For some Minnesota residents, establishing a trust may be a helpful if not essential part of their estate planning. Trusts fall into two basic categories: testamentary and living. Testamentary trusts, as established in the will itself, takes effect only after the death of the will's owner, known as a trustor. A living trust may be enacted while the trustor is still alive.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Care needs to be taken to minimize the amount of taxes that will be paid either through gifting or inheritance. Gifting is one of a number of tax exemptions individuals can use to reduce the amount of estate taxes.