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BEWARE: Scams after Forming Your Business

09.28.2023 Written by: Henningson & Snoxell, Ltd.

There has been a recent increase in scammers coming from nearly every direction. Most commonly, new business owners, especially owners of LLCs, are receiving official-looking notices or invoices after forming their new entity.

Here are the most common scams and what you need to know!

  • Appearing Official – Although the letters may look and seem official or quasi-governmental, they are not. Scammers try their best to make the letter as convincing as possible, but do not be fooled.
  • Labor Posters – The letters claim to provide labor law posters for an unnecessary fee, but the Department of Labor and Industry website provides free labor law/workplace posters. You can print them yourself or have them shipped to your business.
  • Certificate of Good Standing – Some letters claim to provide a copy of your business’s Certificate of Status for a fee. But the Secretary of State’s website offers a much lower cost of $5 for mail and in-person orders and $15 for online orders.
  • Annual Renewal – Letters claiming to submit your business’s Annual Renewal with the state for a fee should be disregarded because you can do so for free on the Secretary of State’s website.
  • Confidential Information – Requests for confidential information to update your business’s information or apply for a “state benefit” should be reported! Any confidential information related to your business, including officer names and addresses, bank account information, etc., should not be disclosed to anyone over the phone or in a letter.

When in doubt, do not respond. Contact us to verify that the fee or information request is valid.

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Using AI: A Caution to Users

08.24.2023 Written by: Henningson & Snoxell, Ltd.

Artificial intelligence (AI) programs, such as ChaptGPT, have gained immense popularity in recent months. And while AI has undoubtedly revolutionized the way we search for information, its accuracy is not guaranteed. Numerous users have reported receiving unreliable answers from AI. If these errors are not caught, they can lead to adverse and/or costly situations. Some of the major concerns related to the use of AI are highlighted below.

What Is It?

AI is a technology that mirrors human intelligence by performing tasks and iteratively improving itself. In addition to performing general searches, it can also “write” responses, reports, papers, and letters for users. Searching for a research topic or requesting a draft letter can result in paragraph-long answers freely accessible to the user.

However, it is important to note that AI does not guarantee the accuracy of its responses. Users must exercise caution when utilizing AI and should not blindly rely on AI-generated answers. Despite its advanced capabilities, errors or inaccuracies are still possible, making it essential for users to critically evaluate and verify the information obtained from AI.


Properly used, AI can be a great resource for users and is currently free to the public. However, caution is advised when using it.

  1. Fact-Check. We cannot emphasize this enough! AI is explicit that it does not guarantee the accuracy of its responses. AI is built on patterns and data inputted into the system, which means it responds based on that alone. AI does not have the professional judgment or human instinct to realize when information may be incorrect or misleading. It is up to the user to correct the response so the AI can learn and improve its future answers.
  2. High Probability of Plagiarism. AI generates responses based on language and other content inputted by other users and published online. This means the response ultimately originates from someone else, and the references or citations provided by AI may not always be real or accurate. Although plagiarism detectors exist, these devices are themselves powered by AI and do not guarantee the successful detection of plagiarism. Plagiarism can lead to serious legal repercussions, which are entirely avoidable.
  3. AI should not be your final destination. AI is meant as a starting point, and it can be a good resource in that regard. But it should never have the final say in your research or writing. Do not blindly rely on AI-generated information.
  4. Check your sources. Several lawyers and other professionals have already learned the hard way not to rely on AI-generated responses. There have been several instances of AI citing legal cases that were later determined not to exist. Lawyers who trusted these responses and submitted them in court filings were subject to professional discipline and sanctions.
  5. No real-life experience. Despite AI’s immense realm of “knowledge,” AI does not know everything, nor does it have the proper judgment or experience to advise users in certain areas. AI has limitations. It has never gone to school, it has never attended a professional program, and it does not know the specifics of your situation. As with any online resource, it is always better to ask a human professional. For example, you may do some initial research on WebMD, but you need a real doctor to confirm your diagnosis.
  6. AI-generated documents are not cheaper! Contrary to the $99 price advertised on a website, an online legal document will cost you more in the long run. AI-generated legal documents (1) are commonly completed with incorrect information; (2) do not contain proper language to match your intentions; and (3) require payment for services that are usually free (e.g., a Registered Agent for an LLC). Litigation costs add up, and your initial $99 legal document could quickly turn into a substantial litigation fee because your document was not properly completed. Save yourself the trouble and money by skipping the do-it-yourself legal document services and meet with a (living) professional to draft your documents.  

