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Estate Planning Archives

Steps to protect a digital estate

Minnesota readers might be interested to know about a part of estate planning that many people do not consider frequently. Social media and a person's internet presence has become very important, and certain difficulties might arise if a person does not consider provisions regarding those accounts during estate planning. There have been many cases where people have died unexpectedly and their families have been denied access to their email, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman's will expresses his intentions

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.

The benefits of revocable trusts for Minnesota residents

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.

Even young and childless individuals need to have an estate plan

More individuals are single and growing older without children. In these circumstances deciding where one's estate should be distributed may be more complicated. This person may also need to make choices concerning the person they will trust to make certain their wishes concerning the distribution are fulfilled.

Why do I need an estate plan?

The purpose of estate planning is to maintain autonomy.  To make your own decisions, and avoid others getting involved in your personal matters.  Done properly, an estate plan can save hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes and professional fees.  When a person becomes disabled or dies without an estate plan, the options are limited, usually expensive, and nearly always involve the courts.  That involves lawyers, fees, and administrations that last months or years.  Is that what you want?  Is that what you want for your family?  Having a good estate plan is about control, in the best sense.  It's about self-control. 

Estate planning strategies concerning real estate assets

As older individuals are becoming increasingly more active, there are also differing strategies to shelter a certain amount of assets from being placed into probate.  Many individuals may also face a number of challenges that may force them to move from the home and be forced to live on more limited means.  What often results are couples owning property in more than one state that will have to be dealt with in some manner should an individual pass away.

Estate planning can benefit both you and your heirs

An out-of-state attorney wrote a column about how estate planning should concern living rather than dying.  Considering the fact that retired individuals are now attending college and looking for new areas in the world to explore, the idea that estate planning is only about preserving assets that can then be passed on to one's heirs is an outdated notion.

Passing on the family farm to the next generation

As Minnesota is so dependent upon agriculture for its livelihood, there is increasing concern that farmers will not be able to pass the farm on to their next of kin.  Without the ability to pass the farm on from generation-to-generation, startup costs may make it prohibitive for many to continue on with the practice.

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