April 2018 Archives

Estate planning mistakes lead to costly delays and bad outcomes

Unfortunately, too many people in Minnesota procrastinate about estate planning. This sometimes means that people die without a will, or intestate. Without an executed will, state and local laws arbitrarily manage the distribution of assets. This process generally requires family members to incur court costs. Furthermore, some relatives may have to prove their relationships to the deceased so that the court can designate them as heirs.

About charitable trusts

Minnesota residents who would like to leave a part or all of their estate to organizations that support their favorite causes may consider using charitable trusts. As estate planning tools, trusts can provide attractive tax incentives for the donors. While charitable trusts are regulated by the same principles as other types of trusts, individuals who want to benefit from the estate or tax advantages that charitable trust can offer should be aware of some important distinctions.

Estate planning and digital assets

Minnesota residents should make sure that their estate plans include provisions for their digital assets. Doing so can prevent surviving loved ones from having to handle the frustrating and sometimes expensive process of properly managing the digital assets left behind by a deceased loved one.

What should be included in an estate plan

According to a 2016 survey from Rocket Lawyer, 64 percent of Americans don't have a will. While those living in Minnesota could struggle dealing with their own mortality, estate planning can make it easier for survivors to carry out a person's final wishes. An estate plan can also have benefits for people while they are alive. For instance, it could contain language that prevents unwanted medical treatment if a person becomes incapacitated.

What to know about probate

When a person dies, it may be necessary for their estate to go through probate. While there is no guarantee of how long it will take to complete the probate process in Minnesota, most take about 24 months to finish. The process starts when an estate holder passes away. At this point, the executor will petition for probate. This can be done anywhere the deceased lived or owned property.

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