Joshua Damberg

Joshua Damberg

  • Elder Law, Estate Planning, Probate
  • Minnesota
Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&ASocial Media

As an attorney, I gravitated toward Elder Law and Estate Planning because I felt it was one of the few areas that would allow me to interact with people on a daily basis. I am a very outgoing and compassionate person, and the ability to help others brings energy to my practice. I was blessed to clerk for one of the largest and most experienced Twin Cities Elder Law-oriented firms throughout my tenure at the University of St. Thomas School of Law (Maser, Amundson, Boggio & Hendricks) and I joined them as an Associate Attorney following my passage of the Minnesota State Bar in 2017.

While my practice areas at Maser, Amundosn, Boggio & Hendricks are still developing, I primarily work in the areas of Long-Term Care Planning/Life Care Planning and Estate Planning. The firm handles, and my practice will expand to include, matters related to Special & Supplemental Needs Trusts, Probate & Trust Administration, and Guardianship & Conservatorship. MABH also has a dedicated litigation group that takes cases related to the above practice areas, as well as personal injury matters.

Outside of the firm, I am a Delano Tiger hockey coach, a Minnesota Gopher and Minnesota Wild aficionado, a pond hockey enthusiast, a dedicated philanthropist, an amateur paddler, and an avid reader/watcher of movies.

Practice Areas
  • Elder Law
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
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  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Law Clerk
Maser, Amundson, Boggio & Hendricks, P.A.
At Maser, Amundson, Boggio & Hendricks, I handled legal research tasks for the elder law practice group. Research project areas included taxation, special needs trusts/planning, elder abuse and various benefits qualification/application issues. Additionally, I wrote and edited blog posts on elder law topics for publication upon, as well as helping develop and edit presentation material.
Summer Associate
Pemberton Law Firm
As a Summer Associate at Pemberton Law, my duties primarily consisted of legal research, document review, and memo drafting. My experience with Pemberton, one of Minnesota's oldest established firms, offered exposure to numerous areas of law including family, real estate, estate planning, and employment/labor law. In my capacity as a Summer Associate, I was able to observe and assist with client interviews, mediations, discovery, and other client communication tasks.
University of St. Thomas, Minnesota School of Law
J.D. (2017) | Law
Honors: UST Mission Award: Service & Community, Dean's Scholarship
Activities: UST Fightin' Apostles Hockey President & Participant
University of St. Thomas, Minnesota School of Law Logo
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
B.A. (2014) | Political Science, Leadership
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Logo
Mission Award: Service and Community
University of St. Thomas School of Law
The Mission Award for Service and Community recognizes members of the UST School of Law community who have shown exceptional service or leadership through living out UST's Mission of commitment to improving the lives of members within our law school community and/or in our local, parish, cultural or global communities.
Professional Associations
State Bar of Minnesota # 0399198
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Minnesota State Bar Association
- Current
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Websites & Blogs
Joshua Damberg Biography: Maser, Amundson, Boggio & Hendricks, P.A.
Legal Answers
11 Questions Answered

