Thus, it’s foolhardy to think that we can keep putting off estate planning on the premise that death is still a long ways away, or that everything will somehow work out (miraculously) according to our wishes if we do nothing. » Read more..
Tag Archive for spouse
Creating a well-thought-out estate plan is really your last gift to your family. Without such a plan, your relatives may be cursing you for the unnecessary mess that you left behind rather than having sufficient time to grieve your death and navigate ways to cope without you. » Read more..
Even if you specifically state in your Will or Trust that your spouse is disinherited, your spouse may claim as much as half of your estate if the two of you were married at least 15 years. The spouse is entitled to lesser percentages if the spouses were married to each other for fewer years. » Read more..
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..
Caution: Your spouse may face unintended financial consequences at your death if you created a Minnesota revocable trust prior to the steep climbs in the exemption from federal estate taxes that began in 2001. » Read more..
Consider these consequences if you die in Minnesota without an estate plan:
- If you and your spouse die while your children are under age 18, the State of Minnesota will select a guardian for them, and you may not like the state’s choice. Solution: A Will enables you to nominate a guardian for your minor children.
- As soon as they turn age 18, your kids will get access to all of the money and property that they inherit from you, and they’ll be able to spend the money however they wish. Solution: A Trust can be written to control the ages at which your children gain access to the money and property that they inherit from you. » Read more..