Creating an Estate Plan

How To Create An Estate Plan in Minneapolis

Our Edina Estate Planning Lawyers Can Help

Many put off creating an estate plan because the process involves navigating what can be unpleasant conversations. Individuals that are young and healthy often feel that an estate plan is unnecessary, and those that are older can find estate planning to feel fatalistic.

Creating an Estate Plan With Our Lawyers

The truth is that proactive estate planning benefits every adult, no matter their health or net worth. Our attorneys at Guttman Law can guide you through the process of creating an estate plan that will help protect you, your assets, your loved ones, and your legacy. We can help you understand your options and explain how each tool can safeguard your interests, assets, and beneficiaries.

Start exploring your estate planning options today. Schedule a free initial consultation with our team by calling (612) 324-4055 or contacting us online and start creating your estate plan today!

Who Needs Estate Planning?

If you pass away or become incapacitated without any estate planning documents in place, you will have no say in how your medical and financial affairs will be handled. You will be unable to determine beneficiaries of your assets, as your property will most likely be divided under Minnesota’s intestacy laws. Proactively building an estate plan gives you and your loved ones the peace of mind that you deserve. Every adult can benefit from having an estate plan no matter their health or net worth.

Consider what would happen to your property and loved ones if you were to suddenly become incapacitated or pass away. If you were to become seriously ill but unable to speak, who would make medical decisions on your behalf? Were you to pass away, who would take ownership of your home? Who would take care of your minor children? What would happen to funds in your bank or retirement accounts?

What is an Estate Plan?

An estate plan allows you to provide enforceable instructions for what will happen to you, your loved ones, and your assets after you pass away or become temporarily or permanently unable to communicate. In some ways, an estate plan is an extension of yourself, working to protect your interests when you can no longer advocate for yourself.

A well-designed estate plan can help you:

  • Ensure that your final wishes are honored
  • Care for your loved ones by giving them the tools they need to care for you and settle your estate
  • Avoid burdening your loved ones with the costs and stress of probate
  • Minimize the impact of estate taxes

Many are familiar with the last will and testament, a basic tool that allows you to name beneficiaries to your assets. While a will can serve as a useful foundational document, a strong estate plan will also implement strategies for asset protection, incapacity planning, and wealth preservation.

What Does an Estate Plan Include?

An experienced estate planning attorney can assist you with numerous types of estate planning tools, strategies, and documents, including:

  • Wills. In addition to enabling you to designate who will receive your assets, a will also allows you to name a personal representative to manage your estate and a guardian for any minor children. However, property discussed in a will is subject to probate, the court process by which an estate is settled. This means that your final intentions could be jeopardized by objections to the validity of the will or if estate assets need to be sold to repay debts. These vulnerabilities can often be avoided by utilizing other estate planning tools. We can evaluate a new or existing will to check that it is properly formalized under Minnesota law.
  • Trusts. Revocable living trusts are modifiable arrangements that can help you avoid probate. They function similarly in some ways to wills in that you can name beneficiaries to assets placed in the trust and appoint a successor trustee to manage the trust once you are gone. Unlike a will, trusts offer a great deal of flexibility in their structuring and disbursement, and their contents remain private. Irrevocable trusts cannot be modified once they are enacted but can be utilized to achieve many types of objectives, including special needs planning, estate tax reduction, and wealth preservation. Our team can assess your goals and help you understand what types of trusts can help achieve them. We can also serve as trust administrators.
  • Powers of Attorney. If you are hospitalized and become unable to communicate, someone will need to manage your financial affairs. By appointing a financial power of attorney, you give someone the legal authority to carry out transactions on your behalf. You can define the scope of their authority and responsibilities: You may only need someone to keep up with bills, or you may want someone to manage the entirety of your stake in a business. Power of attorney authority can be designed to only activate once you are unable to communicate and can deactivate once you are able to advocate for yourself again. Our team can work with you to verify that your chosen power of attorney will have abilities that are consistent with your wishes and needs.
  • Advanced Healthcare Directives. An advanced healthcare directive allows you to outline what types of medical treatment you would like or not like to receive. This can include orders not to resuscitate or instructions for end-of-life care. We help draft and review the clarity of your directives.
  • Cabin Planning. Many Minnesotans maintain cabins that see use by multiple family members. These properties come with annual and ongoing costs stemming from maintenance, management, and renovations, which can often make the transfer of ownership challenging, especially since more than one family member will likely wish to use the cabin. Our team can assist you with establishing a cabin trust to manage and facilitate the expenses and scheduling associated with joint family cabin ownership. We can also help create contingencies for scenarios where your loved ones may wish to sell the property.

How to Create an Estate Plan

Working with an experienced estate planning law firm can help make the process of creating an estate plan in Minneapolis as painless and efficient as possible. Our team of experienced Edina lawyers will work to educate you on the tools available and how they can help protect your property and loved ones.

To help us create a robust estate plan, you will need to provide:

  • An inventory of all major assets, including any real estate, vehicles, or other pieces of valuable property
  • An inventory of all debts, including mortgages, vehicle loans, credit card balances, and medical bills
  • A list of names, dates of birth, addresses, and the contact information of any beneficiaries that you plan to include in your will or trust
  • A list of individuals that you are potentially comfortable appointing to manage one or more elements of your estate
  • Recent bank, retirement, and investment account statements
  • Copies of your life insurance policy and retirement plan

After reviewing these documents, we will work to understand your specific estate planning goals and walk you through what tools we can help you implement in easy-to-understand terms. Once your estate plan is in place, you can continue living your life with the peace of mind that your interests and loved ones are protected. Our team at Guttman Law is invested in your long-term future and can work with you periodically to update your estate plan.

We proudly serve clients in St. Paul and throughout Minnesota. Contact our team online or call (612) 324-4055 to start creating your estate plan in Minneapolis today!

The Guttman Approach

What Makes Us Different
  • Our Approach Is Highly Personalized

    We take the time to understand the complexities of your situation and develop an individualized approach.

  • Our Goal Is To Educate Clients

    We seek to not only provide a service to our clients but to educate them every step of the way.

  • Our Priority Is Helping Clients Navigate Every Step of the Process

    We are here to support our clients throughout their estate planning journey.

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