Minnesotans still need a Will even if they have a Revocable Living Trust.
The Will that accompanies a Revocable Living Trust is different, however, than a Will that is the sole testamentary document.
Typically, people think of Wills as saying “who gets what” of your assets. When a Minnesotan has a Revocable Living Trust, it’s a chief task of the trust document to say “who gets what”. If more than one document described the distribution of all of the deceased’s assets, there would be confusion.
So what is the need for a Will when there’s a Revocable Living Trust? » Read more..
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..
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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..
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Minnesotans in a 2nd marriage that fail to sign a Will before death may fall victim to unintended consequences.
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..
Skipping the writing of a Will may harmfully disrupt family dynamics, may result in distributions that you didn’t want or intend, and may increase the costs of settling your estate.
A Will, properly executed under Minnesota law, is your legal instruction to your survivors as to how you want your estate divvied up after you die.
If you don’t have a Will, Minnesota law has a plan for you, which you may not like. » Read more..
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..
Second marriages – particularly when each spouse has kids from a prior marriage – are fraught with complications that heighten the need for careful estate planning.
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..
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..
Let’s admit it: We care about how we are remembered after death, and also about what happens to our lifetime accumulation of financial and other assets.
Thus, it’s foolhardy to think that we can keep putting off estate planning on the premise that death is still a long ways away, or that everything will somehow work out (miraculously) according to our wishes if we do nothing. » Read more..
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..