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Estate Planning Archives

Estate planning is important for saving time and money

Minnesota and the rest of the world is still grappling with the question of how a serious pop star like Prince could have gone without preparing a will. The failure to do so was out of keeping with his meticulous attention to the legal details that defined his professional pursuits. At the least, this serious oversight by the performer has taught others some significant points about the importance of estate planning.

Key elements of retirement planning

Workers of all ages can benefit from sound retirement planning. The sooner you get started, the more you can allow time - and interest - to work on your behalf. While everyone's retirement goals are unique, the following general tips can get you started on the path to a retirement free from nagging concerns over money and the future.

Estate planning needs attention to choice of representatives

One of the biggest challenges in Minnesota and elsewhere that people sometimes encounter is finding the right person to appoint as the personal representative of one's estate and for designation as one's power of attorney. Finding the right family member or friend may be difficult because the appointment should generally be of someone younger who will more likely be available to do it when the time comes. Good estate planning should also include providing sufficient information and guidance to the representatives who will handle these matters.

Prince's estate in chaos due to no estate planning

Pop star Prince, a native and resident of Minnesota, died without a will, leaving a question mark around several issues that may cloud the distribution of his assets. The estate may be as high as $500 million, but that number increases by virtue of continuing music sales. The court appointed a special administrator to operate the estate, which is one of the first ways in which his failure to conduct estate planning has backfired into an expensive drain on the assets.

Estate planning provides valuable documents for the future

The most important of the estate planning documents in Minnesota are very much like the most important documents in other states. The important concepts and practices of estate planning thus represent a fairly uniform body of law nationwide. It is highly beneficial in several respects for an individual to go through the process and have the most useful instruments drawn up to cover his or her particular needs and wishes.

Biggest estate plan error is not having one

The word "estate" can be a tricky one for people to get their head around -- perhaps especially in Minnesota. The vast majority of hard working individuals probably don't think of their single family home or apartment, or other personal treasure, as an estate. But by strict definition an estate is more broadly framed. It means the net worth of a person at any given point in time. And it doesn't matter if you are alive or dead.

Putting our trusts in names of pets comes late to Minnesota

Some readers may remember the headlines when hotelier Leona Helmsley died and famously made her dog, Trouble, heir to a $12 million trust fund. That's something that loving pet owners in Minnesota can't do as part of their appropriate estate planning right now, but that could soon change.

Medicare policy could lure doctors into end-of-life plan talks

As of January, Medicare allows doctors in Minnesota and the rest of the country to bill the government insurance plan for patient office visits based on end-of-life counseling. The value assigned for such visits is $86 and it covers the insured for up to 30 minutes of time.

Estate planning should include your virtual self, too

Congratulations. You have a will that covers all of your tangible assets and lays out how you want things to be distributed in the event of your eventual death. That's a step that too many people in Rochester and the rest of Minnesota fail to take. Very often what results is that loved ones are left in a lurch as to what to do. Friction builds and relationships can fracture.

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