Q. What is the legal procedures of obtaining a death certificate in the state of Minnesota
A: Obtaining a death certificate in Minnesota is a pretty simple process. The Office of Vital Records is responsible for maintaining death records. Each county has its own office location. To receive death certificates you must complete an application requesting the certificates, provide valid identification, and pay the fee. Only people with a "tangible interest" may request a death certificate, which means you must be the subject of the record, a child, grandchild or great-grandchild, the current spouse, a parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent, or a sibling. Health Care Agents, Guardians, Conservators, Personal Representatives, and Trustees may also request certificates. An authorized representative of any of the the above relationships/roles may also make the request if they have a signed statement from the original interest holder. This is governed by Minnesota Statute 144.225 Subd. 7. It may be possible that said girlfriend falls under one of the above interests. I would recommend contacting an attorney about the above issue. If your father's girlfriend was able to collect non-probate assets, it would appear that she may be named as your father's primary beneficiary. It is typical for assets like IRAs and 401Ks to have beneficiary designations that only require a potential beneficiary to provide a death certificate and complete some paperwork. If he designated her as the primary beneficiary, she is rightfully entitled to these assets.
Q. If an estate is in a trust but worth over 2.1 million in WA is it required to go to probate? We are being told it is and
A: I'm unsure why this is posted in the Minnesota jurisdiction, but the answer should generally be "no". A Trust is a vehicle designed specifically to avoid probate, no matter where it is created or where the person who created it (called the Settlor or Trustor) passes away. The issue MAY be that the Settlor/Trustor failed to properly title ownership of all of his or her assets into the Trust. Most estate planning attorneys that draft Trusts include a document called a Pour Over Will. This document would require a probate to transition assets from the decedent's name individually into their Trust following death. An asset amount should not trigger a probate on its own if the Trust properly holds title to the assets comprising the $2.1 million you reference. It would best to seek the counsel of an attorney that practices in probate and trust administration matters in Washington.
Q. I just received a priority claim notice from county for my father claiming my mothers assets in her recent passing away.
A: The answer to this should be pretty straightforward, despite the complexity of the applicable rules. The process you are referencing is called "Estate Recovery". The County brings forward a claim they have had for your father's receipt of Medical Assistance (Medicaid) benefits following your mother's passing. In a married couple situation, the County will not bring a claim upon the first spouse's death. This all appears to be appropriate factually. The amount of Medical Assistance paid does have a high priority in terms of claims paid from an estate. It would be wise to work with a Probate attorney to make sure that all potential claims are handled correctly. With your mother's estate not being able to pay for the entirety of the claim, it will be considered insolvent. You and your siblings WILL NOT be responsible for any claims against your mother's estate. Medical Assistance will not pursue a claim outside of the one that you received notice of against your mother's estate. Liability for debts of a person DO NOT flow to their children during a Probate process.
Q. Is there any way to protect a family property from a potential Medicaid claim in MN? what are options for transferring?
A: I would agree with much of what Attorney Whitehurst set forth in the response above regarding the 60-month lookback period and private pay ramifications, with one caveat (referenced by Attorney Whitehurst in the closing sentence). Minnesota has specific rules that are applicable to Irrevocable Trusts which have removed this type of planning tool from many Minnesota-based Elder Law practices. Medicaid in Minnesota is called "Medical Assistance" so that is what I will reference it as below. Specifically, the Eligibility Policy Manual states that Irrevocable Client-Funded Trusts (or Self-Settled/First Party Trusts) created after July 1, 2005, are analyzed as Revocable if the person is requesting Medical Assistance for Long-Term Care Services. Under this analysis, the assets held in the Trust would be deemed available and either make your parents ineligible for Medical Assistance or be recoverable from following your parents deaths. The MN Department of Human Services has also developed policy which demonstrates that they intend to seek recovery from Client-Funded Irrevocable Trusts regardless of being established beyond the five-year lookback period. MN DHS relies upon Minnesota case law stating that self-settled Trusts that contain certain spendthrift language are void/unenforceable because they contain improper anti-alienation clauses. Basically, this is a bunch of legal terminology stating that Minnesota may not recognize the type of Trust that Attorney Whitehurst is referencing and MN DHS may in fact ignore the five-year lookback period if a person sets up this type of Trust with the intent of qualifying for Medical Assistance. Some attorneys in Minnesota may still have Irrevocable Trusts with language that attempts to differentiate from previously litigated Trusts, but it is a little bit more of a gray area in Minnesota than in other states. This analysis is very fact specific, as it changes depending upon your parents health, the value of the asset in question, and the other assets that your parents have. I would suggest potentially getting a second opinion from an additional Minnesota Elder Law attorney in regard to this issue. It is more complex than can be fully addressed via an online platform. From a basic MA planning perspective, I do believe there are other transfer options that could protect all or a portion of the value of the property which are not referenced above (such as a transfer reserving a Life Estate for your parents).
Q. Adopted sister and possible lack of a will
