Creating a well-thought-out estate plan is really your last gift to your family. Without such a plan, your relatives may be cursing you for the unnecessary mess that you left behind rather than having sufficient time to grieve your death and navigate ways to cope without you. » Read more..
Estate Planning Blog
An important wedding gift to give yourselves, as newlyweds, is peace of mind that you’ve left your new spouse in the best situation possible should tragedy occur to one of you.
What steps foster that peace of mind? » Read more..
“Right of representation” and “per stirpes” are two ways of describing the same method for dividing the assets of the deceased, but what do the phrases mean?
A second way of dividing a deceased person’s assets in Minnesota is “per capita at each generation”.
Translation? » Read more..
Chances are that you no longer remember whom you’ve named as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy. You should find out. Why? The beneficiaries that you listed with your life insurance company trump any beneficiary designations that you may have made via your Minnesota Will.
Just as gifts come in all shapes and sizes, so do the tax rules and regulations regarding the gifts of your assets that you make during your lifetime or at death. Generally speaking, the donor of the gift is responsible for paying any gift taxes owed.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) first states that any gift is a taxable gift, but then applies exceptions to that general rule. » Read more..
To make a Will, you must be at least 18 years of age, and must be “of sound mind”.
The Will must be in writing, and must be signed by you, by another person at your direction, or by your conservator pursuant to a court order. Two other individuals must sign your Will as witnesses. A beneficiary of the Will may sign as a witness. However, Minnesota lawyers often prefer that neutral parties — rather than beneficiaries — serve as witnesses so as to better avoid a potential future accusation that the maker of the Will was pressured by the beneficiary to sign the Will. » Read more..
Your Minnesota Will covers only what is known as your “probate assets”. If your Will provides that each of your 3 children is to inherit one-third of your estate, each child will inherit one-third of your “probate assets” only.
Stated another way, the wording of your Will has no impact on assets that are considered “non-probate assets”, and your non-probate assets may be a significant portion of your estate. » Read more..
An estate plan is more than just documents.
Think of it this way: Chances are that you aren’t just looking for a certain “pill” when you visit a doctor. Instead you want to tap into the doctor’s experience and knowledge so that the remedy prescribed for you correctly treats your symptoms. Similarly, it’s best to tap into the knowledge and experience of an estate planning lawyer in devising your estate plan. Just like a pill is merely one possible consequence of a medical consultation, a Will document is but one aspect of your consultation with an estate planning lawyer. » Read more..
The checks for your inheritance may come in partial payments over many months, be tied up for years in a trust, or come within weeks. Or, there may be nothing left for you to inherit.
Much of the timing of the disbursement of your inheritance depends on the type and value of the deceased’s assets, the creditor claims against those assets, whether probate is required, and whether the deceased wanted your inheritance to be distributed outright to you or tied up in a trust for some period of time. » Read more..
Thus, many Minnesotans will not owe any Minnesota estate taxes, and fewer still will owe a federal estate tax.
The exclusion from federal estate taxes for a person dying in 2017 is $5,490,000. As recently as 1997, the exclusion was $600,000. In 2001, the exclusion from federal estate taxes was $675,000. » Read more..