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September 2016 Archives

Estate planning cannot be window-shopped on the internet

The internet is a superb self-educator for the layman on a vast array of once-sheltered professional areas of knowledge. For example, a patient in Minnesota or any other state can now research medical databases and become as erudite on a particular disease process as desired. If there is a hidden danger in this exciting technology, it is that people will tend to believe that they no longer need professional representation to do even complex projects. One of those areas where such thinking can backfire and create potentially serious problems is in estate planning.

Estate planning requires naming a personal representative

The personal representative is the person that one appoints in a will to administer the estate. There are other names that mean the same thing from state to state, but the term personal representative is all inclusive and generally applies in all states. The will is of course a central document of the estate planning process in Minnesota and elsewhere.

Estate planning includes long-term care preparations

Long-term care planning in Minnesota deals with the post-retirement years and the potential need for home care services or residential care in a nursing home or similar institution. The estate planning process should take these concerns into consideration in making a complete estate plan. Of course, this is not the kind of concern that pertains to people who die peacefully in their sleep while still fully functional.

Good estate planning program calls for five-year review

In Minnesota, like everywhere else, it is beneficial for people to create a plan for the distribution of their assets to loved ones both during life and after death. For those who do not have an estate plan, it is not too late to consult with an estate planning attorney and get the ball rolling forward. For those who already have a plan in place, they need to remember to check their plans for updates at least every five years.

Estate Planning may be used to protect assets from creditors

The general rule in Minnesota is that if a person is not a cosigner or primary account borrower on a credit account or loan, he or she will not be personally responsible if the borrower on the account dies. This means that heirs and executors for a decedent's estate cannot be responsible to personally pay off the deceased person's bills. The issue is often raised when family members meet with their estate planning attorney to devise an estate plan for one or more of them.

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Rochester, MN 55904

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