St. Paul Probate & Estate Administration Law Blog

Are you planning your estate the right way?

Most people know they need an estate plan in place for when they eventually pass away. This can be easier said than done. A lot of people have no idea where to start with their estate plans, which is why it is crucial to set some clear, attainable goals. 

For starters, Minnesota has one of the highest state income tax rates in the country. When you develop your estate plan, you should try to make it in such a way to where your beneficiaries pay as little tax as possible. This requires a unique approach and some legal assistance. Here are some other common goals you may want to keep in mind as you craft your last will and testament. 

Talk to your family about your will

Many Hollywood films have glorified the "reading of the will." In these scenes, loved ones learn what they will receive from the deceased party during a physical meeting with the lawyer. Most of the time, there is some surprising information, such as one person receiving a large inheritance. 

In real life, you do not want there to be any surprises after you pass away. Everyone should know what they will receive in your will or trust. Unfortunately, many people are uncomfortable talking about death and money in the same conversation. However, it is a vital step to take to ensure there are no complications after your passing. 

4 reasons to avoid DIY wills

Numerous articles have popped up in recent years telling people to make their wills without a lawyer. With the advent of the internet, it has never been simpler to make your own will, but you need to be cautious of this. 

You want to have professional help when it comes to crafting your estate planning documents. You seriously jeopardize your loved ones receiving the assets you want to leave them when you write a will independently. 

Common mistakes of married couples in estate planning

Estate plans help provide estate holders with peace of mind that the set process will ensure the proper handling of their assets once they have passed. This is essential for those who desire to provide for or help others even after they pass.

Particularly for couples, an estate plan is important, and improper planning may leave some areas uncovered. To help prevent this, there are a few common mistakes to avoid.

Common mistakes to avoid making with your estate plan

There are numerous mistakes to avoid making on a will or trust that could compromise the inheritances your beneficiaries will receive. One mistake you can make involves creating your own will.

You probably also know that you need more than a simple will in an estate plan. However, there are plenty of other actions to avoid because they can either be expensive and lengthy to fix or can compromise how much money your children end up receiving. 

Uncle Ned named you as his executor—now what?

You were happy to agree when your favorite uncle approached you about becoming the executor of his estate. However, you could not have foreseen his sudden demise. Now, the family is turning to you to deal with his final wishes and instructions. How do you proceed?

Distribute death certificates

What is a trustee?

Much of estate planning involves naming people, such as the beneficiaries of a will and financial accounts, the executor of the estate, powers of attorney and so on. If you wish to establish a trust as part of your plans, then you will also need to name a trustee.

To make the best decision on who that person should be, you first need to understand the duties and laws regarding this role.

How to make estate planning easier on yourself

Estate planning may seem like one of these dreadful but necessary tasks of adulthood. As such, it is something that quite a few folks put off and off, making it harder on themselves than it has to be.

So, what can you do to make estate planning easier on yourself and to get started as soon as possible?

Three important goals for estate planning

Many people dread estate planning and think of it only as writing a will or setting up a trust. Of course, there may different aspects to the process, but estate planning is far more than that. As the name suggests, it is the more significant process of planning for the future and caring for your loved ones. Planning of any kind requires that you have goals, and the following are just a few of the goals that you should consider. 

Whether you are recently married, had children or acquired new assets, it is always a good idea to continually update your estate plan. If you do not yet have one, you should reach out to a legal representative to get started as soon as possible. Keep the following three goals in mind as you do so: 

3 steps to take before moving a parent into assisted living

It is never an easy decision to move parents into an assisted living facility. They may be resistant toward the idea and you might fear they will lose their independence. These reservations are understandable, but the truth remains that a nursing home is sometimes the best option. If you have come to this conclusion, there are a few things you should know before you make the next move.

Consider the following three steps before you progress with assisted living for your loved one. Preparation is an important part of the process, and it is vital that you partner with your parent along every step of the way. The following tips can make this transition go smoothly and minimize stress.

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