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explore, the idea that estate planning is only about preserving assets that can then be passed on to one's heirs is an outdated notion.
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.
On a very basic level, estate planning can be seen as a way to provide for and protect loved ones. Knowing this, it is beneficial to carefully lay out the details of a will, trust or other legal instruments used during the planning process.
Over the last few generations, the face of the American family has changed. For example, many people are getting remarried and creating blended families that include children from previous marriages, in addition to the potential of children brought into the family during the new marriage.
Deciding who will be named executor of an estate can be a tricky process. Some people know very quickly who would be willing to carry out the terms of a will. At the same time, others might take more time to identify the right executor.
As a person prepares to make an estate plan, he or she will obviously think of the most valued things in life. For many people, family and close friends immediately come to mind. In other cases, some people also place a high value on benefitting certain causes. As such, it is possible to include estate planning tools for the purpose of charitable giving.
Getting together with loved ones during the holiday season is something many people look forward to. Of course, many Minnesota families will beat the cold with a meal and gift giving. At the same time, the holidays can provide the perfect chance to have quality conversations with family members.
Determining who will be appointed as executor of an estate is a very important aspect of estate planning. The person who assumes this role is responsible for ensuring that payments are made from the estate according to plan. Failure to uphold this duty, in accord with a will or relevant Minnesota estate laws, can cause serious issues for beneficiaries.
Most Minnesota residents can see the logic in having a will. However, a will is only one part of estate planning. Many individuals may need trusts in order to ensure inheritances are protected on behalf of heirs and beneficiaries.
There may be a general perception that complex estate planning is only for particularly wealthy people. Realistically, that's not the case. No matter how sizable a person's assets are, it may be important to designate beneficiaries in order to reflect personal wishes, rather than inheritance laws enforced by the state government.