Tag Archive for second marriage

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..

Second Marriage? No Will?

Minnesotans in a 2nd marriage that fail to sign a Will before death may fall victim to unintended consequences.

Minnesota law applies when there is no Will, and those laws may not be what the parties to the 2nd marriage expected.

For example, spouses often expect to inherit all of their deceased spouse’s assets even when spouses are in a 2nd marriage. That expectation is wrong if the deceased has children from a 1st marriage and the deceased did not create a Will giving everything to the surviving spouse. When there is no Will, but there are children from the deceased’s 1st marriage, Minnesota law states that the surviving spouse is to receive “the first $225,000” plus ½ of the rest. The other assets go to the deceased’s descendants. » Read more..

First Marriage: Should You Sign that Pre-Nup?

Pre-nuptial agreements are most commonly used, and probably make the most sense, when the persons contemplating marriage have children from a previous marriage and desire to protect the children’s inheritance. Pre-nups may also have merit when the net worth of the two parties are vastly different, or when one party has business interests that need protecting so that a later divorce doesn’t create havoc for the party’s business partners.

However, for most first marriages, a pre-nup may cause more harm than good. » Read more..

Why You Need an Estate Plan

Consider these consequences if you die in Minnesota without an estate plan: » Read more..

Second Marriage? Don’t Forget the Trust & the Pre-Nup & the Retirement Plan Waiver

Adults entering second marriages, but having children from a first marriage, should have a pre-nuptial agreement, a trust, and a qualified retirement plan waiver. Relying on a trust alone may not work because the new spouse could challenge the trust under Minnesota law. And, the only way that a new spouse can be waived as the beneficiary of a “qualified retirement plan” is if the new spouse does the waiving.  » Read more..

Don’t Let Titling and Beneficiary Designation Mistakes Spoil Your Estate Plan

Your best-laid plans for the distribution of your wealth at your death may go badly awry if you stumble with the titling of your assets and/or designation of beneficiaries.

For various types of assets, your beneficiary designations trump any language in your will or trust. Meanwhile, your trust is worthless if there is nothing in it. To make things even more confusing, assets that are “jointly held with right of survivorship” transfer outside your will and trust to the other joint holders of the asset. » Read more..