Contact Henningson & Snoxell

As always, we are here to help! Please contact us with any questions or concerns about your AI-generated legal documents. With a wealth of experience and a comprehensive knowledge of the Minnesota legal system, you can trust Henningson & Snoxell to help you navigate the ever-changing landscape of technology and information.

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What is Medical Assistance?

06.11.2020 Written by: Henningson & Snoxell, Ltd.

What is Medical Assistance?

In Minnesota, Medicaid is called “Medical Assistance” or “MA”.  Under that umbrella, there are several different programs, but the one that we most often work with at Henningson & Snoxell is Medical Assistance for Long-Term Care Services (MA-LTC).  


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Does the SECURE Act Affect Your Estate Plan?

05.01.2020 Written by: Henningson & Snoxell, Ltd.

Does the SECURE Act affect your Estate Plan?

We want to make you aware of a recent change that may affect your estate plan. On January 1, 2020, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act became law. This law may reduce the amount of time a beneficiary has to withdraw distributions from a decedent plan member’s IRA and may have a significant impact on a beneficiary’s income tax liability.

What about “stretching” an IRA?

Specifically, many estate plans leveraged the “stretch IRA,” extending a beneficiary’s distributions from a decedent’s retirement plan out over a long period of time. Applying this strategy, beneficiaries minimized the amounts they withdrew each year – along with the corresponding income tax they paid on the distributions – by taking small distributions out over their lifetimes. The SECURE Act, however, requires most beneficiaries to withdraw the entire amount of the pre-tax retirement account within ten years of the death of the plan memberThis will likely increase the amounts withdrawn each year and increase tax obligations.

We encourage you to take this opportunity to contact us to schedule a time to review your estate plan to identify any concerns the SECURE Act might present within your plan, and, if necessary, to make updates to your documents. 

We are here to help you, and we are honored when you refer us to advise and assist your own circle of influence with their legal services needs.
Be safe, and be well.

Susan T. Peterson-Lerdahl

Susan T. Peterson-Lerdahl is a shareholder in the Maple Grove, Minnesota Law Firm of Henningson & Snoxell, Ltd. She is Chair of the firm’s Estate Planning Department and has years of experience counseling individuals and families in estate planning, elder law, probate and trust administration as well as family business succession planning.

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L. David Henningson

L. David Henningson retired from the firm on March 31, 2020. Here are his comments on starting Henningson & Snoxell, Ltd., what the firm means to him ,and where he would like to see the firm go and grow into the future:

I started this law firm in 1981. Over the years I have watched it grow far beyond what I ever expected. More important than the size, however, is the kind of law firm that it has become: a firm that is part of the community, committed to taking care of people and serving all who come through its doors. 

Our law firm is large enough to handle most every issue that comes to us but is small enough to allow us to get to know the people individually and deal with their issues in a very direct manner. We can be a key, pivotal part of their lives, and they become a part of ours. We provide a level of service that goes beyond a mere transaction. The outcome – in many cases – results with clients becoming friends and colleagues. 

I am extremely proud of the people that are here, and what we’ve been able to accomplish over these 40 years, helping so many resolve sometimes terrible issues that they’ve had to face. In the end, when I’m done with my career, that will be the thing that matters most to me:  how we were able to help and seeing the wonderful relationships that have developed over those same years.

L. David Henningson

David does not want to focus on his retirement from the firm. He wants a seamless transition of the firm’s leadership which has been in the works for several years. I have had the distinct honor of working side by side with David for 24 years. I value his leadership, guidance and advice, and patience with me as I learned and grew in the world of legal management. David and his wife plan to travel across the country and possibly relocate to South Dakota. We do plan to see him around the office every so often, including at the firm’s 40th anniversary celebration in 2021!

Patti A. Ploehn, CLM, Firm Administrator

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Wayne J. Studer Retirement Letter

01.10.2020 Written by: Henningson & Snoxell, Ltd.

Wayne J. Studer Retirement

As you may have heard, I have retired from the practice of law as of December 31, 2019.  It was not an easy decision, but it is the best decision for me and my family. I truly enjoyed my 40 years helping as many people as I could.


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Please don’t pay anyone to renew your MN Entity Status!

12.18.2019 Written by: Henningson & Snoxell, Ltd.


Over the past week, I’ve responded to several clients’ emails and phone calls regarding an official-looking form they received in the mail. This form appeared to be a notice for renewing their Minnesota entity status and asked for a payment of $95.00 to be mailed in along with the filled out form.


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