The purpose of estate planning is, primarily, to ensure that your family is taken care of in the future. One cannot know when a tragic life-changing event, such as disability or death, may occur. Putting an estate plan in place, ahead of time, for your family’s needs is wise, loving and responsible. While a family copes with an inevitable life-changing event, they may also be struggling with the burdens and anxiety of having to address estate matters. The question is whether these estate matters will be guided by a thoughtfully developed estate plan, or by the courts and attorneys, or a person the court decides to appoint. A poorly planned estate, or unplanned estate, often results in family confusion and turmoil, unnecessary court costs, needless taxes, and attorney fees. In those difficult situations, those involved, family members, attorneys, courts, do their best to come up with a plan. A thoughtful estate plan will accomplish your best intentions so much more effectively.
Since these situations are uncomfortable to ponder, it is a high mark of personal maturity, discipline, and love to provide for family and loved ones in anticipation of inevitable life-changing events.
Whatever estate planning is right for your situation, it is important to your heirs that you plan ahead. The State of Minnesota has set plans and procedures in place to administer an individual’s estate in the event of his or her disability or death unless he or she has otherwise opted out by installing his or her own estate plan and procedures. The state’s ways of handling a person’s affairs are rarely satisfactory. “Messy” and “expensive” are good ways of describing what will occur if a person does not opt out of the state’s plans and procedures.
By taking control and engaging in estate planning before it is needed, our clients save their loved ones unnecessary chaos, delays, costs, taxes, frustration, fear and insecurity.
No matter your net worth, it’s important to have a basic estate plan in place to ensure that your wishes are carried out and that your assets are protected from probate. These basic documents include a Will, a Power of Attorney, and a Health Care Directive. In addition, if you have minor children, a basic estate plan should also designate a custodian who will obtain guardianship of your minor child or children if you and your spouse die.
Estate planning is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. It is also a personal process that plans for your future as well as that of your family. Taking advantage of sound estate planning techniques can help you minimize taxes, avoid probate, and protect your assets. Effective estate planning can also provide you with another invaluable benefit — peace of mind. Estate planning is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. It is also a personal process that plans for your future as well as that of your family. Our firm is equipped to offer services ranging from simple wills to complex estate planning including:
- Simple Wills and Trusts
- Revocable Living Trusts
- Health Care Directives and Health Care Powers of Attorney
- Powers of Attorney
- Marital Tax Trusts and other Testamentary Trusts
- Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
- Charitable Remainder and Lead Trusts
- Supplemental and Special Needs Trusts
- Medical Assistance Planning
- Guardianships and Conservatorships