St. Michael Law Blog

Estate Planning for the High-School Senior

The senior year of high school is an exciting time that usually includes preparation for adult life after graduation. Although estate planning probably does not appear on most high school senior's to-do lists since they are young and healthy, executing a Health Care Directive and a financial Power of Attorney should be included on the to-do list after the student's eighteenth birthday.

6 key events that are signs you need a will

Making end-of-life plans may be way down your to-do list. You're young, you're healthy, you're just starting out, you have plenty of time. The last thing you want to think about is your death. Unfortunately, the reality is that accidents happen every day and not everyone walks away from them. Take the time to prepare for that "just-in-case" scenario by making your end-of-life wishes clear.

If you are not sure if it is the right time to draft a will, read below for six key indications that it is time to write a will. If at least one of the events below has occurred, do not delay the estate planning process any longer.

Paying for Nursing Home Care

Are you worried about the cost of assisted living and nursing home care? As the number of aging Minnesotans increases, more people will need long term care due to health issues such as strokes, Alzheimer's Disease or Parkinson's Disease. It is no secret that long term care is costly.

What is Probate?

The probate for the musician, Prince, is putting Minnesota probates in the news. What is probate and is it really such a terrible thing?

Prince's probate is obviously unique. He had a large estate, no will, and no spouse or children. For the average person, a probate is not such a spectacle.

Probate is the process where your Will (if you have one) is officially approved by the court and your personal representative is appointed. After these initial steps, the court often has little ongoing involvement in your estate. The personal representative proceeds to pay bills and liquidate or distribute the assets.

Passing the Family Cabin and Preserving Family Harmony

Summer is here! For many Minnesotans summer means fun in the sun (and sometimes rain) at the family cabin. More than just a place to relax or recreate, the cabin is often also a repository of family tradition and memories. Unfortunately, the cabin can also become a source of family conflict when it is time to transition ownership of the cabin from the parents to the next generation. It is often said that "failing to plan is planning to fail" and that is especially true when trying to pass the cabin to the next generation.

The transfer of the cabin to children is a complex transaction. Many questions must be asked and many issues must be resolved to successfully complete the cabin transfer within a family.

3 reasons to consider estate planning as a young parent

You're young, and you know that you likely have a long life ahead of you. The same is true for your spouse. Despite this, you think it's probably a good idea to create an estate plan.

What can an estate plan do for you now? It can help you protect your children in the case that you or your spouse die unexpectedly. Since your children depend on you, an estate plan is essential. Here are three reasons to create one soon.

Estate planning should be part of your marriage preparations

For too many Americans, estate planning is put off for years, even decades, longer than it should be. As soon as you have assets or dependents, you need to be thinking about providing for them in the event of your death. It may feel morbid, but in reality it's one of the best ways to protect the people you love.

If you've recently gotten engaged, you should consider making a trip to your estate or probate attorney part of your pre-wedding preparation. The peace of mind it will provide for you and your family is invaluable, and you can always update your will and estate when your situation changes in the future.

Preparing for the initial will consultation

For some people, the thought of drafting a will may be perceived as an overwhelming task because they may consider the process of cataloging all of their assets and allocating them to specific individuals to be an endless undertaking. As with many other jobs that can appear to be too large for one person to accomplish, writing a will can be streamlined by developing a strategy for tackling this chore. Rather than focusing on the end product, individuals who have separated the process into smaller components find success in completing one step and moving onto another. Rather than being haphazard and rushed, this deliberate process can create a detailed document that suits your needs and promotes peace of mind in your beneficiaries.

When viewed as a process, the drafting of a will is not one that can be finished in a day. For those working with an attorney to accomplish this task, they will find that having one meeting to discuss the terms of the will usually won't suffice. In addition, most attorneys find it helpful when the testator, the name given the individual whose wishes are expressed in the document, brings specific information to a consultation.

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