Archive for Power of Attorney

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..

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..

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..

POA and Beneficiary Designations

Under Minnesota law, an agent given power of attorney (POA) authority cannot change the beneficiary designations made by the power grantor.

Minnesota’s statutory so-called “short form” power of attorney document may authorize the agent to act regarding beneficiary transactions, but there is no specific authority to select or modify beneficiary designations made by the power grantor. As an example of a transaction, the power grantor’s agent (officially called an attorney-in-fact) may accept or disclaim assets for which the power grantor was named as a beneficiary of someone else’s assets. » Read more..

Should I Store My Estate Plan in a Safe Deposit Box?

A safe deposit may work well for storage of your estate plan documents if a second person is also registered with the bank as a joint holder of the box.

Why is a joint registration a good thing? In Minnesota, the joint holder is allowed to gain access to the safe deposit box after your death, and to remove part or all of the contents. » Read more..

The Legal Joys and Pitfalls of Turning Age 18 in Minnesota

Minnesota residents turning age 18 reap certain benefits of legally becoming an adult, while also taking on new responsibilities.

Minnesota law defines a “minor” as someone under age 18, and an “adult” as someone age 18 or older. The terms “legal age” and “age of majority” also mean age 18 in Minnesota.

An 18-year-old in Minnesota may get a tattoo, choose where he or she wants to live, obtain a license to be an auctioneer, and vote if citizen, residency and certain other requirements are met. » Read more..

You Need a Power of Attorney Document Even if You Have a Trust

What can an agent named under a Minnesota Durable Power of Attorney document do that a trustee can’t do? » Read more..