Surprise! Beneficiary designations on assets such as life insurance and retirement accounts trump anything that you state in your Will or Trust.
Thus, your estate plan is not finished just because you’ve signed a Will or Trust. You also must review your beneficiary designations to ensure that they are in sync with your overall estate plan wishes.
Several types of assets allow beneficiary designations, such as life insurance, retirement plans, health savings accounts, annuities, 529 accounts, Payable on Death (P.O.D.) accounts and Transfer on Death (T.O.D.) accounts. » 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..
Legal 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..
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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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Sometimes it’s hard for family members to get the conversation started regarding estate planning, so try these questions as an aid to this important discussion:
- Do you have a Will?
- Do you have a Health Care Directive? » Read more..
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Thoughtful estate planning can 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 good estate plan is more than just the estate planning documents that you receive from your estate planning attorney. And, it is more than avoiding probate and minimizing estate taxes. » Read more..
There are pros and cons to whether you do or don’t discuss your estate plan with your children, but in many situations it is better that you do so.
It can be a hard conversation to start. If you, as parents, initiate the discussion, your children may resist because they don’t want to think about your eventual death. If your children initiate the conversation, you may believe that their primary interest in you is how much they might inherit.
In reality, however, you have a lot more to talk about. » Read more..
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Hiring a Minnesota estate planning lawyer to draft legal documents to provide for your heirs is only the first step to ensure that your property is distributed as you desire after your death. You still need to ensure that your property is titled in such a way as to take full advantage of your Will and/or Trust.
And, while you’re at it, review your beneficiary designations because some assets override any language in your Will or Trust documents and pass to whomever you named as the beneficiary. For example, life insurance proceeds and retirement benefits are paid to your designated beneficiary. Similarly, bank accounts designated as Payable on Death (also known as P.O.D. accounts), and securities accounts designated as Transfer on Death (also known as T.O.D. accounts) also transfer to whomever you named as beneficiaries. » Read more..
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