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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..
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Surprise! Beneficiary designations on assets such as life insurance and retirement accounts trump anything that you state in your Will or Trust.
Thus, your estate plan is not finished just because you’ve signed a Will or Trust. You also must review your beneficiary designations to ensure that they are in sync with your overall estate plan wishes.
Several types of assets allow beneficiary designations, such as life insurance, retirement plans, health savings accounts, annuities, 529 accounts, Payable on Death (P.O.D.) accounts and Transfer on Death (T.O.D.) accounts. » Read more..
Typically, people want to avoid probate, but there are times when probate is the better path.
(Probate is a legal process in which a court formally appoints a personal representative to administer the deceased’s estate. Probate may occur whether or not the deceased had a Will. When the deceased’s Will names someone to be the personal representative, the selection is considered a “nomination” – not an appointment. It is the court that “appoints” and provides the official documentation that enables the nominated personal representative to act.)
People often prefer to avoid probate because the probate process is public, takes time, costs money, and involves some hassle.
But sometimes probate may be the preferred — or required — path because the court can resolve issues, thereby reducing pressure on the personal representative. Some examples are: » Read more..
Although most Minnesotans seek to avoid probate, there are pros to probate as well as cons.
Because probate involves the court — an open and public process — probate provides a level of transparency to all potential heirs and beneficiaries that may not exist otherwise. » Read more..
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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..
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One Minnesotan’s probate action may differ considerably from that of another’s.
If you die with more than $50,000 in assets in your name alone, or own real estate in your name alone, a probate proceeding is required in Minnesota to handle the transfer of your assets.
For most Minnesotans, probate is either “formal” or “informal”. Formal proceedings are of two types: “supervised” or “unsupervised” by the Probate Court. Informal proceedings are always unsupervised, and entail little court involvement. Supervised proceedings involve considerable Court involvement. » 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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“Trust fund baby” implies someone born into a wealthy family, but even families with less than $1 million in assets can benefit from a revocable trust.
A key benefit of trust is to control the ages at which children receive their inheritance when both parents die. Without a trust, sons and daughters as young as 18 years of age receive full distribution of their inheritance in Minnesota. Alternatively, a trust allows parents to preselect the ages that their children must reach before receiving any trust assets, and not all of the trust assets need to be distributed at once. For example, parents could let a child inherit one-third (1/3) of their trust inheritance at age 30, half of the remainder at age 35 and the rest at age 40. That way, the children aren’t in danger of losing everything should they make foolish mistakes with their initial distribution from the trust. » Read more..
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