It is not uncommon during the life a testator that he or she will come to reconsider all or part of his or her will, and seek to revoke it. Will revocation in Minnesota requires compliance with specific statutory procedures, and as long as these are adhered to then the law will presume that the testator meant to revoke and replace the old will with a new one, instead of merely supplementing the existing will.
While it is true that the law in Minnesota provides for the distribution of assets after your death even if you do not leave a valid will, estate planning allows you to avoid potential pitfalls. The laws of intestacy under which your assets are distributed to your heirs after your death may not provide for your family as you might have in a will.
We recently posted tips to help you to avoid family conflicts over your estate. However, we are also mindful of the fact that some people may not be satisfied with how you have provided for them in your estate plan. For those beneficiaries of your estate, the law offers you an option that might make them think twice before pursuing a will contest.
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.
While many Minnesota residents may be familiar with the traditional big three estate planning considerations, they may not be as aware of other things that should be taken into account. Historically, estate planning has been conducted with an eye toward taxes, family and charity. With changing laws, however, these are not the only three areas that should be considered when planning an estate.
Many Minnesota residents purchase life insurance as a part of their overall estate plans. Although the purchase of life insurance is generally straightforward, people should be aware of some common pitfalls that may be encountered in designating beneficiaries.
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 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.