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Minneapolis Estate Planning and Probate Lawyer Blog

Monday, November 5, 2018

What Do You Need to Know About Probate?

If you have ever considered or participated in estate planning, the term “probate” has likely come up. What is probate and why is it important? Is probate helpful or harmful to your estate planning? Read on to learn more.

Simply put, probate is the legal process by which a person’s property is transferred to recipients after they die. The court supervises this process to ensure an estate is appropriately and completely collected, managed, and distributed. Not all of a deceased person’s assets are automatically part of this process, however, as the deceased may have set up certain accounts or legal structures to prevent their property from being transferred in this way.

The probate process occurs whether or not the deceased has created a will. If a person dies and has a valid will, probate is required to ensure the provisions of that will are implemented. This is because courts want to make sure that the terms of the will are effected as the decedent intended, to the extent that is possible. If the decedent had no will, a court is needed to ensure the decedent’s assets are distribute according to the state’s intestacy laws—which is a fancy way of describing the laws which describes who has priority and how much they can inherit from a decedent. In these situations, courts will oversee the process to make sure that beneficiaries are given what the state law says they are entitled to receive.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Do Your Adoption NOW!


A Minneapolis Estate Planning Lawyer Stresses the Need for LGBT Couples to Complete Their Adoptions NOW!!! 

I'm sure you're now aware of the current Federal Administration's continued hostility toward the LGBT community. It's more important than ever that you take steps NOW to protect yourselves in any way you can! If you and your same-sex spouse or partner have a child together, you need to do a step-parent (or second-parent) adoption as soon as possible. The process can take several months so starting the process sooner is a good idea.

Should I adopt my child even if my name is on the birth certificate?

The landmark Supreme Court case of Obergefell v. Hodge recognized for the first time same-sex marriage at the state and federal level.
Read more . . .


Friday, October 12, 2018

Is a Pour-Over Will Right for You?

Estate planning can be complicated. One of the biggest reasons it can be so difficult is that there is so much at stake: your legacy, your assets, and the well-being of your heirs. Another reason is that the terminology is often very confusing. If you are not an estate planning attorney, you likely do not know what many words and concepts associated with estate planning mean. One common example of this is something called a “pour-over” will. This is an incredibly common and important estate planning tool, but one most people do not know anything about. Read on to learn more about whether a pour-over will could be right for you.

What is a Pour-Over Will?

You likely know that a will is a legal instrument you use to specify who gets what pieces of your estate after you pass away. A pour-over will is a kind of will that ensures that any assets you have which are not explicitly accounted for in your will are placed into a trust at the time of your death. Think of it as one final protective sweep of your assets.


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Saturday, October 6, 2018

What Do You Need to Know About Leaving Your Estate to Charity?


From tax perks to ensuring that a cause you support is furthered, there are many benefits to leaving your Minnesota estate to charity.  However, there are also some important considerations you should take into account before doing so.

Why Should You Leave Your Estate to Charity?

Generally, there are two reasons people choose to leave their estate to charity: altruism and tax benefits.  Giving your estate to charity ensures that your legacy will be furthering a cause you believe in.  The financially practical argument for leaving your estate to charity is that in doing so you can save significantly on income and estate taxes.
Read more . . .


Monday, September 17, 2018

Updating Your Estate Plans After a Divorce

If you are currently going through a divorce, or have recently gone through a divorce, you are likely focused on important topics like child custody, division of assets, and alimony. However, you should not neglect another important topic: your estate. Many individuals who go through a divorce dread adding another task to their to-do list, however it is critically important you take the time to update your estate plans if you and your spouse are separating.


Read more . . .


Thursday, August 9, 2018

Transferring Real Estate After Death: What You Need to Know

Ensuring that your loved ones are cared for after you die is important. If your estate contains real estate, that property will likely be seen by your surviving loved ones as extremely valuable, so it is important to understand your options for distributing it through your will after you die to reduce the potential for conflict and ensure your wishes are honored.

What Are the Different Types of Titles, and How Are They Transferred?

First, you need to know what kind of title to the property you have. This can often be accomplished by reading through the deed which transferred the real estate to you. The deed will contain language describing how you own the property, which determines how it can be transferred.


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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Pet Trusts: Caring for Your Pet After You Pass

We love our pets as much as we love our family. Trusts can be set up to take care of our families after we die, but what about our pets? Until 2016, Minnesota had no laws allowing for this sort of posthumous care.


Read more . . .


Friday, June 8, 2018

Maximizing Your Retirement Accounts for Your Beneficiaries

Q: How much of my retirement accounts will my heirs get to keep when I die?

If you have a retirement account such as a 401(k) or an IRA, and you have designated a beneficiary for the account without consulting a skilled Minnesota estate planning attorney, your intended beneficiaries may end up inheriting an income tax burden…and significantly less of the total account proceeds than you think.

 


Read more . . .


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Digital Property and Minnesota Estate Planning


Q: What happens to my online assets upon my death?

The cyberworld we live in requires unique estate planning.

Truth be told, many of us have difficulty being separated our cell phones and tablets for minutes – – much less an eternity. But have you ever considered what would happen to all of your online accounts after you’re gone? Just like your other more tangible property that you plan to distribute after you die, you have Read more . . .


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Dying in Your Teens

Q: Does a teenager need an estate plan?

Understandably, people don't like to think about their own death and they certainly don’t want to think of their child dying. Consequently, they may not see a Minnesota estate planning lawyer for the first time until they reach a milestone like a marriage or the birth of a child.


Read more . . .


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

What Are Federal and Minnesota Estate Taxes?


Estate taxes are essentially a tax on the transfer of your assets to others after you pass away. Anything that is left in your estate when you pass will be taxed. However, estate taxes only “kick in” once you pass a certain threshold because assets below that amount are exempt entirely. 
There is a federal estate tax and some states, like Minnesota, impose their own state estate tax as well. This tax applies to property owned in Minnesota, regardless of whether you are considered a resident.
Read more . . .


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From within Hennepin County Unique Estate Law represents clients throughout Minnesota, including Minneapolis, Edina, Bloomington, St. Louis Park, Minnetonka, Plymouth, Wayzata, Maple Grove, St. Paul, and Brooklyn Park.


9.3Chris Tymchuck

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