You Need an Estate Plan!

By Chris Tymchuck
Founding Attorney

A Minnesota Estate Planning Lawyer Explains Why Everyone Should Get an Estate Plan

It is a startling, though not surprising, fact that an overwhelming number of people have absolutely no documents in place to direct where their assets and estate should go upon their death.  Why?

The reasons have been surveyed by analysts, but in the end are essentially intuitive.  We are a busy society. People are often caught up in the pressing issues of the moment, which are often short-term.  Moreover, there is a reluctance to tread in the area of such long-term planning as it is an uncomfortable admission of one’s mortality. Some believe that planning for a catastrophe may actually lead to one.  Lastly, in the young, there is a feeling that such planning is not yet necessary since accumulated wealth is not significant or may even be non-existent.   It demands notice, however, that planning is absent even in the aged and experienced.  Of the baby-boomer generation, only forty percent have a will or other document in place.

Without attempting to oversell the point, action should accompany the sentiment, and all people, all ages, should have the estate plan in place that they instinctively know is important.  Though tax considerations are important, the argument for an estate plan goes beyond just sophisticated tax planning just as it goes beyond whether one has enough wealth to feel it is deserved.  

The ultimate heart of the issue for some is ensuring that property, rightly earned over a lifetime, passes on to those you care about.  This is easily addressed through a will, but competent estate planning should go a little further.  A revocable living trust arrangement, though often passed upon, addresses those concerns you didn’t even know you had and while it is a mainstay for the wealthy, it is also quite necessary and important to the average individual. 

There are two reasons to consider and implement a trust.  First, a will is not private, a trust is.  Secondly, a trust is efficient both in time and money.  It side-steps the probate process which a court uses to validate a will.  This process is lengthy for large estates, say twelve to eighteen months, drains value from the assets, and opens the will up to contests.  A revocable living trust may be drawn up and implemented in less than one month, and while it may cost more to implement a trust than a “simple will plan”, it will generate significant savings and peace of mind in the long run.

For others, ensuring that someone will follow your medical wishes should you become incompetent may be the pressing issue. The unique needs of clients is why our firm specializes in putting together a comprehensive plan tailored to our clients needs that includes designating someone to assist with your medical and financial decisions in the event you can no longer make them.

To learn more about what your Minnesota estate planning needs may be, contact Unique Estate Law at or by calling 955-952-7623.

About the Author
As a Minneapolis Estate Planning and Probate attorney I help build and protect families through the adoption, estate planning, and probate processes. I also have experience working with families on issues related to their small businesses. I know how difficult it is to find time to plan for the future and I am here to help walk you through it.