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Northern Minnesota park has ties to governor's family estate

For many Minnesota residents, some of the best summer memories are formed at the family lake cabin. As such, individuals may want to take measures to make sure that the property stays within the family or changes hands in a way consistent with the owner's wishes.

If a person wishes to see his or her cabin and lake property remain with family members, it might make the most sense to establish future ownership in a will. By doing this, a person can provide that the property is owned by one or more family members after passing away. On the other hand, some individuals may want to establish land trusts so the land is cared for by an individual or organization according to specific guidelines.

In northern Minnesota, the state is trying to open Lake Vermillion State Park to campers. However, the project is in its fifth year, since the funds necessary to establish on-site facilities have been slow to arrive. Many local residents are hoping that park development will be finished soon. Throughout this effort, Governor Mark Dayton has intentionally stayed quiet because his family owns land across the lake from the site of the state park.

Currently, Governor Dayton's father and uncles own the lake property, but it's part of a land trust set to be administered in 2030. At that point, the land will be given to the state of Minnesota. Reports don't indicate if there are any specific guidelines for use of the land once the trust is executed.

If a person has a specific purpose in mind for a plot of land, they can put it into a trust in order to ensure it's handled according to those intentions. For example, the land could be designated for use as a state park or given to a charitable organization. Whatever the case, it is important for individuals to make sure property is accounted for during estate planning.

Source: Associated Press, "5 years later, new Minnesota park comes along," Sep. 4, 2013

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