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Estate Planning Archives

Avoiding mistakes on beneficiary forms

Estate planning is a complex process that is in some sense unique to each Minnesota resident. A person's family relationships and charitable choices have can have an enormous impact, and outlining how assets are distributed can be complicated. With so many factors to consider, there are many ways for a will to go wrong, and simply the act of naming beneficiaries has many pitfalls of which to be wary.

Same-Sex Estate Planning

Same-sex marriage is arguably one of the most prominent topics in the nation today. In light of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in U.S. v. Windsor, which invalidated significant portions of the Defense of Marriage Act, along with a series of federal court decisions and legislative actions legalizing gay marriage in states (including Minnesota) across the country, it's no surprise that many same-sex couples have questions about how these evolving laws impact their estate plans.

Probate in Minnesota

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.

Wills make difficult times more manageable

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.

How Divorce Affects Your Estate Plan

A divorce is usually an emotionally and financially turbulent time. Understandably, estate planning may be your last priority when you're facing the breakup of your marriage. Once your divorce is final, however, it's important to turn your attention to your estate documents.

Options in estate planning

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.

Common estate planning missteps

Minnesota residents are likely aware that many people find it difficult to consider what happens after they pass away. However, they may be surprised to learn how many lack even a rudimentary estate plan. A recent survey by an online legal services company found that 64 percent of Americans have not made a last will and testament. If these individuals decide to take action and put an estate plan into place, there are common pitfalls that they would be wise to avoid.

Ranking assets included in estate plans

Minnesota residents who are involved in planning their estates might be interested in a recent article discussing tax incentives for holding on to different assets. This might be an important issue to consider if a benefactor has to choose an asset to liquidate in order to pay off certain accounts.

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