Tag Archive for estate planning

Must I Have a Will?

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..

Estate Planning for Blended Families

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..

Benefits of Estate Planning

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..

Estate Planning for Minnesota Newlyweds

Estate PlanLegal 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..

Historical Estate Tax Perspective

Tax TimeThe dollar value of assets that can be owned by a Minnesotan at death without incurring federal or Minnesota estate taxes has changed significantly over the past several years.

Thus, many Minnesotans will not owe any Minnesota estate taxes, and fewer still will owe a federal estate tax.

The exclusion from federal estate taxes for a person dying in 2017 is $5,490,000. As recently as 1997, the exclusion was $600,000.  In 2001, the exclusion from federal estate taxes was $675,000. » Read more..

Trust Within a Will? Probate Required

Probate CourtWhen you hear that a trust avoids probate in Minnesota, dig a little deeper.

If your trust is buried inside your Will, it is known as a Testamentary Trust, and is not the type of trust that will avoid probate. » Read more..

A Trust Won’t Always Avoid Probate

Probate CourtSetting up a Revocable Living Trust is a good first step to avoiding probate, but it is only a first step.

You still must transfer the title of your assets to the trustee of your Revocable Living Trust.

Even if you’ve already transferred title to some of your assets, the key is whether you’ve properly done so with enough of your assets.   » 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..

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..

Pros and Cons of Revocable Living Trusts in Minnesota

There are several “pros” and some “cons” for Minnesotans to consider when deciding whether to establish a Revocable Living Trust. For many, the pros outweigh the cons. » Read more..