Groshek Law Blog

What do you do when you receive notice of an IRS audit?

Every year, when you file your taxes, you incur a small amount of risk that your tax file will be one of those selected randomly for an audit. Certain red flags may increase the likelihood of facing an audit, but it is generally impossible to predict who will face scrutiny for their tax return and who will not.

If you receive a letter in the mail from the IRS advising you of a pending audit, don't panic. By following a few simple steps, you can give yourself the upper hand in what many people consider to be one of the most stressful experiences of modern American life.

Why do you need an attorney for a juvenile criminal offense?

The juvenile justice system exists in part to protect minors who make questionable legal decisions from lifelong consequences related to those mistakes. The focus on these programs is generally to minimize the penalties for minors. Juvenile justice is usually about rehabilitation, not punishment, but that doesn't mean that juvenile convictions aren't a serious matter.

Given that the consequences for juvenile justice convictions may seem less serious than the penalties associated with adult criminal charges, some adults with children facing criminal charges may mistakenly think that they don't need to take their child's pending juvenile charges as seriously as adult criminal offenses.

Will your spouse's affair help you during your upcoming divorce?

A spouse who conducts an extramarital affair can do permanent damage to the very foundation of trust upon which a marriage is built. It is often impossible for couples to recover from the destruction that results from the discovery of adultery.

Although couples may attempt to forgive and forget, the long-term damage may prove to be too difficult to overcome. If you now realize that you are on your way to divorce thanks to your spouse's philandering ways, you have likely started to wonder how an affair will affect your divorce. Familiarizing yourself with Minnesota's family laws can help you understand.

These signs may point you toward divorce

No one looks forward to starting the divorce process, but if your marriage is on the rocks, you may begin to think about what the future will bring. It's important to pay attention to the many signs of impending divorce, as these may give you the time you need to save your relationship.

Here are five signs that often lead couples to divorce:

  • You are often unhappy: When you're in a good marriage, it has the power to lift your mood. However, as the years go by, you may find that this is no longer the case. If you and your partner no longer see eye-to-eye, there's a chance your unhappiness will lead to divorce.
  • You argue more often and about more things: Every married couple has disagreements and gets into arguments. If this has turned into an everyday occurrence, assess what's happening to decide if there's any way to fix the problem.
  • You try to avoid your partner: Maybe you stay at work after hours so you don't have to face your partner at home. Or maybe you always find excuses to hang out with your friends instead of your spouse. If you're seeking reasons to avoid your partner, instead of spending time together, it may be a sign that your marriage isn't healthy.
  • Your loved ones are asking questions: If your family and friends notice a problem with your marriage, they may bring it to your attention. Furthermore, if they urge you to get a divorce, there may be something going on that you've yet to see.
  • Your gut is telling you to flee: Sometimes, you get a feeling deep down inside that you need to make a change. If your instincts are telling you to get out of your marriage, it may be time to take drastic action or be prepared to listen to your gut.

How Minnesota courts deal with the family home in a divorce

A divorce is a time of significant change in your life. In addition to ending a defining relationship in your life, you will also likely have to experience changes in your housing situation and your relationship with your children.

It is perfectly normal and natural to seek sources of comfort and stability during this uncertain time. For many people, the ability to stay in their family home is the simplest and most satisfying form of stability during a divorce. However, especially if you and your spouse both want to maintain the family home, the courts may have to decide what to do on your behalf.

How long has it been since you updated your will?

Creating and maintaining a strong estate plan is an important priority for just about every adult in America, regardless of how much personal property a person possesses. However, for those who have significant estates or those with substantial debt with which they do not wish to trouble their beneficiaries, a strong estate plan is essential.

In most instances, the heart of an estate plan is the creator's last will. While it is arguably better to have an outdated will than no will at all, those who do not regularly review their wills and update them may generate costly problems. When it comes time to read the will and disperse the creator's estate according to the wishes laid out in the document, a will that has not received regular review and updates may cause serious complications, ultimately draining the value of the estate and potentially causing conflict between beneficiaries.

The 3-step plan to avoid probate court in Minnesota

There are many reasons that people engage in estate planning. Often, testators' motivation is in their desire to control and protect their assets. Other times, they may have strong feelings about avoiding probate court or even reducing the tax burden on their heirs.

For those wishing to avoid probate court by carefully planning their estates in Minnesota, there are special steps to take. With a little extra care, it is possible to greatly reduce the stress and expense of probate court for your heirs.

How can trusts help with estate planning?

A trust is a common estate planning tool that enables the creator of the trust to dedicate the use of assets to a beneficiary by designating a trustee to manage the arrangement. The trustee controls the assets in the trust and ensures that they are given to the beneficiary in the way that the creator or "trustor" directed prior to their death.

There are many types of trusts. Each has a different purpose and different implications for everyone involved. Understanding the basics regarding trusts can help make sure that people creating estate plans are making the best choices to accomplish their goals.

Keeping older tax returns can be important

Many people in Minnesota assume that they should hold on to their tax returns for three years after the initial filing. In general, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has three years to perform an audit or assess additional taxes; three years is also the time limit during which people can file amended tax returns. However, there are exceptions to the three-year rule, and this could make it important to hold on to tax returns for much longer.

When over 25 percent of income was not included on a tax return, the IRS actually has six years to perform an audit and assess further taxes. In addition, if the IRS can prove that the original return was fraudulent, there is no statute of limitations on a tax audit or additional assessment. It should also be noted that even if a person is certain that neither of these cases applies to his or her tax returns, this does not make it a good idea to discard the original filings after three years. Without an original copy, it may be difficult to prove that the tax return was ever filed at all, and these statutes of limitations apply only after the filing was made.

Can an expungement offer you a fresh start in Minnesota?

A criminal conviction can haunt you for years, even after you have paid your debt to society. Whether your offense resulted in jail time or a fine, you will likely still suffer negative consequences of a conviction long after you fulfill your sentence from court.

The criminal record that comes from a conviction or guilty plea can impact many areas of your life, from financial aid for college to employment and even housing opportunities. The good news is that for some people in Minnesota, and expungement can reduce the impact of a criminal record. Seeking an expungement could help you get your life back on track after a criminal conviction.

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