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of the pre-tax retirement account within ten years of the death of the plan memberThis will likely increase the amounts withdrawn each year and increase tax obligations.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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Police Officers, Firefighters, and Heart Attacks

02.13.2020 Written by: Henningson & Snoxell, Ltd.

Police officers and firefighters are at a greater risk for heart problems than the general public due to the stressful nature of their jobs. Police officers face a 30 -70 times increased risk of death due to cardiac issues compared to the general public when they are involved in stressful situations. The extreme heat that firefighters face in their job duties has been linked to an increased risk of heart attacks. Additionally, intense physical demands can trigger blood clots and impair blood vessel function.


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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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Why I’m a Personal Injury Attorney

11.12.2019 Written by: Henningson & Snoxell, Ltd.

Why I'm a Personal Injury Attorney

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the 2019 Minnesota Association for Justice (MNAJ) Women Trial Lawyers Conference in Nisswa, Minnesota. This energizing three-day conference brought together female trial lawyers from across the state of Minnesota to collaborate on various issues, which included becoming a more effective advocate for clients, the profession of law itself,  and litigation tips and techniques.


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