IS IT TIME TO UPDATE OR CHANGE YOUR ESTATE PLAN?
Have any of these changes occurred in your life since you executed your Will or Trust? If so, we recommend updating your estate plan documents as soon as possible. In some cases, your existing will or trust may be invalidated by certain life events.
- Have you married or divorced?
- Have relatives or other beneficiaries or the executor died or has your relationship with them changed substantially and no provision is made in your will or trust for this contingency?
- Has the mental or physical condition of any of your relatives or other beneficiaries or of your executor changed substantially?
- Have you had more children or grandchildren, or have children gone to college or moved out of, or into, your home?
- Have you moved to another state?
- Have you bought, sold, or mortgaged a business or real estate?
- Have you acquired major assets (car, home, bank account)?
- Have your business or financial circumstances changed significantly (estate size, pension, salary, ownership)?
- Has Minnesota state law (or have federal tax laws) changed in a way that might affect your tax and estate planning?
If you update your estate plan, we recommend that you also update your final instructions and Will with the addresses and phone numbers of beneficiaries, trustees, executors and others mentioned in estate planning documents.
Knowing that you have planned for the inevitable brings peace of mind. Taking care of your personal business is a gift to your loved ones who will not have to go through the rigors of probate or try to determine what your wishes might have been pertaining to the care of your children, distribution of assets, or division of property. Furthermore, you can decide, ahead of time, wishes for charitable gifting, legacy planning, business succession, and designation of personal artifacts. Our experienced attorneys will walk you through all the possible considerations.
Our estate planning attorneys can help you establish a basic or contingent trust will. We will explain the difference and document your wishes including the identification of beneficiaries which can be more complex today as a result of blended families. We can help you understand and define the role of your “personal representative” or “executor” as well as the “trustee” if the contingent trust component is necessary.
Establishing a trust allows for more specific instructions on how you want assets, or a specific asset, managed and/or distributed, and some trusts can even be implemented before death. Depending on your situation and wishes, there are several types of trust to consider: contingent will trust, revocable trust, irrevocable trust, charitable trust, special needs trust, and more.
POWER OF ATTORNEY
Designating someone who can legally act on your behalf can be customized to fit various situations, duration, and conditions. Clearly stating the range of authority is important as is knowing when and how to revoke the authority. Contact our firm to execute the proper documents customized to your specific circumstances or to revoke current authorizations.
Healthcare agent, Living Will, Do Not Resuscitate Order, Medical Power of Attorney, Physician Order, are directives that some people also consider at the time of establishing a will, but may also be added as components later. Understanding each directive and its implications is important so that decisions can be made in a timely and planful manner.