Estate planning is the process of planning for important medical, financial, and legal choices that need to be made upon a person’s death in order to transfer their property and legacy to the next generation according to their wishes. While many find estate planning daunting or uncomfortable, the truth is it plays a vital role in helping you to protect your legacy and to provide for your friends, family, and loved ones after you’re gone.
At Johnson/Turner Legal, our estate planning lawyers in Minnesota understand that, when you turn to us for estate planning, you’re putting your legacy in our hands. It’s a responsibility we don’t take lightly. We assign an estate planning attorney, two paralegals, a client engagement specialist, and a life coach to every estate planning case to make sure you get a variety of legal perspectives.
Set up a consultation to learn more about how a Minnesota estate planning attorney can guide you through the estate planning process!
Contact us online or via phone at (320) 299-4249. We have offices in Forest Lake, Blaine, Lake Elmo, Wayzata, and Woodbury serving the Twin Cities area and all of Minnesota.
Our Will-based Estate Plan is designed for you. We understand that it never seems like a good time to think about and plan for your demise. But we also understand how important it is that you do. We have created a very comfortable experience, with fixed prices and multiple payment options. You will be glad you did.
At Johnson/Turner Legal, our experience in estate planning has allowed us to identify common interests people often share during the estate planning process. We use these interests to help you answer questions and identify how to proceed with your estate plan.
We ask every client about the following topics:
How you answer these questions determines how we proceed with the estate planning process moving forward.
For example, if you worry that there may be conflict among your family/heirs when you pass, then we’ll work with you to create airtight wills and trusts in order to ensure that your assets and property are appropriately divided among your family (or other beneficiaries). If you have anxiety about your life goals or worries about the future, then our life coach will work with you to address those issues and reclaim control of your life.
A will is a document outlining your wishes. An estate plan is a strategic and thoughtful process that typically incorporates a will plus a power of attorney (appointing an agent to sign documents on your behalf if you’re incapacitated or incompetent), and a health care directive. In some cases, it may also include a trust.
Plus—and this is critical—a proper estate plan ensures that your assets are appropriately titled and given clear direction on beneficiaries.
No family or person is the same, so no estate plans are the same. But through our years of creating precise and thoughtful estate plans, we have been able to identify some key features that apply to most people, and we’ve shaped them into plans that address some of the common estate-planning goals we’ve seen.
Our Minnesota estate planning lawyers will help you plan for the future of your estate, including some, all of, or even more than what’s listed here.
Estate planning is a complex, multi-faceted process. Every good estate plan encompasses five essential elements:
When most people hear the phrase “estate planning,” they immediately think of wills. Every individual over the age of 18 should have a will to help them decide how property and assets will be divided among friends, family members, and loved ones should they pass on or become mentally incapacitated.
Without a will, your estate will be decided based on state law. That means Minnesota state officials will decide:
A will allows you to take control of the process. With a will, you get to make the following decisions:
To draft a will in Minnesota, you must meet the following requirements:
An experienced estate planning lawyer near you can help you draft a comprehensive, secure will that accurately distributes your assets. Importantly, a Minnesota estate planning attorney can also help you modify an existing will if circumstances change, and you wish to update your will.
You should keep your will in a secure place. In Minnesota, many court administrators will hold a will for little to no expense. Your estate planning attorney in MN may also be willing to safeguard your will for you. Be sure to let multiple people know who has your will.
Trusts are often overlooked in the estate planning process, but they can be a fantastic way to preserve and distribute assets.
Living trusts allow you to determine how assets are distributed and place those resources in the care of a trustee, who will hold them until a specified event occurs. For example, you can use a trust to set aside money for your child and specify that once your child turns 25, they get access to the trust fund.
Non-revocable trusts are another option. These immediately remove assets from your ownership and place them under the care of the trustee. Revocable trusts are ones that you can still alter throughout your life.
While it might seem like a revocable trust is an obvious choice, irrevocable trusts have their benefits. For example, if you need to file for bankruptcy, assets in an irrevocable trust might be exempt from the bankruptcy process.
Some benefits of a trust include:
Many people think trusts and wills are an “either-or,” but in truth, they work best together as complementary elements in an estate plan. A trust enables you to have control over assets during your life that a will can’t provide, but a will might be a more effective tool post-death. Your estate planning attorney in Minnesota can help you draft a legally binding trust when they help you develop and enact your will.
