Estates, Trusts & Estate Planning
Primus Law Office, P.A. has provided assistance to three generations of families in planning their estates and administrating their estates & trusts. The planning process can also include planning for disability. (Guardianships & Conservatorships).
Estate planning services range from the preparation of simple wills to more complex estate plans including provisions for a supplemental needs trust for an incapacitated family member, minimizing or eliminating of federal estate taxes, and contingency planning for persons with minor children. Primus Law Office, P.A. also has had extensive experience in the administration of trusts and estates including probate and trust litigation.
For probate and trust matters and estate planning involving significant tax issues Primus Law Office, P.A. has affiliated itself with Hoffmann & Swintek, certified public accountants. They may be reached at Hoffmannswintek.com
The first step in preparation of an estate plan is to complete our Questionnaire for Estate and Disability Planning. This form may be printed from this site and then returned via fax or mail.
Click here to print the form.
Six Reasons Why You Should Plan Your Estate.
1. Financial protection for loved ones. Most people want to make sure that their spouse and/or children are well-taken care of it they are not around to do so themselves. We'll work with you to coordinate your Will with the beneficiary designations on you insurance policies and retirement plans to make sure that your estate passes to the proper persons in the proper proportions. If you die without a Will and without proper beneficiary designations, Minnesota laws will determine who will receive your assets, and in what proportions, and this may not reflect your preferences. For example, current law does not provide for passage of assets to close personal friends, children of a second spouse, or other unique family situations. In addition, the intestacy laws may provide for a division of assets between you spouse and children which you find inappropriate.
2. Appointment of guardians for children. Your children will need an adult to care for them in the event both parents die before the children become adults. If you don't designate a person in your Will, the court will designate one for your children. The process of court involvement can cause tension among family members and anxiety for the children. In addition, the guardian selected by the court may not be the one you would have chosen. A designation by you in your Will provides a much smoother transition.
3. Save taxes. To the extent the value of your estate (or the combined estate of you and your spouse) exceeds $700,000, (or a combined estate of $1,400,000) your estate Will be subject to federal and Minnesota estate taxes. This tax will reduce the amount of your estate which will pass to your children or other heirs. However, we can prepare an estate plan for you which will minimize these taxes, and in some cases, completely eliminate them, by simply taking advantage of existing laws.
4. Ease burden on survivors. If you prepare an estate plan and related documents, you will have organized your financial and personal matters during your lifetime, and relieved your family the burden of many decisions after your death. In addition, they will have the comfort of knowing that they have transferred your assets and handled your personal matters in accordance with your wishes.
5. Plan for transfer of family business interests. If your estate contains interests in a closely held business, you will want to provide for its orderly transfer after your death. The process of preparing a will and reviewing the value of your assets provides an excellent opportunity to determine whether the business will continue after your death, who will take your place, place a value on your interest, and estimate taxes payable at your death as a result of that interest.
6. Opportunity for disability planning. Disability can happen to anyone at any time. The process of preparing an estate plan is an appropriate time to addresses this issue, and allows you to decide whether any of the following documents may be appropriate:
(a) a Power-of-attorney, which allows a person or institution to handle your financial matters in the event you are unable to do so yourself. It can also be used anytime you are traveling out of the country, or otherwise unavailable.
(b) a Nomination of Conservator, which allows you to designate your preference for a guardian or conservator in the event you become incapacitated and unable to manage your own affairs. (Guardianships & Conservatorships).
(c) a Healthcare Declaration, which directs your physicians regarding your wishes concerning life-sustaining measures which are acceptable to you in the event you are unable to convey those wishes yourself.
Basic Estate Planning Terms.
Estate: The taxable entity which results after your death, consisting of all your assets, and including most life insurance and all income to which you are entitled at your death.
Personal Representative (Executor): Your personal representative will be responsible for managing your estates, transferring your assets, and performing all other tasks according to the terms of your Will.
Trust: A device which can be used to hold assets and distribute income or principal according to your wishes. It is most typically used in cases of spouses, minor children, or disabled persons. A trust may also be used as a Will substitute to avoid probate.
Trustee: Your trustee will manage and invest any assets held in a trust. The trustee is required to account to those entitled to receive trust income or principal, if requested.
Guardian(s) for Minor Children: This person(s) will be responsible for the long-term care of any minor children who survive you. As guardian, he or she will be able to make decisions involving where your children will live, their education, and their health care, in the event both parents are deceased while the children are not yet adults.
Health Care Declaration (Living Will): This is a document which gives direction to health care professionals regarding your care in the event that you are diagnosed to be in a terminal condition.
Power of Attorney: A document which can be used by an individual or institution to manage another individual's property. Although these are typically used for periods of incapacity, they can also be used during periods when an individual is traveling outside the country or otherwise unavailable.
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