Brad Hanson, a long-time Trust & Estates attorney with Quinlivan & Hughes, testified Thursday before the Minnesota Senate to continue his efforts to bring about a law change that would benefit farm and small business owners.

Hanson has been working on a bill with the Probate & Trust Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association to make a change to the existing estate tax exemption for farm and small business owners.

Hanson first discovered the issue in a case and, upon working with the Minnesota Department of Revenue, he identified a hole in the existing law that unfairly treats families when the surviving spouse dies too soon after the first spouse dies.

Since then, Hanson has been actively educating legislators, helping craft new language and advocating for the change. He testified on Thursday in support of a SF2951 before the Senate Tax Committee.

This bill would attribute a deceased’s spouse’s ownership to a surviving spouse for purposes of the farm and small business estate tax exemption. The legislation is sponsored by lawyer-legislator Sen. Jerry Relph (R-St. Cloud), also a former member of the Quinlivan & Hughes team.

Following Hanson’s testimony, the bill was laid over for possible inclusion in the omnibus tax bill.