When a person owns a non-qualified deferred annuity and leaves it to a designated beneficiary other than a surviving spouse, the beneficiary will then have several different options to receive the funds. It is important to understand the different options and then to choose wisely for the greatest benefit.
One of the biggest errors baby boomers tend to make is failing to complete their estate plans because they either think the plans are unnecessary or they simply put them off. Failing to complete estate plans can leave families dealing with protracted court processes and dwindling assets due to higher taxes. It is thus important for baby boomers to have not only retirement plans in place, but also estate plans.
Minnesota residents may be interested in some of the major ways that estate and gift taxes can be avoided through proper estate planning. This can alleviate leaving a large tax burden on an estate, limiting the amount of wealth left to loved ones after death.
Failure to update an estate plan can lead to bitter disputes among heirs, and this was illustrated when the actor Heath Ledger passed away. Ledger died without adding his daughter to his will, which resulted in a costly and public legal battle. Joan Rivers was one celebrity who managed to avoid such pitfalls. The actress updated her will regularly, and the prudent use of trusts kept the details of her estate plan confidential.
For some Minnesota residents, establishing a trust may be a helpful if not essential part of their estate planning. Trusts fall into two basic categories: testamentary and living. Testamentary trusts, as established in the will itself, takes effect only after the death of the will's owner, known as a trustor. A living trust may be enacted while the trustor is still alive.
Individuals who are making a will and reside in or own property in Minnesota may wish to understand more about the probate process. After an individual's death, it may be necessary to settle the estate in court, and this process known as probate. Some wills must be filed in probate court, and once the assets are distributed and debts are settled, probate ends.
Estate planning is one of the most difficult things a Minnesota resident can do, but taking care of the details covered by such a plan can make a person's passing easier on those who remain. Wills are important for people of all ages, and can have an effect on how a person's property is divided after death.
Many people in Minnesota struggle over how to best handle their estates in a way that makes things easier for their heirs. Certain types of assets, such as life insurance benefits and retirement accounts, go to named beneficiaries. Homes that have a title with joint survivorship usually pass to the surviving owner. However, arrangements must be made for the distribution of other assets using either a will or revocable trust.
Representatives of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman filed his will in probate court. Hoffman died in February having a will that leaves his entire estate to a woman named in the will as his "friend and companion." The woman, Mimi O'Donnell, the mother of his three children, was treated essentially as a spouse, according to additional papers filed with the court.
Anyone who is looking to avoid the probate process may wish to put their assets into a revocable trust. Like a will, a revocable trust can be amended to suit the needs of the person administering the trust. The advantages of a revocable trust in addition to avoiding probate include the ease of is administration as well as the lower cost of a revocable trust compared to an irrevocable trust.