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These three documents can be key to a well-rounded estate plan

Three documents that most people in Minnesota should consider including in their estate plan are a will, a living will and a durable power of attorney. However, one survey reports that only 18 percent of respondents age 55 and up have executed all three of these important documents. In fact, the survey reports that nearly 50 percent of respondents in this age group have not even executed a will. The silver lining, however, is that 90 percent of respondents reported being willing to discuss end-of-life issues with their loved ones.

Estate planning when you own a business

Small business owners in Minnesota have put a lot of time and energy into their enterprise, watching it grow from a fledgling new business to a successful and fulfilling one. Of course, most business owners are consumed in the daily management of their business. They might not give much thought about what will happen should they unexpectedly pass away. However, death is unpredictable, so it is best to be prepared with the proper plan for business succession.

Estate planning continues after your spouse passes away

Many married couples in Minnesota may have executed a will, trust or other documents as part of their estate plans. However, these plans should be reviewed and updated after key life events. One of these events is the death of one of the spouses. When this happens, the surviving spouse should make sure their estate plan still meets their wishes.

Estate planning with probate in mind

"Probate" may be an unwelcome term to those who have designed their estate plans specifically to avoid it. However, many people in Minnesota may have very limited experience with the probate process. Therefore, it is good to have a basic understanding of probate. This way, a person can design an estate plan that takes probate into account, and should one be chosen to administer a probated estate, they may be able to anticipate what duties this entails.

Watch out for these estate planning mistakes

St. Paul residents may do a lot of planning for their futures. They plan for vacations. They save money for a rainy day. They plan for retirement. However, how many have taken the step of planning for the inevitable -- death? It's not pretty to think about, but, if there's anything we can all count on in the future, it is that someday we will pass away. We can plan for this eventuality through estate planning. However, it is important to look out for certain estate planning mistakes.

Sometimes redundancy is better than gaps in estate planning

If there is anything that is sure in life, it is that one day we will all pass away. Some people in Minnesota may have already given this life certainty thought and have executed a will. However, this is not the only estate planning document that should be in their arsenal. Here are some other documents that could prove helpful to ensuring one's end-of-life wishes are met.

Can a parent have multiple executors of their estate?

Parents in Saint Paul are often very conscientious about treating all their children equally. This is especially true when it comes to estate planning. For example, they may draft their wills in a way that divides their estate equally between all their children. However, there are certain aspects in which treating their children equally could cause problems.

Don't forget to fund your trust when estate planning

There are so many different kinds of trusts available to people in St. Paul, that it may seem like there is a trust out there to meet every person's needs. These trusts can name beneficiaries, whether it is a person's loved one or a favorite charity, and are meant to distribute a person's assets to their beneficiaries. However, are those trusts always effective? For a trust to do what a person wants it to do, there must be funds in it. An unfunded trust is like an empty box -- you may have the vessel, but there's nothing in it to give away once you die.

Too young for estate planning? Think again

When some people in Saint Paul think of estate planning, they imagine an elderly person, wrinkled and frail, dictating to an attorney what their last wishes are. However, since death is no respecter of age, it is best for even young people to be prepared for the inevitable through estate planning.

Attorney Abraham Schwager to Deliver Upcoming Talks on Estate Planning and Charitable Giving

Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid in Estate Planning

This coming Monday, July 31, attorney Abraham Schwager of Chandler and Brown, Ltd., will deliver an online seminar (a live video webcast) on the top 10 mistakes to avoid in estate planning for the National Business Institute.

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Chandler and Brown, Ltd.
332 Minnesota Street
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St. Paul, MN 55101

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