ESTATE & TRUSTS
Planning For Life Transitions
Estate & Trusts 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.
IS IT TIME TO REVIEW OR UPDATE YOUR ESTATE PLAN DOCUMENTS?
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.
PEACE OF MIND
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.
- Power of Attorney
- Healthcare Directives
- Nuptial Agreements
- Estate and gift tax planning
- Business Succession Planning
- Business Formation