When some people in Minnesota think about estate planning, they may imagine making a will or a trust and deciding what should happen to their assets. However, there is another important element of estate planning, and that is preparing for becoming incapacitated. This includes ensuring that there is someone who can make health care decisions on a person's behalf if they are unable to. A health care directive appoints an individual to do this, but most people do not have one.
Estimates indicate that more than 50% of the people in Minnesota and across the country don't have even a will, and less than 10% of the population has a comprehensive estate plan in place. It can be difficult to confront the questions of death inherent in creating an estate plan, but it is a necessary part of life to do so. Being aware of some of the common mistakes people run into in estate planning can make the process easier.
The question of whether you want to change your will or other estate plan documents during divorce would depend on your intentions. However, it also depends on how far you are along into the process. Minnesota law has some rules that automatically come into effect when you begin a divorce, and some that take effect when you finish.
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.
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.
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.