The way assets are passed down has changed in recent decades due in part to the changing nature of the family. Families are smaller today than they were forty or fifty years ago and many women are choosing not to have children.
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.
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explore, the idea that estate planning is only about preserving assets that can then be passed on to one's heirs is an outdated notion.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.
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.
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.
For many people, creating a will is a practical way to protect their assets and loved ones. As such, a person can take the steps to have his or her final wishes respected by gathering the necessary financial documents, visiting with an attorney and creating an estate plan.
Losing a family member is a stressful experience, no matter the circumstances. Between sorting through emotions and financial affairs, there is a lot to be concerned about. In order to prevent loved ones’ headaches, a person might create a will to spell out who they want to receive certain assets or property. However, wills alone may not be enough.
Do you want to know more about estate planning and/or disability planning? Consider attending one of our scheduled community education classes this fall. Below are links to our specific classes held in the South Washington School District Area. Additionally, Amanda will hold a class on October 8 in Apple Valley (District 196 Community Education) and Jeff will hold a class on October 23 in St. Louis Park.
One of the most complicated aspects of creating an estate plan is how to accommodate tax laws. If a will isn't carefully planned, a person's heirs could find themselves on the hook for an estate tax bill that is larger than anticipated. This can be especially tricky when accommodating both federal and state taxes.