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Rochester Business & Commercial Law Blog

Why should I avoid DIY estate planning?

It seems like everyone is so busy in Minnesota that they do not have the time to prepare for the future. No matter how much you have going on, you should not overlook the importance of getting your estate planning out of the way. It may seem convenient for you to use online will and trust creation services to make plans to settle your final affairs. However, these services are geared towards individuals who have little to no assets and simple situations. 

No two people or situations are alike. According to MarketWatch, there is a significant risk in using DIY estate planning services. Your estate planning documents should not be the same as everyone else’s. Take some time to consider the following disadvantages of DIY estate planning.

Do I need licenses or permits to start my business in Minnesota?

Depending on the type of business you plan to have in Minnesota, there may be many licenses and permits needed before you can open your doors. Applying for these may seem like a waste of time and money, but you should not take this process lightly.

According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, federal, state and local licenses and permits serve important purposes, such as the following:

  • Encourage competition
  • Certify professional competency
  • Ensure product or process effectiveness and safety
  • Inhibit fraud
  • Prevent pollution

Equifax Cyber Breach

You have likely read news reports about the theft of 143 million records from Equifax in a cyber attack. The records maintained by Equifax , a credit bureau, includes personal and confidential information such as social security numbers, full names, addresses, dates of birth, driver's license numbers, and credit card numbers. There is a good chance information about you is now for sale or has been sold to criminals.

The positive side of bankruptcy

You've heard all your life about the negative sides of bankruptcy. People try to scare you out of it, acting like you'll never get a loan again. Or they try to shame you out of it, saying you have an obligation to pay those debts and doing anything else is wrong.

Both of these perspectives are inaccurate. Bankruptcy is simply a legal tool you can use. It can not only be right in certain circumstances, but it can be the only realistic option. Plus, it's not going to ruin your financial future forever. There are plenty of ways to build your credit up, and it probably won't even take as long as you think.

Family disputes over estate matters

If you are creating an estate plan, you probably hope that your plan will make things easier for your loved ones in the future. Whether you move forward with a trust or a will, you probably expect your assets to be protected and distributed fairly, in a way that minimizes conflict within your family. Unfortunately, our law firm knows that family disputes can arise over estate matters for a variety of reasons. If you have found yourself in the middle of a dispute, whether you are an executor, beneficiary, or are affected in some other way, it is pivotal to go over your rights and the relevant laws in Minnesota.

Sometimes, families have contentious disagreements over the way that a person decided to distribute his or her assets among beneficiaries. For example, a sibling may feel that another sibling did not deserve what they were given. On the other hand, someone may have been named an executor and they may be accused of undue influence or a breach of their fiduciary duties. In some cases, these allegations are unfounded, which can make things even harder for executors.For many families, life can be challenging after a loved one passes away.

What you should know about a Minnesota power of attorney

When people in Minnesota will not be in a position to take certain actions regarding their money or property matters, they can name someone else to take care of these tasks for them. According to the Minnesota Legal Services Coalition, a person can complete a power of attorney form designating an attorney-in-fact to fulfill certain legal duties. The attorney-in-fact does not have to be an actual lawyer, although he or she could be. A spouse, adult child or other family member is often a logical choice, as whoever is designated must be completely trustworthy.

An attorney-in-fact can have the power to perform as many tasks as the power of attorney document specifies. The person, known as the principal, who creates the document has complete authority over what is included. However, only a person who is mentally competent may create a power of attorney, and the document is only good for as long as the principal remains so. If he or she becomes incapacitated, the power of attorney is no longer valid unless it is specifically noted in writing on the document. If the principal states that incapacity should not affect the validity, then the document is known as a durable power of attorney.

3 benefits to consider about LLCs

If you are thinking about starting a small business, you may want to think about its structure. Many entrepreneurs in Minnesota find that incorporating or forming LLCs are the most beneficial way for them to run their companies with minimal personal risk. According to LegalZoom, LLCs offer flexibility unlike corporations and are often much easier to manage because there are fewer requirements and rules to adhere to. 

Before you decide to file the papers for your business, you should take some time to consider if this type of business structure is right for your company. In addition to reviewing your goals, take some time to review the following three key benefits that LLCs offer. 

Beginning with the end in mind: your business exit strategy

Many people who go into business in Minnesota envision their companies growing, expanding and making them rich. According to Chron.com, one way to realize this dream is to create a way to wind up the business while it is still going strong. This process, called an exit strategy, should be a part of every business plan.

Aspects of bringing the operation to an end include fulfilling and resolving all open contracts, selling assets or transferring them and having a professional provide a valuation of the business. Addressing the issue at the beginning may make it impossible to foresee a single best strategy, so it may be wise to consider two or more possibilities and include steps toward each. 

Trusts: beyond the basics

Trusts may seem like the inevitable choice for people in Minnesota who are considering their estate planning alternatives. In fact, a trust is a tool that has many advantages and disadvantages, and the key to making this option beneficial is finding the type that best suits the circumstances. 

Findlaw notes that a trust is revocable when the trustmaker remains in control of the funds during his or her lifetime. It is irrevocable if the assets are not accessible after they are transferred to the trust. Further, some trusts are set up to assist beneficiaries in specific situations. For example, a person who has disabilities can only receive government benefits if his or her income is below a certain level. If the assets are in a special needs trust, a monthly allotment may be made that allows the disabled person to qualify for the help he or she needs. 

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