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..
Minnesota’s Transfer-on-Death Deed (TODD) has been a popular estate planning tool since 2008, when a law enabling the technique became effective.
The homeowner uses a TODD to designate who should inherit a specific parcel of real estate after the homeowner’s death. The TODD must be recorded with the county recorder (or registrar of titles, as the case may be) in the Minnesota county where the property is located prior to the death of the homeowner. » Read more..
Careful! It may be best to pause before paying bills of the deceased.
It’s important to first know what the assets of the estate are, and what claims are being made against those assets. Is the estate solvent? If not, Minnesota law sets out a priority list for paying creditors. The creditors at the bottom of the priority list may not receive anything. » 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..
You don’t need to be a millionaire or billionaire to benefit from a Revocable Living Trust.
A key benefit of a Revocable Living Trust is to control the ages at which your children receive their inheritance. Without a trust, sons and daughters as young as 18 years of age receive full distribution of their inheritance in Minnesota once your estate is settled. » Read more..
Which is better – a Revocable Living Trust or a Testamentary Trust? What’s the difference between them?
As the names imply, a Revocable Living Trust exists during your lifetime whereas a Testamentary Trust becomes effective only upon your death. » Read more..
Procedures for making changes to your Minnesota Will differ from making changes to your Revocable Trust.
Even the terms describing amendments to these documents are different. An amendment to your Will is called a “Codicil” whereas an amendment to your Revocable Trust is called an “Amendment”. » Read more..
assets, heirs, incapacitated, Minnesota, probate, revocable living trust, revocable trust, Testamentary Trusts, trustee, trusts, Will
Minnesota’s Transfer on Death Deed (TODD) for real estate is a popular way for Minnesota families to try to avoid probate upon the death of the property owner.
Probate in Minnesota isn’t the onerous process that it is in some states, but probate takes time and costs money regardless. Thus, many Minnesotans try to avoid probate.
Probate is triggered in Minnesota when the deceased: (1) owns real estate in his or her name alone, or (2) owns $75,000 or more in probate assets in his or her name alone. This blog focuses solely on the first trigger – ownership of real estate. » Read more..
Chances are that you no longer remember whom you’ve named as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy. You should find out. Why? The beneficiaries that you listed with your life insurance company trump any beneficiary designations that you may have made via your Minnesota Will.
It’s also important that your loved ones know that you have a life insurance policy and where to find it. Otherwise, the life insurance money may go unclaimed! » Read more..
The danger of thinking that your Will covers the transfer of all your assets at your death is that the distribution of your assets may not end up as you intended.
Your Minnesota Will covers only what is known as your “probate assets”. If your Will provides that each of your 3 children is to inherit one-third of your estate, each child will inherit one-third of your “probate assets” only.
Stated another way, the wording of your Will has no impact on assets that are considered “non-probate assets”, and your non-probate assets may be a significant portion of your estate. » Read more..
assets, beneficiaries, estate planning lawyer, life insurance, Minnesota, non-probate assets, probate, probate assets, transfer on death deed, Trust, Will