Archive for Legacy

Keeping the Family Peace with Your Estate Plan

Studio portrait.

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..

Must I Give My Kids an Inheritance?

Will your kids think less of you if they don’t inherit anything from you at your death? Will you feel guilty if you don’t – or can’t — provide them with an inheritance?

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..

Will My Step-Children Inherit?

If you want your step-children to inherit, you need to specify that wish in your Minnesota Will or Revocable Living Trust.

If you don’t do so, then only your blood relatives or adopted children will inherit.

Without a Will (and assuming that you have no surviving spouse), your children inherit in equal shares under Minnesota law. No provision is provided for step-children. » Read more..

Estate Planning is About Life as much as Death

legacy - isolated word in vintage letterpress wood type

Thoughtful estate planning may help you build the size of your estate, rather than just focusing on what happens to your money and other possessions after you die.

A proper estate plan typically includes typical documents such as a Will and possibly a Trust, but there’s more. » Read more..

Writing Your Own Obituary

Family TreeBy writing your own obituary, you spare your grieving family the burden of trying to write one within the few days between your death and your funeral or memorial service. You also influence what you want people to remember about you.

The obituary of Bill Maurer of Des Moines, Iowa captures the reader right from the beginning with this introduction: “Bill Maurer’s goal was to live to be 113. He didn’t make it.” » Read more..

Keeping the Minnesota Cabin in the Family

Mountain Retreat

Keeping the beloved Minnesota cabin in the family is an oft-heard goal that is frequently addressed by placing the cabin in a revocable living trust or by setting up a limited liability company (LLC) to own the cabin.

Another common goal is to avoid potential future ownership of the revered family cabin by outsiders — i.e., the creditors or divorcing spouses of the next generation of family members.  Blocking disputes among next-generation owners from forcing a sale of the cabin, through a court “partition” action, may also be a priority. » Read more..

Life Insurance & Closely Held Businesses

Headline of Life Insurance for background

A dilemma for “asset rich, cash poor” closely held businesses in Minnesota is finding the cash to pay estate taxes and other expenses when a business owner dies without jeopardizing the ability to pass an intact business to the owner’s children.

One potential solution to this liquidity problem is to set up an irrevocable life insurance trust (“ILIT”) to own a life insurance policy on the business owner’s life. » Read more..

Great Estate Plans Include a Legacy Letter

Perhaps no estate plan is truly complete without a Legacy Letter.

A Legacy Letter may pass along family stories and life lessons, and teach something about the meaning of your life that can be helpful to, and appreciated by, future generations. A Legacy Letter may also be used to share your values, traditions, beliefs, faith, wisdom, love and forgiveness. » Read more..

Should You Use a Trust or LLC to Keep the Cabin in the Family?

Two of the most popular approaches to keeping the revered family cabin in the family are to either place the cabin in a revocable trust or set up a limited liability company (LLC) to own the cabin.

Both approaches have pros and cons. Which technique will work best for you depends on your goals, circumstances and chief concerns.

With either the revocable trust or LLC, your children won’t own the cabin directly. That feature has some practical advantages. » Read more..

Passing the Family Business to Your Kids Isn’t Simple

Finding a way to hand-off your family business to your kids without stirring up family discord isn’t easy.

If you have 3 children, equal joint ownership of the family business may not work well if only one child works in the business. » Read more..