The key is to select carefully the person that you name as your agent – known as your “attorney-in-fact”. Despite the label “attorney-in-fact”, the person that you appoint cannot act as your attorney. Nor does the person that you name need to be a lawyer. » Read more..
Estate Planning Blog
How can you increase the odds that your children won’t fight over the family assets after your death?
Children don’t always fight after their parents’ deaths. However, family fights happen more often than you might think.
Below are some steps that you can take to help reduce the odds of a fight breaking out. » Read more..
Whether a Will or a Revocable Living Trust is best for you depends on your goals and situation.
An estate planning lawyer can help you review the pros and cons of each based on your needs and desires.
A Revocable Living Trust is more flexible than a Will, and may help married persons avoid Minnesota’s estate tax. However, a Revocable Living Trust is more expensive to set up, and requires you to proactively assign various assets to your Trust for your Trust to work properly. » Read more..
Minnesota law applies when there is no Will, and those laws may not be what the parties to the 2nd marriage expected.
For example, spouses often expect to inherit all of their deceased spouse’s assets even when spouses are in a 2nd marriage. That expectation is wrong if the deceased has children from a 1st marriage and the deceased did not create a Will giving everything to the surviving spouse. When there is no Will, but there are children from the deceased’s 1st marriage, Minnesota law states that the surviving spouse is to receive “the first $225,000” plus ½ of the rest. The other assets go to the deceased’s descendants. » Read more..
Thus, your estate plan is not finished just because you’ve signed a Will or Trust. You also must review your beneficiary designations to ensure that they are in sync with your overall estate plan wishes.
Several types of assets allow beneficiary designations, such as life insurance, retirement plans, health savings accounts, annuities, 529 accounts, Payable on Death (P.O.D.) accounts and Transfer on Death (T.O.D.) accounts. » Read more..
Inheritance of any size is a windfall for the children who receive it given that they most likely didn’t do anything to earn it.
Some wealthy parents don’t want their children to inherit more than a fraction of their estate out of concern that their children may not use it wisely or may develop bad habits.
Other parents may be concerned that health care costs, and the living expenses associated with living longer than past generations, may make it unlikely that the parents will have any money left to give to their children. » Read more..
The homeowner uses a TODD to designate who should inherit a specific parcel of real estate after the homeowner’s death. The TODD must be recorded with the county recorder (or registrar of titles, as the case may be) in the Minnesota county where the property is located prior to the death of the homeowner. » Read more..
When there’s been only one marriage, and when all of the children are the children of both parents, a typical scenario in Minnesota is as follows: The parent who dies first transfers all of his or her assets to the surviving parent. When the surviving parent also dies, their children share any assets that remain.
However, parents in 2nd marriages have worries regarding the transfer of their wealth that differ from 1st marriage situations. » Read more..
One of the more controversial proposals in the 2017 GOP tax cut plan being debated currently includes the potential elimination of the federal estate tax. Under current federal estate tax law, the federal estate tax only applies to amounts above an “excluded” dollar amount.
For persons dying in 2017, only assets above $5,490,000 are subject to the federal estate tax. Up to nearly $11 million may be excluded for a couple.
For some historical perspective, note that for several years in the 1990s, the exclusion was $600,000. In 2001, the federal exclusion was $675,000. The federal estate tax exclusion jumped to $1 million in 2002; $2 million in 2006, and $3.5 million in 2009. Since 2010 or so, it has been $5 million or a bit more. » Read more..