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..
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If some of the language in your Will or Trust seems foreign to you, you are not alone. Here’s a rundown of some commonly used terms, and a description of what they mean:
Testator (male) or Testatrix (female): This is you, if this is your Will.
Settlor or Grantor: This is you, if this is your Trust. » Read more..
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Minors can’t directly receive gifts or inheritance in Minnesota. Instead, the gift or inheritance must be held in custody or in trust for the benefit of the minor.
Typical ways to manage the inherited asset or gift for the minor are as follows: » Read more..
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When adults fail to plan for how they or their property should be managed in the event that they lose their mental capacity, they may find themselves under the care of a guardian and/or conservator appointed by a Minnesota court. Guardians and conservators cost money, and they are under court supervision. » Read more..
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Consider these consequences if you die in Minnesota without an estate plan:
- If you and your spouse die while your children are under age 18, the State of Minnesota will select a guardian for them, and you may not like the state’s choice. Solution: A Will enables you to nominate a guardian for your minor children.
- As soon as they turn age 18, your kids will get access to all of the money and property that they inherit from you, and they’ll be able to spend the money however they wish. Solution: A Trust can be written to control the ages at which your children gain access to the money and property that they inherit from you. » Read more..
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Sooner or later, we change from taking on the world to needing others to take care of us. In medical and legal terms, this period is referred to as “incapacity” – and it can be a temporary or permanent condition. Incapacity, in which we are either mentally or physically unable to take care of ourselves or manage our routine affairs, can be triggered by illness, advancing age, serious physical injury, drug abuse or alcohol abuse.
Most adults have two goals in planning for potential incapacity – 1) avoid guardianship and/or conservatorship, which are court controlled, and are expensive in terms of time, money and emotions; and 2) keep control among our family members. Control is focused on two key areas – control of the person and control of property. Guardianship relates to control over the person whereas conservatorship focuses on control of money and property. Three legal documents are particularly helpful in achieving those goals – a revocable trust, a Minnesota durable power of attorney and a Minnesota health care directive. » Read more..