Archive for Incapacity Planning

Should You Have a Will or a Trust?

Wooden dice with question marks on it over white background

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..

Joint Account with Child May Backfire

Studio portrait of a senior couple jokingly choking each other while looking at the camera.

Designating one of your children as the joint holder of your bank account may create problems.

It is typically better to use a Minnesota Durable Power of Attorney document to enable the child to write checks and to take other actions on your behalf during your senior years instead of creating the jointly held account.

Why? A jointly held account may place your carefully crafted estate plan in jeopardy. » Read more..

Amending a Will v. Amending a Trust

Will docProcedures for making changes to your Minnesota Will differ from making changes to your Revocable Trust.

Even the terms describing amendments to these documents are different. An amendment to your Will is called a “Codicil” whereas an amendment to your Revocable Trust is called an “Amendment”. » Read more..

Estate Planning for Minnesota Newlyweds

Estate PlanLegal paperwork for the newly married shouldn’t stop with the Minnesota marriage license.

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..

Pros & Cons to Minnesota’s 2 Types of Powers of Attorney

Power of attorneyMinnesota allows two types of power of attorney documents — the so-called “statutory short form” and the “common law” power of attorney.

Each type has advantages and disadvantages.

A key advantage of the statutory short form (“statutory form”) is that it is typically easily recognized by financial institutions because the language and definitions are set out in Minnesota’s statutes, and the statutory form is the type most commonly used. Because the powers granted under the statutory form can be restricted or can be broad, it works well for most individuals. » Read more..

POLST & DNR/DNI Orders in Minnesota

bwittenburg-newHealth Care Directives of Minnesotans nearing their end of life may be supplemented with a DNR/DNI or POLST order.

DNR/DNI stands for “Do Not Resuscitate – Do Not Intubate”. POLST stands for “Provider Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment”.

Both forms address whether or not cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is to be administered, but the POLST form also addresses other life-sustaining interventions. » Read more..

Pros & Cons of Trusts in Minnesota

Trust Doc 2What are some key pros and cons that Minnesotans use to determine whether a Revocable Living Trust should be part of their estate plan?

Pro — Avoid Probate: All assets held in a Revocable Living Trust avoid probate. Probate avoidance is especially helpful when you own real estate in more than one state. If real estate is owned in your name alone, it may trigger a probate action in each state where the real estate is located. » Read more..

Does Your Estate Plan Need a Tune Up?

Your estate plan — like your car — needs a tune-up occasionally.

If you don’t get that tune-up, either your estate planning goals may not be met, and/or you may be paying hundreds — if not thousands — more for legal services and/or other costs than would have been the case if you had timely asked a lawyer to review your estate plan and suggest necessary adjustments based on current laws and your current goals. » Read more..

Does Your Estate Plan Suit Your Life Stage?

What you need for an estate plan varies with each life stage or milestone. Here are some examples of estate plan considerations for Minnesotans at various ages and life stages/milestones:

Age 18: If you are a young adult you should have a Health Care Directive and Durable Power of Attorney because incapacity can strike at any time. The Health Care Directive will enable your hand-picked agent to make decisions regarding your body, and the Durable Power of Attorney will enable your hand-picked representative to handle your financial affairs. » Read more..

Have a Trust? You Still Need a Power of Attorney

Given that both trustees and your hand-picked agent under your Power of Attorney document can deal with your financial matters, do you need both?

Yes! First, your trustee only has authority over your financial assets that are held in your Revocable Trust, and chances are not all of your financial assets are in your Revocable Trust. » Read more..