The Health Care Directive establishes what types of care you receive should you become incapacitated or unable to make decisions for yourself.
In a Health Care Directive, you appoint one or more Health Care Agents and a Successor Agent to make medical decisions and carry out any last wishes you have. Importantly, the Health Care Directive waives HIPPA restrictions, allowing medical professionals to provide your Health Care Agent with information that would normally be restricted.
A Health Care Directive helps ensure that you have the best possible quality of life if you become incapacitated and that your last wishes are faithfully observed and carried out.
Power of Attorney grants another person the right to act on your behalf on legal and/or financial matters. For example, Power of Attorney documents allow you to specify who takes care of your bills if you become incapacitated, or who makes financial decisions if you’re unable to.
Like a Health Care Directive, you can appoint one or more Agents to have Power of Attorney. Power of Attorney goes into effect as soon as you lack the capacity to make decisions, and expires upon death.
A Transfer on Death Deed is a legal document you execute that specifies a beneficiary to inherit your property from you after death. A TODD can allow you to circumvent the probate process entirely.
In probate, your beneficiaries must take your will to court to prove it is valid. Probate is often an arduous process, particularly when bad actors try and discredit the will or drag out the process. Using documents like a trust and a TODD can help you avoid the probate process entirely, ensuring things go smoothly if you’re incapacitated or pass on.
At Johnson/Turner Legal, we’re proud to offer comprehensive elder law services. While some parts of estate planning also apply to elder law, certain processes—such as helping an elderly person obtain Medicaid—are unique to elder law. To learn more about elder law, please visit our Elder Law page.
At Johnson/Turner Legal, our team of Minnesota estate planning lawyers will do whatever we can to help you preserve your legacy. Our flat-fee pricing model provides our clients with absolute transparency, so you can feel confident moving forward with your estate planning case.
With offices in Forest Lake, Blaine, Duluth, Lake Elmo, Rochester, Wayzata, and Woodbury, we have estate planning lawyers near you!
“To build trust and provide comfort to our clients and legal professionals by reinventing the delivery of legal services.”
Senior Client Service Representative
Chief Operating Officer
Client Engagement Specialist
Client Service Representative
Head of Intake Specialist Team
Partner, Attorney, Family Law Mediator
Client Service Representative
Legal Administrative Assistant
Engagement Support Specialist
Director of Legal Practice Operations
Partner, Attorney & Family Law Mediator
Client Engagement Specialist
Our employees are the key to the success of our clients, and ultimately of the firm. We strive to create a culture that instills a sense of belonging. We want to provide our employees with a safety net, which empowers them to take risks and make leaps, while knowing that others will support, assist and, if need be, catch them. Maintaining a firm culture of shared vision, open communication, positive work environment and friendships will foster a cohesive team of professionals working together to champion the successes of our clients, our community partners, and the firm.
We believe the legal industry needs to break free from its stale and uncreative practices in order to serve the needs of today’s clients. We seek to lead the way in revolutionizing the way consumers experience legal representation. We strive to reinvent all major facets of the delivery of legal services, including how we involve our clients in our representation through information sharing and communication, how we produce legal documents, manage cases, and price our services. We understand the challenges that come with innovation, and strive to support one another’s new ideas.
We strive to ensure that our attorneys and staff are fully versed in their practice areas to provide our clients the best advice and representation. The knowledge necessary to do so includes not only mastering the letter of the law, but also understanding trends in the interpretation and application of the law. We are life long learners who know there will never come a day when we have all the answers. We nurture and rely on our strong network of relationships within the firm and beyond. We study; we reflect; we converse; and we challenge one another. Our depth of knowledge sets us apart.
We all experiences life’s challenges, whether as part of our day-to-day routines or as a result of an event or transition in one’s life. Johnson/Turner Legal strives to help its clients and the legal profession rise through such challenges. Whether by pursuing fairness and justice, by solving problems or by bringing new perspective, Johnson/Turner Legal is dedicated to building trust and providing comfort.
We are a service organization, helping people through challenges and transitions in their lives. Our work must extend beyond our clients to champion the success of our colleagues, friends and the communities at large in which we live and work. We work to improve our communities through volunteerism and leadership.