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St. Paul Family Law And Estate Planning Blog

Will your estate plan be executed the right way?

When you are finalizing the details of your estate plan in Minnesota, you may be feeling a sense of accomplishment and relief that you have some direction for your family members when you become incapacitated. You can rest easy knowing that you have put in the effort to make designations and arrangements so your family will know what your wishes are. However, now you need to ask someone to be the executor of your plan to guarantee that everything goes smoothly when you pass away. 

Because designating an executor is an important aspect of estate planning, you should not simply hand off the job to any random person. You should also not discuss the possibility of someone being an executor if you are not serious or if the conversation is too casual and the receiver does not take you seriously. When you are considering asking someone to be in charge of executing your estate plan exactly as you have written, it is imperative that you have a discussion with him or her about what the responsibilities will be. You should receive a verbal answer from the person of your choice before you make it legal. 

Creating an estate plan during the springtime

For many people, springtime represents a fresh start and moving on from a long winter. Along with spring cleaning, planning summer vacations and adjusting to more tolerable weather, there are other responsibilities that may need to be addressed, such as creating an estate plan. The spring can be a great time of year for setting up a will or creating a trust, and you should not push off this important decision if you want to have a plan in place to protect your estate.

In the winter, some people feel depressed or hesitant to tackle these issues as a result of the weather. During the summer months, some people feel a lack of energy due to relentless heat and busy schedules (such as children and grandchildren spending time around the house because school is out, summer trips, etc.). As a result, spring can be an excellent time of year to move forward with an estate plan and have peace of mind knowing that assets will be managed properly in the event that something unexpected takes place.

With a blended family, you might need a stronger estate plan

Many Minnesotans don’t have an estate plan, either because they assume they have plenty of time, they assume that inheritances will work themselves out, or both. Unfortunately, you can’t rely on either assumption – especially with the tricky dynamics of blended families.

If you are in a second (or later marriage) with children and stepchildren from previous relationships, it is critical to create a detailed estate plan that specifically addresses everyone you wish to leave assets to. Failing to take these precautions could lead to family strife and even litigation related to the estate.

Maintaining your emotions after a spouse’s affair

In the modern era, affairs have become especially common. Both men and women may be cheated on, and this can lead to a wide variety of challenges, especially when it comes to a couple’s marriage and their children. If you recently discovered that your spouse was having an affair, we understand the multitude of hardships that you may be facing. However, it is essential to try to maintain your emotions and do what is best for your future. Unfortunately, some people make rash decisions when they are angry, which can adversely affect them from a family law standpoint and in other ways.

After finding out about a marital partner’s affair, people may feel as if they have nowhere to turn. Some may become overly depressed, which can have a negative impact on their life in many ways (poor workplace performance, losing friends, eating or drinking excessively, etc.). Some people may also become very angry and others may face high levels of stress, which can interfere with life as well.

Shared parenting can provide stability for your children

As you weigh your options for continuing to parent your children even though you are divorcing your spouse, remember that what works for other families you know who have gone through a divorce, may not be as functional for you. Take your time in developing and refining the agreement you and your spouse make to find an arrangement that is beneficial to everyone involved. At Dittrich Law Firm, P.A., we have been able to help many individuals in Minnesota to work through a divorce. 

One of the most critical factors of support that you will need to provide for your children as you and your spouse are divorcing is stability. Sudden and extreme changes in their routine and the day-to-day schedules they have come to value can leave your children feeling uneasy, fearful and anxious. Despite the inevitable change in your relationship, your primary focus should be on the stability of the life you continue to maintain for your children. 

Three reasons you may need to update your estate plan

Your estate plan should not be something you create once and then forget about. Your life is filled with meaningful changes, and your estate plan should change with it.

Many people make a routine of reviewing their estate plan every few years. However, some life events may warrant a professional review of your plan outside of your normal routine.

Tips for divorcing as a senior

Divorce is no longer something that just happens to the young, or even those who are middle-aged. In fact, numbers for those groups have gone down, while divorce for those above 50 years old has increased twofold - threefold for those over 65, reports the Pew Research Center.

While remarriages and fewer years together are high risk factors, even those who have been married for decades are not immune to splitting up. If you find yourself in this situation, here are some tips to help you with the unique circumstances that come with "gray divorce."

Choosing an executor for your estate

You have devoted significant care and thought to your estate plans. To ensure the desired and intended implementation of your will's provisions, you also need to select an appropriate executor, also called a personal representative.

Understanding the executor's role can help you assess whether a particular person you have in mind is willing and able to handle the role in its entirety. Because life can take unpredictable turns, it is also prudent to include an alternative appointment in case your first choice can no longer take on this task. If you do not select an executor, the court can appoint an administrator.

4 items to leave out of prenups

Research has shown millennials are far more likely than past generations to utilize prenuptial agreements. Some common beliefs for this include the fact that many millennials decide to marry later in life, and as a result, they have more assets to protect before going into a marriage. 

There are many protections to include in a prenup. Spouses can protect themselves from the other partner's debts and establish who will receive what in the event of a divorce. However, there are provisions you cannot include by law, and adding such rules can invalidate other aspects of the agreement. 

Basics of alimony in a Minnesota divorce

Couples facing divorce in Minnesota have many issues to consider as they decide the best way to move forward. Alimony numbers among top concerns for spouses who worry about having to pay amounts they cannot afford as well as for those who wonder how they will make it financially after the split.

Minnesota law formally refers to alimony as spousal maintenance. Courts have a fairly wide range of discretion as they apply statutory factors to decide whether to award maintenance and to set amounts. Couples may also settle the issue of maintenance through a prenup or a divorce agreement.

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