Few people think of estate planning as a fun activity. In fact, most people put it off as long as possible. It's a bit like scheduling a dentist appointment: you know you should do it, and that it's good for you, but you end up coming up with one excuse after another not to make the call. You will do it tomorrow, you tell yourself, or maybe after the kids go on summer vacation. You will get to it eventually... just not today. There are a few common reasons why people delay estate planning.
It might sound crazy to think anyone would or should ever turn down an inheritance. In some cases, however, there are good reasons to say "no" to a bequest. Here are just a handful of reasons why a beneficiary might choose to decline an inheritance.
Leaving an adult child out of a will is a personal decision that is often fraught with emotion and difficulty. It is perfectly legal to disinherit a child, however, it is a big decision. As with any decision of this magnitude, it's important you're doing it for the right reasons. Here are a few things to consider.
When a trustee becomes incapacitated or dies, a successor trustee must take over. This makes the successor trustee responsible for fulfilling all of the trustee's obligations, including maintaining records of any income the trust receives and keeping records of any expenses paid. In certain cases, a successor trustee must also file income tax returns and open a bank account on behalf of the trust.
Although many people think of trusts as something only for the very wealthy, trusts are appropriate estate planning tools for a wide variety of estates, including those with modest assets.
Although same-sex marriage has been legal in Minnesota since 2013, the rights of such couples remained unsettled in many states, where gay marriage was not recognized. For years, gay couples struggled with uncertain laws that required them to jump through legal hoops to ensure their rights and property were protected regardless of where they lived or owned property.
Unfortunately, the elderly are a frequent target of dishonest companies and individuals who attempt to capitalize on seniors' financial fears. Many of these companies sell trusts and annuities that end up harming a senior's finances instead of improving or preserving them.
Trust administration requires the fiduciary to perform very specific and important tasks. The fiduciary, or trust administrator, is the person named by the grantor who will be responsible for administering the trust and protecting its assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries.
Minnesota readers who have followed the story of Robin Williams' death may be interested in the steps the late comedian took for the disposition of his assets. Rather than relying solely on a will, Williams made use of at least one revocable trust as an estate planning instrument. The use of a revocable trust will likely grant Williams' heirs some estate tax benefits while also allowing avoidance of some complications that are common following the deaths of celebrities and other wealthy individuals. Not least among the concerns in a case like this is keeping the wishes of the deceased private. While a will is still generally considered the first and most basic document for estate planning, wills are subject to potentially arduous probate and may be made public during the process.
According to a recent article, Minnesota residents may want to think carefully before forming an irrevocable trust. One of the primary differences between an irrevocable trust and a revocable trust is the ease or difficulty involved in making changes to the structure of the instrument. In the case of an irrevocable trust, for example, all trustees, beneficiaries and other parties involved must agree to changes before they can be formalized. In case of a revocable trust, an older version can be revoked in favor of a new trust as often as desired.