Jeffrey P. Scott & Associates

St. Paul Probate & Estate Administration Law Blog

Common mistakes to avoid making with your estate plan

There are numerous mistakes to avoid making on a will or trust that could compromise the inheritances your beneficiaries will receive. One mistake you can make involves creating your own will.

You probably also know that you need more than a simple will in an estate plan. However, there are plenty of other actions to avoid because they can either be expensive and lengthy to fix or can compromise how much money your children end up receiving. 

Uncle Ned named you as his executor—now what?

You were happy to agree when your favorite uncle approached you about becoming the executor of his estate. However, you could not have foreseen his sudden demise. Now, the family is turning to you to deal with his final wishes and instructions. How do you proceed?

Distribute death certificates

What is a trustee?

Much of estate planning involves naming people, such as the beneficiaries of a will and financial accounts, the executor of the estate, powers of attorney and so on. If you wish to establish a trust as part of your plans, then you will also need to name a trustee.

To make the best decision on who that person should be, you first need to understand the duties and laws regarding this role.

How to make estate planning easier on yourself

Estate planning may seem like one of these dreadful but necessary tasks of adulthood. As such, it is something that quite a few folks put off and off, making it harder on themselves than it has to be.

So, what can you do to make estate planning easier on yourself and to get started as soon as possible?

Three important goals for estate planning

Many people dread estate planning and think of it only as writing a will or setting up a trust. Of course, there may different aspects to the process, but estate planning is far more than that. As the name suggests, it is the more significant process of planning for the future and caring for your loved ones. Planning of any kind requires that you have goals, and the following are just a few of the goals that you should consider. 

Whether you are recently married, had children or acquired new assets, it is always a good idea to continually update your estate plan. If you do not yet have one, you should reach out to a legal representative to get started as soon as possible. Keep the following three goals in mind as you do so: 

3 steps to take before moving a parent into assisted living

It is never an easy decision to move parents into an assisted living facility. They may be resistant toward the idea and you might fear they will lose their independence. These reservations are understandable, but the truth remains that a nursing home is sometimes the best option. If you have come to this conclusion, there are a few things you should know before you make the next move.

Consider the following three steps before you progress with assisted living for your loved one. Preparation is an important part of the process, and it is vital that you partner with your parent along every step of the way. The following tips can make this transition go smoothly and minimize stress.

Understanding probate litigation

Probate litigation typically arises when a family member or another interested party challenges any part of the decedent's estate plan. In such a situation, a normally straightforward probate process can turn into months and even years of expensive wrangling.

Considering your estate planning with an eye to likely sources of conflict can help you take steps to decrease the chances of future litigation. A qualified attorney can provide advice and strategic options to help avoid problems.

Choosing a personal representative for a Minnesota estate

When the time comes for your estate to go to probate, someone will need to act on behalf of the estate. This personal representative is commonly also referred to as the executor.

You can designate your personal representative in your will. If you do not, the court will appoint one, usually from among your close family circle. However, just because someone is a close relation does not mean he or she is the best person to oversee the probate process according to your wishes. Understanding what the personal representative will need to do can help you assess whom you can trust to fulfill these duties effectively.

Leaving property to Fido and other mistakes with wills

Wills can be important legal documents that ensure your loved ones carry out your wishes after you die. However, some people make mistakes that lead to confusion or bumps in the probate process. These errors also mean that their wishes do not get carried out sometimes.

So what are these mistakes?

3 steps of probate court

Everybody wants to be sure that their family receives the care they need when they pass away. Though it can be stressful to consider the future and plan for such events, drafting a will or trust is imperative to ensuring the fair distribution and division of your property and sparing your loved ones the task of dividing it. Without a will or trust, this task often results in disputes within the family that go through probate.

Probate is the court system dedicated to handling a person’s belongings and property after he or she dies. If you have a will or trust in place, the court will simply verify the document. If not, the court will typically take the following steps in order to manage your estate.

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Jeffrey P. Scott & Associates

Jeffrey P. Scott & Associates LLC
2356 University Avenue West, Suite 400 | St. Paul, MN 55114
Phone: 651-968-1457 Toll free: 866-442-3092
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