Archive for August 27, 2012

14 Misconceptions Regarding Estate Planning

Mistake #1: A Will controls the distribution of all of the deceased’s possessions. Reality: The Will only controls the distribution of the deceased’s “probate estate”. Not included in the probate estate are jointly held property, transfer on death (T.O.D.) accounts, payable on death (P.O.D.) accounts, and property that passes based on beneficiary designations. For example, life insurance proceeds and retirement benefits pass based on beneficiary designations. » Read more..

Options for the Family Cabin Hand-off to the Next Generation

The hand-off of the family cabin or vacation home to the next generation is fraught with emotional, legal and financial considerations at any time, but particularly when the goal is to keep the cabin or vacation home in the family.

There are several options in Minnesota for executing the hand-off – each with its own pros and cons. » Read more..

Ways for Minors to Receive Gifts or Inherit Assets in Minnesota

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..

Ways to Divide Your Personal Stuff While Keeping the Family Peace

Who Gets Aunt Lilly’s Handmade Kitchen Cupboard? Grandpa’s Favorite Fishing Pole? When we’re headed to heaven, we don’t want hellish feuds to break out among the family members over “the stuff” that we leave behind. So what are the pros and cons for various methods of dividing the family keepsakes so as to achieve family peace on earth? » Read more..

Testamentary Trusts v. Revocable Living Trusts

Which is better – a trust written inside a Will (a Testamentary Trust), or a Revocable Living Trust?  The answer depends upon your situation and preferences.

A Testamentary Trust only becomes effective upon your death, at which time the trust becomes irrevocable. A Revocable Living Trust is effective as soon as you create it during your lifetime, and is amendable and revocable until you become mentally incapacitated or die.  » Read more..