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Estate Planning

Sam and his childrenNo matter your age, it is important to have a plan in place for what will happen after your death. Common estate planning questions include:

  • Is estate planning necessary?
  • What does an estate plan include?
  • Do I need a will or a trust?
  • What’s the difference between a will and estate planning?

Did you know that if you die without a valid Will or Trust while residing in the State of Minnesota, you are said to have died “intestate” and your children or heirs will receive an “intestate share” of your property? The Court system will decide what happens to your estate and who will be appointed as a guardian or custodian if you die with a minor child.

Proper estate planning is essential for ensuring that your wishes are carried out correctly without the intervention of the State. In our first meeting we’ll talk about how you’d like your property and assets to be distributed. We’ll discuss beneficiary designations, financial accounts, real estate holdings, and family business succession (if applicable). The needs of your heirs are important, especially if you have a special needs child. We’ll make sure guardians are appointed and special needs trusts are in place. Lastly, you’ll be able to appoint someone to make health care or legal decisions for you if you are incapacitated or unable.

Typical estate planning documents include:

  • Will or Living Trust;
  • Health Care Directive;
  • Transfer On Death Deed (TODD) for real estate transfers;
  • Power of Attorney;
  • Nominated guardian or custodian in your Will or Trust, if you have children under the age of 18.

It is essential to develop a comprehensive estate plan that fully protects your real estate investments, small business and financial assets to avoid court intervention and the probate process.