Tag Archive for estate plan

Second Marriage? No Will?

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..

Must I Give My Kids an Inheritance?

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..

Talk to Your Intended Heirs

Have you and your children had “the talk” about your estate?

You may think that you have the best-crafted estate plan that you can have. However, if your children don’t learn about it until your death, and are surprised by it, you may unintentionally trigger resentment and fighting that my last throughout their lifetimes. » Read more..

Estate Planning is About Life as much as Death

legacy - isolated word in vintage letterpress wood type

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..

Writing Your Own Obituary

Family TreeBy writing your own obituary, you spare your grieving family the burden of trying to write one within the few days between your death and your funeral or memorial service. You also influence what you want people to remember about you.

The obituary of Bill Maurer of Des Moines, Iowa captures the reader right from the beginning with this introduction: “Bill Maurer’s goal was to live to be 113. He didn’t make it.” » Read more..

Is an Estate Plan Necessary?

estate-planThe sentiment – “I don’t care what happens after I die because, after all, I’ll be gone.” – typically doesn’t work well in reality.

Creating a well-thought-out estate plan is really your last gift to your family. Without such a plan, your relatives may be cursing you for the unnecessary mess that you left behind rather than having sufficient time to grieve your death and navigate ways to cope without you. » Read more..

An Estate Plan is Not Just Documents

Estate PlanYou may be seriously short-changing yourself and your heirs if you try to create an estate plan by filling out a form downloaded from the Internet.

An estate plan is more than just documents.

Think of it this way: Chances are that you aren’t just looking for a certain “pill” when you visit a doctor. Instead you want to tap into the doctor’s experience and knowledge so that the remedy prescribed for you correctly treats your symptoms. Similarly, it’s best to tap into the knowledge and experience of an estate planning lawyer in devising your estate plan.  Just like a pill is merely one possible consequence of a medical consultation, a Will document is but one aspect of your consultation with an estate planning lawyer. » 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..

Great Estate Plans Include a Legacy Letter

Perhaps no estate plan is truly complete without a Legacy Letter.

A Legacy Letter may pass along family stories and life lessons, and teach something about the meaning of your life that can be helpful to, and appreciated by, future generations. A Legacy Letter may also be used to share your values, traditions, beliefs, faith, wisdom, love and forgiveness. » 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..