The Time is Now!
When should I plan my estate is a common question. Many people do not begin to think about it while they are young. Oftentimes, they don’t really think about it at all. However, there is a huge problem with putting off estate planning. Putting off developing an estate plan be a costly mistake. The problem with failing to have a plan in place at all or failing to update a plan is that you may find yourself in a situation where you are no longer able to make the changes that you want for the benefit of either yourself or your loved ones.
In Minnesota, a valid Will has five requirements. The testator must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind to make a will, the will must be in writing, the will must be signed by you, another person at your direction and in your presence, or by your conservator pursuant to a court order, the will must be witnessed by at least two people who must also sign the will, and you must intend for the document to operate as a will.
The phrase “of sound mind to make a will” means that the testator is competent, knows what they are signing, and understands the legal ramifications of the document they are signing. If an individual is not “of sound mind” then the Will is not valid. Waiting to have a plan in place is like a roll of the dice. If an accident incapacitates you then you will be unable to create an estate plan and a court may end up appointing a guardian, conservator, or both to manage your affairs. Nowadays, people are living longer. As a result, diseases such as Alzheimer’s are on the rise. A diagnosis of dementia will mean that the individual is not competent to make a Will or make changes to a Will. An individual will be prohibited from changing Transfer on Death beneficiaries on accounts.
An estate plan must be created early. It must be updated regularly. You do not want to be in a position where changes to a Will need to be made but the testator is incompetent to make them. This might result in a costly and time-consuming probate process. If you would like to discuss creating an estate plan or determining whether your plan needs updating, please do not hesitate to call our office at 612-827-3833.