Planning for the future brings peace of mind today.
Estate Law is a natural fit for our family law and adoption law practices because after a life transition, such as the birth or adoption of a child, marriage or divorce, or the passing of a loved one, we understand how significantly life changes. These life events serve as reminders of how important it is to plan for the care of our children, asset preservation, property and asset distribution, or to communicate our wishes in the event of incapacitation or death. Establishing a plan can be accomplished through thoughtful discussion and detailed documentation; starting with the selection of someone to implement their plan and wishes (executor or personal representative).
For some of our family law clients, existing estate plans may be invalidated following legal proceedings such as divorce. Or, their thoughts about the designated legal guardian for their minor child changes following a significant life event. Even more often, life changes can have an impact on the finer details such as beneficiary designation on life insurance policies or retirement accounts.
These are some of the reasons we commenced our estate planning practice – to not only help individuals and families move through the transitions of life events, but to move forward with an estate plan that will mirror their life moving forward.
Estate planning is essential for all. Consider the many benefits of a thoughtful plan:
- Your care in the event of incapacitation
- The care of minor children
- Avoiding the need to probate your estate through the courts
- Prevention of unintended beneficiaries
- The distribution of assets
- Tax implications
- Avoiding disputes within the family
- Cabin planning
- Gifting of personal property
- Charity designations
- Estate and gift tax planning
- Planning for children
Having the benefit of time is a gift, not only in life, but when considering your estate plan. Time allows you to plan well in advance, giving you the opportunity to be more strategic in utilizing options that may allow you to implement ideas such as asset transfers, healthcare directives, and power of attorney. All of these, and other considerations, not only reduces the decision-making burden on loved ones, but may also minimize tax liability or asset.
Probate & estate administration, upon your death, begins with the appointment of a personal representative. This person is assuming not only important responsibilities, but also committing his or her time to properly administer your estate plan according to your wishes, and according to Minnesota statutes. In some cases, the personal representative may benefit from the support and guidance of an attorney who can help by facilitating the process and proceedings.
In addition to locating important documents and notifying entities such as: Social Security Administration, pension and annuity providers, and others of the death, the executor has several other legal responsibilities, some of which include: initiating probate proceedings, paying debts, and distributing assets; just to name a few.
Peace of Mind
There is a great sense of relief and peace of mind once you have put an estate plan in place and communicated the plan with your loved ones. Remember however, life happens, and a plan needs to be reviewed and updated to maintain its integrity and validity throughout your life. We are happy to conduct a complimentary consultation during which we can look at your current estate plan, discuss life changes that may impact the plan, and provide suggestions and recommendations.
Kirstin leads our Trust and Estate Law Practice Area at Baker Vicchiollo Law.
- Powers of attorney
- Health care directives;
- Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements,
- Estate and gift tax planning,
- Business succession planning
- Business formation
In addition to the above Kirstin has extensive experience assisting families probate wills and administer trusts. Reach out with any questions you may have.