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Monday, March 16, 2020

COVID 19: Your Family Needs a Plan, Part 3


In the prior posts I’ve discussed steps you can take to help gain some control in this chaotic time of coronavirus / COVID 19 stress. As a brief recap, make sure you, and your loved ones, have the following:

  • A properly executed Minnesota Health Care Directive
  • A signed financial Power of Attorney
  • Talk to family members about their needs

This post is to provide information on a few free things you can do for some peace of mind.

If you already have a plan in place, review it. Do your current documents, Trust, Will, Powers of Attorney still accurately convey your wishes if something happens to you? The following is a brief list of things to consider when determining whether your current plan still serves your needs, and/or the needs of your family:

  • Will your executor or trustee be able to serve?
  • Is the named executor or successor trustee still the best person to help?
  • Check your beneficiaries named in your plans. Are they still living? Are they capable (responsible) enough to receive the asset?
  • Should they receive their bequest outright or have it held in trust for them?
  • Do you know where your signed original documents are located?

If you already have a revocable living trust, have your property transferred your asset to your trust? Most of your assets should be titled to your trust in order to avoid probate upon your death.


Read more . . .


Friday, March 13, 2020

Coronavirus / COVID 19: Your Family Needs a Plan, Part 2


As the news about coronavirus becomes increasingly scary and stressful, many of us are looking for ways to protect ourselves and our loved ones. We all need to feel we have some control as things get more chaotic and uncontrollable.

So, take control of the things you can, now. I am not a medical professional so will NOT offer advice on how to protect your physical selves. But, as a Minnesota estate planning lawyer with years of experience, I can tell you that clients feel safer, calmer and more in control when they put an estate plan in place.


Read more . . .


Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Coronavirus / COVID 19: Your Family Needs a Plan, Part 1

A Minnesota Estate Planning Attorney Explains that Estate Planning is Always Important: Not Just During Global Scares

You can’t open any news course, or social media platform, without being inundated with news, rumors, pictures or stories about coronavirus. In fact, I’ve had several clients reach out to me to discuss their estate plans given the fear of incapacity or death.

Given the relatively early stages of the coronavirus, it’s difficult to predict the long-term impacts it will have on us.  While I can’t offer much in the way of medical guidance, as an estate and trust attorney, I can discuss the ways in which you can prepare your family for any legal ramifications if someone is sick or worse.

So far, it appears that most of the deaths linked to coronavirus are for people who are over the age of 60.


Read more . . .


Thursday, September 12, 2019

Grounds for Contesting a Will


A will is a legal instrument utilized to, among other things, establish the terms of distributing the assets of a decedent’s estate to his or her heirs. In some instances, an heir or beneficiary may be upset with the terms of the will or may think the will does not accurately reflect the true wishes of the decedent.
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.


Read more . . .


Monday, February 5, 2018

When Heirs Cry: The Impact of Prince Dying Without a Will


Q: Do I need a will?

Minnesota's unique estate law headline case of recent years --if not of all time --involves the administration of the estate of the late artist, Prince.

For many, Prince was a living legend in the music industry. However, after his untimely death in 2016 from an accidental overdose of painkillers, he became the poster child for why you need


Read more . . .


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Marriage is NOT ENOUGH. LGBT Rights Still Threatened Under the Current Administration

When the US Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage should be recognized across the US, the LGBT community breathed a sigh of relief. The community thought they could relax and this would take off the pressure of fighting for so many rights.

Many clients told me they no longer felt the need to adopt a child in situation where one wife was the birth parent. They felt that marriage would protect the rights of the non-bio parent. They are wrong!


Read more . . .


Sunday, October 1, 2017

What Happens If You Die Without a Will?

A will sets out whom you would like to get your property when you pass away. It also appoints someone who will settle your estate on your behalf. While you can certainly


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Friday, July 14, 2017

Living Trusts Vs. Wills: Choosing the Right Estate Planning Tool


There many types of estate planning tools and each one offers benefits and drawbacks. Some tools work better to accomplish certain goals than others. In addition, some individuals or families may not need to utilize certain options, while others will need a variety of more complex choices.

Revocable living trusts and wills are similar because they allow you to name beneficiaries for your property. These are both perhaps some of the most widely used estate planning tools, but they accomplish diverse goals.
Read more . . .


Thursday, July 13, 2017

7 Secrets to Drafting a Successful Will.

Writing a Will is something everybody should do.  With a Will, you can name a guardian for your minor children, decide who gets your assets, and appoint someone to sort out your estate.  A properly drafted Will should help maintain family harmony, negate confusion and minimize any time your family has to spend in court.  A Will certainly shouldn’t cause family conflict or confusion or require your family to spend thousands of dollars and hours in court just to determine your wishes.  However, since you won’t be around to witness how your Will actually functions, you should take steps now to ensure that your Will does exactly what you want.  Below are the 7 Secrets of a Successful Will:

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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Holiday Talks, Part 3: Discussing Your Parents’ Estate Planning Needs

As I discussed in Part I of this series, your parents may feel reluctant to discuss details of their estate plan.  For many personal matters such as finances and health care wishes are to remain private. But, it’s important to have this discussion so long as you are operating with the proper intentions.

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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