Tag Archive for life insurance

When is Probate Required in Minnesota?

At death, your assets are figuratively divided into two piles – probate assets and non-probate assets – but why should you care?

The division has nothing to do with whether or not you owe federal or Minnesota estate taxes. For that purpose, all of your assets are counted, including the value of any life insurance benefits that are paid out to your beneficiaries upon your death.

However, the categorization into probate and non-probate assets matters when it comes to determining whether or not the aid of the probate court is needed to transfer title to the new owners or whether the transfer can occur without the court’s involvement. » Read more..

The Minnesota Funeral is Over, Now What?

When the funeral is over, search for the Will of your loved one, secure his or her possessions and contact a lawyer.

If there is a Will, your loved one has nominated someone in his or her Will to be the personal representative for purposes of settling the estate. However, no one becomes the personal representative until the Minnesota Probate Court accepts the nomination.

If there is no Will, Minnesota law sets out procedures for naming someone as a personal representative. Again, court approval is necessary.

Did your loved one reside in their home alone at the time of their death? If so, secure your loved one’s home and possessions so that nothing is removed until it is legally appropriate to do so. Park or store the car in a secure area. Take steps to make the house appear “lived in” to help deter theft. Remove any snow from the driveway and keep the lawn mowed. » 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..

Estate Tax: When Life Insurance Makes You Look Rich

Don’t have $1 million? You still may need to worry about the Minnesota estate tax, which applies to persons holding more than $1 million in assets at death. Why? Life insurance. Life insurance proceeds paid out to your beneficiaries at your death get added to your assets for the estate tax tally even though you personally never benefit from the life insurance. » Read more..