The last several years’ uncertainty about the future of the estate and gift tax caused many people to put their estate planning on hold, even though estate and gift tax planning is only a teeny tiny piece of estate planning. Now that the clouds have lifted and the tax rates and exemptions are set, there is simply no reason for anyone to delay in implementing these five estate planning essentials:
Will. Look around at all the stuff in your house. Everything you see has to be handled in the event of your death. Your Will names the person you want to manage it all and can also indicate who gets what. If you don’t have a Will, a judge decides who is in charge of your affairs and Minnesota law provides for who receives everything you own. If you want to have a say in how your affairs are handled, you need to take control now by getting your Will in place today.
Emergency Guardian Plan. If you have minor children at home, you need a comprehensive set of documents to ensure they are taken care of by the people you want, in the way you want, no matter what. Not just for the long-term, but also in the immediate term for the moment that something happens to you. An emergency guardian plan does just that.
Health Care Directive. Also commonly known as a living will, this document provides the legal right for the person of your choice (your health care proxy) to make health care decisions for you in case you become incapacitated and unable to make those decisions for yourself. Plus, it also lets that person know HOW you want decisions to be made if you cannot make them for yourself. Without a Health Care Directive in place, your family could have their hands tied when it comes to ensuring you get the best care possible, in the way you would want.
Durable Power of Attorney. Your Durable Power of Attorney will allow your designated attorney in fact to gain access to your financial accounts so they can pay your bills and manage your financial affairs if you are unable to. Without this in place, your family will face an expensive and long court process to take matters into their hands. Don’t leave your family in that position, handle this today.
Trust. If you own any property that would go through the probate process (a home, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, business assets, investment real estate, and other investment assets), you’ll want to make sure to have a Trust set up as soon as possible so your family isn’t stuck dealing with an expensive, unnecessary, long, and totally public probate administration in the event of your death. A revocable living trust puts the people you know, love and trust in control without having to go to Court.
If you’re ready to do the right thing by your family, call our office at (612) 206-3701 or fill out our contact form today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk.
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