You likely have many questions about estate planning law in Minnesota. Consider this roundup your ultimate go-to for answers.
For obvious and understandable reasons, people place a huge premium on how their estate is handled after their passing. You can see this reflected in the incredible demand for the services of estate lawyers. More than 637,000 people work in the estate lawyer market, which generates over $16 billion every year.
As valuable as estate planning law services can be, not everyone understands exactly what they do. In fact, some people do not even know what estate planning is. Sooner or later, it is vital to learn about some of the foundational details of making an estate plan.
After building so much over the course of a lifetime, estate planning is your pathway to making sure that your legacy continues in the way you want it to. So what are some of the most common questions people have about estate planning law in Minnesota?
Read on to learn all about these estate planning questions and the answers to them!
What Is Minnesota Estate Planning?
After someone passes on, another person must assume ownership of their property. On top of that, other people may need to assume some of their responsibilities, like the guardianship of their children.
Of course, people have the right to determine in advance how their property and responsibilities will be passed on. An estate plan lays out what will happen with someone’s property and responsibilities in the event of their death.
On top of that, an estate plan can also manage other details, like who will make decisions for someone in the event that they are no longer able to make them for themselves.
What Is Included in an Estate Plan?
Your estate plan should be designed to account for all of your property. That includes your home and any other properties you might own. It also includes all of your bank accounts, including your retirement accounts.
If you own a business or you have control over a trust, your estate plan will also dictate who will take over them for you. An estate plan will dictate who assumes the guardianship of your children or anyone else for whom you are a guardian.
Why Is an Estate Plan So Important?
Because many people do not understand the details of probate law, not everyone takes the time to put together an official estate plan. However, this can lead to a number of problems. If you do not explicitly state who will receive your property in the event of your death, then the state may end up doing it for you.
In some cases, that simply means that your surviving spouse will receive everything. However, in other cases, it can mean that your property ends up going to a variety of people according to the judgment of the state.
The stakes can be even higher when it comes to your children. If you have a surviving spouse, they will take care of your minor children for you. If you don’t, it will be up to the state to figure out who should assume guardianship of your children after your passing.
Even if your property and guardianship end up where you would like them to, failing to make an official estate plan can leave a lot of difficult legal work for your family to deal with. They may need to go to significant efforts to prove to the state how you would have wished your property to be managed after your passing. In other cases, family members end up fighting over property or even guardianship of children when there is no estate plan in place.
What Are the Most Vital Estate Planning Documents?
One of the most important parts of estate planning is putting together wills and trusts. Your living trust will take effect immediately after your death. In this way, it is somewhat unlike a will, which can take longer to take effect.
Your living trust will designate who will control your property until more permanent arrangements can be made.
Your will dictates who receives your assets as well as who will carry out the instructions in your will. If you have minor children, it will also designate a guardian for them as well as alternate guardians in case your first choice is unavailable.
You can also establish a power of attorney. This document will allow the person you designate to manage your finances if you become unable to do so yourself before the time of your passing.
You can also create a durable power of attorney for healthcare. This document will designate someone to make decisions about your health care if you are unable to do so for yourself.
How Can I Find the Right Estate Planning Services for Me?
It is vital that you take the time to find the right attorney services to help you with your estate planning. One effective way to find the right attorney to help you is by looking at reviews online.
You may also want to look for attorneys who offer a flat fee cost for the services of their firm. That can make your costs much more predictable than working with attorneys who charge hourly rates.
Understand the Essentials of Estate Planning Law
Because estate planning law touches on such important subjects, it is vital to understand the nuances of it. Learning more about estate planning can help you make the right choices now as far as how your estate will be managed in the future. The investments you make in estate planning now will continue to make a difference for many years into the future.
To learn more about how you can find the right estate planning services for you, reach out and get in touch with us here at any time!