more benefits to having a Trust. Before identifying some of those benefits, it is helpful to know what a trust is and whether it is the same thing as a Will. In simple terms, a Trust is an agreement as to how your

CAN OWNING PROPERTY IN OTHER STATES BECOME A PROBLEM?

Many Minnesotans own a second property in Florida or Arizona. How does title to that second home pass to loved ones after you die? First, the good news: If you own the home in a joint tenancy with another person (most of the time a spouse), then that person would obtain title to the home without having to go through that state’s Probate Court. If you transferred title to that home into a Revocable Living

DON’T PLAY LAWYER

Technology has made life and business simpler by its ease of use and accessibility. Banking, paying bills, business communications, and ability to quickly look up medical or legal facts are all made easier through technology. Many people see advertisements for online legal services and wonder if this could speed up or simplify their legal process. We live in the age of information and there is no shortage of websites online offering quick fixes for business

WHAT HAPPENS TO MY THINGS IF I DIE WITHOUT A WILL?

The short answer to this question is that you lose control and Minnesota determines what happens to the property that you left behind (your “Estate”). In Minnesota, if you die without a Will your property will be divided and distributed to those family members that Minnesota indicates are legal family members and entitled to a share of your property (legal term is “Intestate Succession”). With the dynamic nature of the modern family, you may not

LAND OWNERSHIP: ABSTRACT OF TITLE OR CERTIFICATE OF TITLE?

If you own land in Minnesota, land ownership is recorded in the County in which the real estate is located by either the County Recorder’s office through the Abstract system or the County Registrar of Titles through the Torrens system.  Most landowners, if asked whether they have an Abstract of Title or a Certificate of Title for their property, may not know one way or the other.  The Abstract system and the Registered Torrens system

WHAT IS PROBATE COURT AND WHY SHOULD YOU AVOID IT?

When a loved one passes, the last thing any person wants to think of is legal matters and attorneys. Unfortunately, in the midst of the grieving process certain matters must be taken care of and the property of the deceased must be properly distributed. If given the choice, most would prefer to handle these matters on their own, but it is often necessary to involve the Probate Court to receive permission from a Judge to