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Posts tagged "Estate Planning"

Why is estate planning so important for blended families?

If you have been divorced or widowed before and now met a new person that you would like to get married to, that is certainly something to celebrate. However, Minnesota residents in this situation should be sure to use their heads as much as their hearts when making this decision. If either you or your new partner have children from a prior marriage, it is extremely important that you engage in frank, open and honest discussions about your assets, debts and wishes for the future.

When should you use an irrevocable trust?

Minnesota could offer you a range of options when it comes to estate planning. An irrevocable trust is one of these tools. When you create one of these trusts, you basically set up a separate legal entity over which you have no control and supply it with assets. In this role, you would be the grantor, trustor or settlor.

How does the probate process work?

It is never easy when a close friend or family member passes away. Often there are strong emotions involved, and it can be difficult to make the final arrangements. One of the most overwhelming items to deal with may be that of finalizing the estate and distributing the deceased’s property. The difficulty of doing so depends on how the final terms were set up and whether the estate will be required to go through the probate process. The probate process is designed to finalize matters involving paying off creditors, collecting life insurance policies and other assets, finding property and ensuring items get to the proper beneficiaries. 

It could be time to update your estate plan

Considering the constantly changing nature of Minnesota and federal tax laws, it could be time to revisit your estate plan. In fact, even in the absence of major overhauls, such as the new tax bill that is going into effect, it may be a good idea to adopt a regular schedule for the review and revision of your plans for the future.

Use caution when naming an estate administrator

When it comes time to organize your estate and get your affairs in order, there are several items that you may want to consider. One critical element of the estate planning process involves appointing an estate administrator. This person will oversee the affairs of your estate after you pass. Not only is it important that you choose a person that is honest and trustworthy, but you want to select someone who has the time to handle your estate in a thorough manner. By understanding the estate administrator’s role, you can be sure to choose the right person for the job. 

Financial uncertainty and your estate plan

When it comes to estate planning, there is a myriad of factors to take into consideration. On the one hand, creating an estate plan (or making certain changes to an estate plan when necessary) can provide a great deal of security and allow people to rest easier at night knowing that the future of their estate is protected. On the other hand, people may experience financial uncertainty for any number of reasons, whether their job is lost, they face major expenses due to an unforeseen health crisis or they break up with their spouse. This uncertainty can carry over into one’s estate plan and it is important to address these challenges appropriately.

Discussing estate plan revision with loved ones

People decide to revise their estate plan for an array of reasons, whether their financial circumstances have changed due to a personal injury settlement, a new job or the loss of their job, among many other issues. Moreover, divorce, the birth of a child or grandchild and changes with respect to the health and well-being of family members can also necessitate estate plan revision. However, some people may be unsure of which revisions are necessary and how these changes could affect those they love, which is why communication with family members can be very beneficial.

The basics of trusts

Many people in Minnesota might have heard others talk about creating a trust instead of a will when making an estate plan but they might not really understand what a trust is or how it works. The fact of the matter is that a trust may be even used in conjunction with a will but the trust has some very specific uses and benefits. 

Filing a small estate affidavit

A common question we receive here at Dunlap & Seeger PA is exactly how long does it take to probate an estate. If you share the same question, you might not like hearing the answer we give that every estate case is different, and thus placing a standard expectation on how long probate might take is difficult. Yet before you begin worrying about the length of time it might take to complete the probate process, a better question might be whether the estate you are party to needs to be probated at all. 

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Dunlap & Seeger, P.A.
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Rochester, MN 55904

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