When people recognize a need to begin planning their estate, they may be instantly overwhelmed with the breadth of important decisions that are awaiting them. However, when people in Minnesota put in adequate time learning about the purpose and function of an estate plan, they may be much more confident and effective in putting together a comprehensive document that accurately depicts their final wishes.
An old saying goes, "there are two certainties in life – death and taxes." Most people assume that taxes end after death, but the truth is that that the tax man hits a deceased person's estate hard. Federal estate taxes typically amount to 45 to 55 percent of an estate's value. The family or beneficiaries must pay the taxes in cash and within nine months of a person's death. Because few Minnesota estates have the cash to pay these hefty fines, families are often forced to liquidate assets. If you do not want your family to have to liquidate assets to pay your estate's taxes, there are a few steps you can take to reduce or even eliminate estate taxes.
Your estate plan does not just have to include plans for what happens after you die. It can also include plans for managing your life and assets if something happens to you while you are alive that makes it difficult for you to do it yourself. One option you have is creating a power of attorney in Minnesota, which according to the National Caregivers Library, gives someone else authority to make decisions for you.
A health care proxy, or health care directive, is a document that names a person, or proxy, who expresses another person’s wishes and makes health care decisions on that person’s behalf if he or she is unable to do so him or herself. One does not have to be terminally ill to create a health care directive in Minnesota, and in fact, one should not wait until he or she has received a terminal diagnosis to follow through with such an important task as selecting a health care agent.
People include many different types of assets in their estate plans, and in the digital age, there may be additional considerations for you to go over when it comes to estate planning. For example, you may have invested a significant amount of money in a cryptocurrency, or you may have been an early investor who has acquired a great deal of wealth through cryptocurrency. Some cryptocurrency investors may be unsure of their responsibilities or some of the legal matters that can arise due to these assets, from tax matters to ensuring that assets are managed properly in the event that the owner passes away.
Sometimes, estate planning issues can be particularly emotional, and people may struggle to figure out which decision is best. This can be especially true for people who are experiencing problems with some of their family members, such as parents who have an estranged child that they have not spoken to in many years. If you are trying to work through these problems yourself, it is vital to take a careful look at the ins and outs of your family circumstances and decide which options are best, especially when it comes to inheritance.
When a person drafts a will in Minnesota, he or she does so with the hope that survivors will carry out his or her final wishes in accordance with the document. Unfortunately, there are times when another individual forces a testator to alter the will against his or her wishes, or when another individual takes it upon him or herself to make alterations to suit his or her own selfish needs. When this happens, a beneficiary of the document is at liberty to contest the will.
If you end up in the hospital with a medical condition that makes it impossible for you to communicate your wishes, what would happen? According to the Minnesota Department of Health, doctors will usually consult with your loved ones as to what to do regarding your situation. Your loved ones may or may not follow your wishes. To prevent something from happening that you do not want, your best option is to create a health care directive.
While death is never an easy circumstance to work through, when you are anticipating the death of a loved one, you may have a chance to prepare yourself mentally. Often, this means making the most of your time with your family member and reliving the positive memories you have made with him or her. At Dunlap & Seeger, we have helped many families in Minnesota to understand the value of planning an estate.
The main reason why estate planning experts in Rochester encourage people to see to this process while they are still able is to avoid the confusion that can ensue when they are gone. Without documentation spelling out one's wishes (or resolving any pending business affairs they may have had), those left behind may only speculate as to one's true intentions. Such speculation can often result in discord as different parties claim to know what a decedent truly wanted.