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..
The checks for your inheritance may come in partial payments over many months, be tied up for years in a trust, or come within weeks. Or, there may be nothing left for you to inherit.
Much of the timing of the disbursement of your inheritance depends on the type and value of the deceased’s assets, the creditor claims against those assets, whether probate is required, and whether the deceased wanted your inheritance to be distributed outright to you or tied up in a trust for some period of time. » Read more..
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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..
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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..
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Your beneficiary designations should be checked every time your situation changes because the beneficiary designations trump anything that you state in your Will or Trust.
Married? Divorced? Chances are you either want to add your new spouse, or delete the ex-spouse as your beneficiary. Don’t delay. An ex-spouse can collect your life insurance benefits at your death if he or she is still named as your beneficiary. » Read more..
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Suppose that your Will states that all of your three children are to inherit your assets equally. Suppose also that the beneficiary designation on your life insurance policy only lists two of your children as beneficiaries because your third one had not been born at the time that you filled out the form years ago.
What happens? » Read more..
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Mistake #1: A Will controls the distribution of all of the deceased’s possessions. Reality: The Will only controls the distribution of the deceased’s “probate estate”. Not included in the probate estate are jointly held property, transfer on death (T.O.D.) accounts, payable on death (P.O.D.) accounts, and property that passes based on beneficiary designations. For example, life insurance proceeds and retirement benefits pass based on beneficiary designations. » Read more..
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Your best-laid plans for the distribution of your wealth at your death may go badly awry if you stumble with the titling of your assets and/or designation of beneficiaries.
For various types of assets, your beneficiary designations trump any language in your will or trust. Meanwhile, your trust is worthless if there is nothing in it. To make things even more confusing, assets that are “jointly held with right of survivorship” transfer outside your will and trust to the other joint holders of the asset. » Read more..
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