The Minnesota estate planning attorneys with the Brown Law Offices, P.A., assists clients throughout the Minneapolis metro area. Most live in Hennepin, Anoka, Sherburne or Wright County. Our lawyers have substantial experience with a myriad of estate planning options, including wills, trusts, powers of attorney, healthcare directives and prenuptial agreements.
The members of our firm speak plain English, and provide cost-effective solutions for families of all shapes and sizes. Most of our clients are neither rich, nor famous. Still, they have a lot worth protecting and preserving.
Documents We Draft
One of the most important aspects on an estate plan in Minnesota is a Last Will & Testament. A Last Will & Testament, more commonly referred to as simply a “Will,” is a document that establishes guidelines for how your assets will be distributed after your death.
Powers of Attorney
One of the most common parts of an estate plan in Minnesota is a Power of Attorney. Considered a “pre-death” document, a Power of Attorney allows you to appoint a third-party to act on your behalf in the event that you are unable to make your own decisions.
Health Care Directives
There are many things about the future that are uncertain. We may not know exactly what is in store for us in terms of health, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be prepared. A Health Care Directive is a great way to protect your wishes, and ensure your medical care goes according to your plans.
When you establish a trust in Minnesota, you are naming a trustee who will have legal title to your property. A trustee will have control over all of the property within the trust. One of the main advantages of a trust is that it helps to avoid the probate process, which can be costly and time consuming.
Transfer on Death Deeds
Although death is never easy, there are many legal issues that can make it even more complicated and difficult for loved ones. Luckily, there are also laws in place that allow for making some of the financial aspects of death easier. In the state of Minnesota, Transfer on Death Deeds are one tool in an estate plan that can greatly simplify the process of transferring property after death
Protecting your assets, and your future, is an important step for everyone to take. Although many people associate estate planning with being married, or having kids, there are options available for everyone. In Minnesota, many couples choose to live together without getting married.
Prenuptial agreements are often considered by individuals who own businesses, or other valuable assets, prior to marriage, and parties who are getting married for a second time and want to preserve their estate for their children. To remain enforceable, prenup lawyers in Minnesota must present an agreement that is substantively fair, and executed in a procedurally fair manner.
Getting married, or having kids, are two of the most common reasons people decide to execute a Will for the first time. Since many Wills are established when people are younger, there is often the need to make adjustments later in life. Rather than drawing up a whole new Will, a Codicil may be the best answer.
Six Simple Steps
We offer a free initial consultation to all potential clients. It shouldn’t cost you anything to determine whether our firm is the right fit for you. Call (763) 323-6555 to schedule a phone conference with one of attorneys.
Our formal relationship with you starts with your completion of a thorough estate planning questionnaire. With this information, our team will roundtable your situation and provide preliminary guidance in terms of your options.
Once we have a sense of where things are headed, we will take as much time as necessary to meet with you in-person. We can discuss the projected plan for you, and answer any questions you may have.
Shortly after our in-office meeting, our attorneys will draft all of the necessary documents for your review. We consider the process to be interactive with you, providing drafts and revisions along the way.
Execution of Materials
Once all of the relevant documents meet with your approval, we will schedule a mutually convenient follow up session. At that meeting, you will execute all paperwork in the presence of necessary witnesses and/or a notary.
Following execution of your estate planning documents, you can elect to have our firm maintain the originals, or you may do so. Either way, multiple copies will be provided for you to distribute to interested persons, as we maintain a copy of your documents on site.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if my assets are limited in value?
No matter the size of your estate, if you have a child, the creation of a will is very important. A will allows you to name the individual(s) to care for your son or daughter, if you die prematurely.
What can I do in my will?
Among other things, a will provides details surrounding the distribution of your assets after you die, names a personal representative to manage your estate, names a guardian for your children, and allows you to determine whether probate should be “formal” or “informal.”
What is a power of attorney?
A power of attorney is a legal document that authorizes another person to handle your financial affairs while you are still living, but unable to do so. Most are “durable,” allowing you to revoke it at any time.
Do I need a health care directive?
Yes. Everyone should have a health care directive. A healthcare directive (or “living will”) lets your doctors and family members know your wishes in the event you are unable to communicate them. It also allows you to name someone to make important healthcare decisions on your behalf (a “healthcare agent”), if your condition prevents you from doing so.
Is a trust the right thing for me?
Maybe. If you have an estate of significant value, you may wish to avoid probate through the creation of a trust. Trusts are also an excellent way to control your estate after you pass – either through timing requirements, staggered disbursements, or other conditions attached to the receipt of property by your heirs.
What happens if I die without a will?
If you die without a will, the probate court will rely on a set of statutes ( the “laws of intestate succession”). These statutes require the court to look at your family tree and divide your estate in a hierarchical manner – in a way you may not have wanted.
What is probate?
Once you die, your estate needs to be managed. That management process is known as “probate.” A personal representative (hopefully named by you in a will) will be appointed to collect your assets, pay your debts and disburse the remaining property to those you have named to inherit.
How can I avoid probate?
A number of estate planning tools may be used to avoid the need for probate. Probate court is designed primarily to facilitate the transfer of title to your property after you die. Trusts, transfer on death deeds, named beneficiaries on life insurance polices and retirement accounts, and joint ownership of bank accounts are just a few of the ways to determine title without a court order.
Is this going to be expensive?
For a good majority of our clients, the process will cost less than $1,500.00. We offer a reasonable flat fee for most of our services. To the extent that your estate may be more complex, requiring a trust, our attorneys work on an hourly basis, with a cap on fees, to keep things predictable.