A: If someone passes away without a Will, they are deemed to have died Intestate. Minnesota then sets forth a "default estate plan" for the person. This default plan basically sets forth that the persons closest living family members have priority to act as the Personal Representative (or Executor) and that the person's estate is to be split equally among the closest living relatives. In a situation of adoption, state law controls. In Minnesota, the law states that an adopted child is treated as if he or she had been born to the adoptive parents (having a parent-child relationship). This severs the ties to the person's biological family and places the adoptive family in a recognizable, legal relationship with the adopted person. What this means is that the adopted person has no right to an inheritance from his or her biological parents. In the situation above, the adoptive family should be your adopted sister's rightful heirs in the event that she has no Will or other testamentary documents. This is set forth by Minnesota Statute 524.2-116 and 524.2-118
Q. My sister aka executer of my dad's will is not giving me my portion dad has a pension in one account for $35k and $35k
A: This question should be reviewed in detail by a probate attorney. The largest issue here is probate assets versus non-probate assets. While your sister may be the Executor of the Will, this only extends to probate assets (or assets in your father's name alone with no beneficiary designations when he passed). A Will controls only the assets that go through the probate process. Pensions, if using beneficiary designations, are not controlled by a Will. If your father's personal bank account was jointly owned or had a pay on death or transfer on death designation, the assets held at the bank will also be controlled by those functions and not his Will. Creditors do have certain rights to assets which they can attach to... Obtaining your portion of the estate of your father depends upon whether any assets flow through his Will/probate, what assets are non-probate, and what creditors may exist to take prior to you and your siblings. I suggest contacting a probate attorney to better review the scenario and provide more fact-based legal advice.
Q. I am presented with receipt and release to release the executor. I don't trust her. Do I have to sign?
A: Prior to signing a receipt and release of the Executor (or Personal Representative), a beneficiary of the estate has the opportunity to review a detailed accounting of the estate. An accounting should set forth the probate assets and the payments made by the estate. These payments can include things like funeral/burial expenses, taxes, legal fees, payments to the Executor (or Personal Representative) and other debts owed by the person who passed away. If the estate had assets to satisfy these expenses, distributions to beneficiaries in accordance with the Will should also be stated. A beneficiary of the estate has an opportunity to question and call before the probate court the details set forth in the accounting. If questions exist, it is advisable to obtain legal counsel to aid in bringing your concerns before the probate court. If it turns out your mistrust if supported by fact, then the matter should be settled by the probate court. Generally, a beneficiary has one year to bring such a question. If a beneficiary waits too long, then this opportunity is lost.
Q. Does the principle have to be present at a TX bank, if both co-agents of a DPOA want to modify the principles account?
A: Generally, the answer to this is no. The Principal should not need to be present for his or her Attorney(s)-in-Fact to use the Power of Attorney document. In light of the recent epidemic of misuse of POAs and the exploitation of the elderly, many banks have attempted to institute additional policies and layers of red tape. So long as the Power of Attorney was validly executed, the bank SHOULD recognize it. You and/or your cousin may need to push back against bank policy and make the institution identify a legal basis for what they are asking. Here in Minnesota, the Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney can be enforced through MN laws if a bank refuses to recognize it. I am not licensed in Texas and I am not knowledgeable of TX law, but many states have similar statutes that honor POAs executed in other states and even in foreign jurisdictions, such as the Philippines. I am assuming that the "TX Bank" in your initial query is not a typo. This situation seems a little odd/tricky with the various/competing jurisdictions in play (Nevada, Minnesota, Texas, and the Philippines. If the POA requires both co-AIFs to act jointly, the issue may be that both you and your cousin must be physically present at the bank, at the same time, for them to authorize transactions related to your aunt's account. Again, if it is a valid POA, your aunt (the Principal) should not need to be present. The purpose of a POA would largely be defeated if this were the case.
Q. My mother is going in Assisted living. She will pay until her money runs out then go on Elderly waiver.
A: Medical Assistance laws, including Elderly Waiver (EW), are incredibly complicated and can have harsh penalties if there are any financial issues or reporting mistakes. Also important to remember is that each state has its own Medicaid laws (Medical Assistance in MN), so you cannot rely on an attorney in New York to advise upon laws here in Minnesota or vice versa. Depending upon your mother's age, health care needs, and financial circumstances, Elderly Waiver may or may not be the appropriate program for her. More facts are necessary for a thorough analysis and appropriate guidance. I would suggest meeting with an attorney that practices Elder Law in the state where she is going to be moving into the assisted living unit. With the minimal details above, I would reinforce that it is crucial for you to heavily document any and all payments you make on behalf of your mother. An Elder Law attorney may be able to help identify methods to avoid making these types of payments altogether or at a minimum help you formalize the payments and reduce them to writing in a manner that can better protect you from a loss. In terms of the Medicaid provider "coming back on you", the county/agency is very likely to question you taking a portion of the proceeds from the sale of your mother's home.
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Contact & Map
Maser, Amundson, Boggio & Hendricks, P.A.
6601 Lyndale Ave S, Suite 320
Richfield, MN 55423
Telephone: (952) 925-4147