How can you increase the odds that your children won’t fight over the family assets after your death?
Children don’t always fight after their parents’ deaths. However, family fights happen more often than you might think.
Below are some steps that you can take to help reduce the odds of a fight breaking out. » Read more..
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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..
Skipping the writing of a Will may harmfully disrupt family dynamics, may result in distributions that you didn’t want or intend, and may increase the costs of settling your estate.
A Will, properly executed under Minnesota law, is your legal instruction to your survivors as to how you want your estate divvied up after you die.
If you don’t have a Will, Minnesota law has a plan for you, which you may not like. » 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..
Thoughtful estate planning may help you build the size of your estate, rather than just focusing on what happens to your money and other possessions after you die.
A proper estate plan typically includes typical documents such as a Will and possibly a Trust, but there’s more. » 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..
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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..