March 2016 Archives

Is It Time for Your Elderly Parent to Stop Driving?

No one wants to be the one to step in and tell mom or dad that it's time to stop driving. Driving is an activity that symbolizes independence and mobility. Because of this, some seniors tend to drive far longer than they should. On the other hand, you want your parent to be safe. You also want to ensure the safety of other drivers on the road.

5 Common Family Estate Planning Conflicts

When an elderly loved one requires ongoing care and assistance, it's common for family members to disagree about caregivers, the type and frequency of care, and whether the older loved one should remain at home or live in a residential care facility. Additionally, many families delay making these important decisions until an aging loved one is critically ill or unable to live independently. In these stressful times, family conflicts are far too frequent. The following disagreements are among the most common.

Why You Should Avoid Last-Minute Estate Planning

According to a 2014 survey cited by Forbes, fifty-one percent of Americans between the ages of 55 to 64 don't have an estate plan. In many cases, people scramble to put together an estate plan in the face of a sudden health crisis. Other times, they wait until they are seriously ill or debilitated to plan. Both scenarios can lead to problems.

What Does It Mean to Be a Successor Trustee?

When a trustee becomes incapacitated or dies, a successor trustee must take over. This makes the successor trustee responsible for fulfilling all of the trustee's obligations, including maintaining records of any income the trust receives and keeping records of any expenses paid. In certain cases, a successor trustee must also file income tax returns and open a bank account on behalf of the trust.

Got a Trust? Don't Forget to Fund It

Today, many comprehensive estate plans include living trusts. Prepared properly, a living trust is a powerful estate planning document that allows you to change it throughout your lifetime. If you neglect to fund your trust, however, the trust may actually be completely ineffective. For your trust to work the way you intended, you need to "fund" it.

Protecting Assets in a Second Marriage

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 15 percent of Americans report having been married more than once. Whether you're remarrying for the first or the fifth time, it's important to create an estate plan that protects your assets and your loved ones. Here are a few things to consider:

When Your Parent Needs Long-Term Care

Placing an aging parent in a nursing home or long-term care facility is one of the most difficult decisions an adult child will make. Although the parent may need medical care and assistance, realizing the parent is incapacitated can be heartbreaking to the children. This situation is even worse when the parent resists the move.

Someone Is Contesting My Loved One's Will. What Should I Do?

Losing a beloved parent or family member is an emotional time. After such a loss, surviving family members need time to grieve, remember, and heal. They must also deal with practical matters, such as taking care of their loved one's estate. In most cases, this is accomplished without any problems. Although relatively rare, there are occasions when someone contests the validity of the will. If someone has contested your loved one's last will and testament, it's important to speak to an experienced Minnesota probate attorney immediately.

Facts about Advance Directives for Health Care

No one really likes to contemplate the possibility of being incapacitated, terminally ill, or unable to function normally. Although these are unpleasant things to think about, planning in advance can provide the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have appointed someone trustworthy and caring to look out for you if you can no longer look after yourself.

Estate Planning Rights for Same-Sex Couples

Although same-sex marriage has been legal in Minnesota since 2013, the rights of such couples remained unsettled in many states, where gay marriage was not recognized. For years, gay couples struggled with uncertain laws that required them to jump through legal hoops to ensure their rights and property were protected regardless of where they lived or owned property.

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