Have a will. You hear that advice repeatedly along with the warnings of what could happen to your assets if you don’t. Generally, without a will, your assets will be distributed to your relatives according to Minnesota state law, which may not be according to your wishes. But, if you do make a will, make sure that you dot your “i’s” and cross your “t’s” – a will that doesn’t meet Minnesota’s legal requirements is no better, maybe worse, than not having one at all.
Although they usually do not play a direct role in estate planning, fiduciaries serve important functions in carrying out the protection of assets and the division of assets that are essential to an effective estate plan. The executor of a will, the trustee of a trust or the agent named in a health care directive may not be part of the estate planning process, but they are important to the long-term care of an individual and to the eventual distribution of that person's assets.