Tag Archive for incapacity

Should You Have a Will or a Trust?

Wooden dice with question marks on it over white background

Whether a Will or a Revocable Living Trust is best for you depends on your goals and situation.

An estate planning lawyer can help you review the pros and cons of each based on your needs and desires.

A Revocable Living Trust is more flexible than a Will, and may help married persons avoid Minnesota’s estate tax. However, a Revocable Living Trust is more expensive to set up, and requires you to proactively assign various assets to your Trust for your Trust to work properly. » Read more..

Pros & Cons of Trusts in Minnesota

Trust Doc 2What are some key pros and cons that Minnesotans use to determine whether a Revocable Living Trust should be part of their estate plan?

Pro — Avoid Probate: All assets held in a Revocable Living Trust avoid probate. Probate avoidance is especially helpful when you own real estate in more than one state. If real estate is owned in your name alone, it may trigger a probate action in each state where the real estate is located. » 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..

When Should You Consider a Revocable Living Trust?

You don’t need to be a millionaire to benefit from a Revocable Living Trust. Regardless of your wealth, a Revocable Living Trust should be considered when you:

Want the opportunity to avoid probate. Probate is required in Minnesota if you own $50,000 or more in assets in your name alone at your death, or you own real estate in your name alone. Any assets held in the name of your Revocable Living Trust are not counted toward the $50,000 figure that triggers a probate action.  Probate costs money and takes time. » Read more..

The Power Behind a Power of Attorney Document

A Power of Attorney document is a powerful document that should be used carefully and wisely.  It can be a useful tool, or it can be abused. » Read more..

When Should I Review My Estate Plan?

Estate planning is all about control – your control. If you don’t take timely steps to plan, you may not like the outcome. » Read more..

What Level of Mental Capacity Do You Need to Draft a Will?

Even if you are showing signs of dementia, you may still have the necessary capacity to sign various estate planning documents. In Minnesota, there is a presumption of mental competence unless a court determines otherwise. Consequently, if you are lucid at the time you sign your Will, you are considered mentally competent even if you are not lucid at some point before or after signing the document.

Wills, Health Care Directives and Power of Attorney documents each have their own legal standard in Minnesota for determining whether you have a disabling condition that prevents you from creating a valid document. » Read more..

Can a Person with Impaired Memory Execute a Will?

In Minnesota, the mental capacity to execute a Will is presumed until and unless a court determines otherwise. Mental capacity is determined case by case.  Mere old age and failing memory don’t automatically determine whether a person suffers from mental incapacity. Even if mental capacity is lacking sometimes, the court could determine that the person wrote the Will during a lucid period. » Read more..

14 Misconceptions Regarding Estate Planning

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..

What is a Guardian? A Conservator? What are the Alternatives for Adults?

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..