Creating an Estate Plan in Minneapolis
Learn Why You Need an Estate Plan
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.
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,
Start exploring your estate planning options today. Schedule a free initial
consultation with our team by calling
(612) 324-4055 or
contacting us online today!
Why Do I Need an Estate Plan in Minnesota?
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?
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.
Our lawyers 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,
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.
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.