Surveys show most people have never put together an estate plan. For example, Caring.com found 60% of people have no will. They have no trust. They have no plan to protect their family and assets.
If you have no plan, what happens? The government has a default plan for you. However, that one-size-fits-all plan may not be what you want.
16 Most Common Reasons (Besides Taxes) to do Estate Planning
These are the most common concerns our clients express for doing their estate plan:
- Designate who will manage your affairs if you become disabled and when you pass away.
- Plan for Medical Assistance and its impact on your estate if you must go into a nursing home through estate planning and/or long-term care insurance.
- Avoid probate, during your lifetime and when you pass away.
- Protect children from a prior marriage if you pass away first.
- Protect assets inherited by your beneficiaries from lawsuits, divorces, and claims.
- Impose structure and guidelines upon children (and/or grandchildren) who may not be capable or experienced in managing money.
- Provide for special needs children and grandchildren.
- Ensure a specific portion of your estate actually gets to grandchildren, charities, etc.
- Protect a portion of your estate if you pass away first and your surviving spouse remarries.
- Address different needs of different children.
- Prevent or discourage challenges to your estate plan.
- Reward/encourage heirs who make smart life decisions and prevent the depletion of your estate from those who do not make smart choices.
- Assure an education for children/grandchildren, despite what they (or their parents) dream of doing with their inheritance.
- “Brady-Bunch” family estate planning: assure the step-parent doesn’t spend your children’s inheritance and/or provide for a spouse without sacrificing the intended legacy for children of a prior marriage.
- Pursue charitable goals you may not otherwise feel you can afford.
- Plan for passing the family cabin, farm, or vacation property to the next generation free from conflict.
It can be difficult to get useful information on estate planning online. Every state is different. The laws change. It can be frustrating. For these reasons, we offer free educational seminars from time to time: learn more about the basics of estate planning in Minnesota.