Estate Planning: Wills

Experienced Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorneys in St Cloud, Big Lake, and Cold Spring Minnesota

Why do I need a will?

Most people know they need to make a will at some point in their life, but many don’t know how a will works and the importance of making a will as soon as possible. A will is a legal document that states your final wishes. A will generally includes; the designation of an executor (someone who carries out the provisions of the will), beneficiary (those who are inheriting the assets), instructions for how and when the beneficiaries will receive the assets and the gardens for any minor children. Constructing a will exactly how you want is essential to have, as it allows you to communicate your wishes clearly and precisely. Developing a will is one of the most critical things you can do for your loved one. Writing your wishes on paper helps your family and friends avoid unnecessary confusion and reduce conflict and speculations on what you “would have” wanted. The will lays out precisely what you “would have” wanted.

Last Will And Testament. Estate Planning

Types of Wills

When creating a will, it’s essential to understand the different wills before creating one. There are four types of wills; simple will, a testamentary trust will, joint will, and living will.

Simple Will

Simple wills are often used when all that is needed is direction on distributing assets to people. It is a basic will without any fancy conditions or demands. It declares who gets what, assigns a personal representative who ensures your will is carried out, and names a guardian for a minor. It’s simple but covers the main points of a will.

Testamentary Trust Will

A testamentary trust is a bit different; it’s a will that puts at least some, if not most, of your assets into a trust. A trust distributes assets to a beneficiary but is administered by a third person called a trustee. The trustee controls when and how the property is distributed to the trust beneficiary. Testamentary trust wills are generally created for young children, relatives with disabilities, or others who may inherit a large sum of money that enters the estate upon the testator’s passing.

Joint Will

Joint wills are generally created by spouses who intend to leave their property to one another. The surviving testator will inherit everything on the deceased spouse’s estate. Once the other testator passes away, the remaining estate will be distributed. One important fact about a joint will is that it cannot be revoked without the consent of both testators, meaning it is irrevocable once one of the testators dies.

Living Will

A living will is unlike other wills; it provides detailed instructions on what type of medical treatment you wish to receive if you become too ill to communicate. You can explain what kind of care you do and don’t want and name someone to make your medical decisions on your behalf. For example, you might say you do not want to be hooked to a ventilator even if you die without it.

Changing Your Will

It is crucial to keep your will updated. As life goes on, your potential beneficiaries change. Leaving outdated information in your will can lead to confusion and wishes being granted that you no longer desire. Some primary reasons for changing your will; are marriage, divorce, a new child, changing your mind, change in location. Continuously checking up on your will is essential to keep it up to date and avoid unnecessary confusion. The easiest way to change a will is to simply develop a new one. It allows you to make sure you change everything you want to and make no mistakes. One important thing when creating a new will is revoking the old one; writing a statement in the new will and destroying the previous one is essential.
Hiring an attorney.

No Will or Lost Will

Not having a will can be a little nerve-racking, all the possibilities that could happen to the people you love the most if you pass away while not having a will. If you pass away while not having a will in Minnesota, your assets will go to your closest relatives under state “intestate succession” laws. Depending on whether or not you have a living spouse, children, parents, or close relatives, your assets are passed to them when you die. For example, if you pass away and only have children, the children inherit everything. When a will is lost, it’s a little scary, but if your will has been lost, damaged, or destroyed, an application can be made to the court for evidence of the will’s content to be accepted in place of the original will. For example, when a picture of the original will or other documents might state parts of the will. Most importantly, creating a new will is vital as soon as you realize your original will has been lost.

Changing Your Will

It is crucial to keep your will updated. As life goes on, your potential beneficiaries change. Leaving outdated information in your will can lead to confusion and wishes being granted that you no longer desire. Some major reasons for changing your will; are marriage, divorce, a new child, changing your mind, change in location. Continuously checking up on your will is important to keep it entirely up to date and avoid unnecessary confusion. The easiest way of changing a will is to simply develop a new will. It allows you to make sure you changed everything you wanted to and no mistakes. When creating a new will, one important thing is revoking the old one; writing a statement in the new will and destroying the previous will is essential.

Drafting a will with an attorney

When creating a will, ask yourself many questions when appointing beneficiaries and dividing your assets. Although writing your will is a sensitive and challenging subject, having the proper guidance can release a lot of stress. The St. Cloud, MN attorneys at Jeddeloh Snyder Stommes are experienced and compassionate will-planning attorneys who will ensure that every detail is handled correctly and with sensitivity.

Estate Planning & Wills – Protect your assets and protect your family

In today’s society, planning for the future by having a “will” is vital. A family needs to begin preparation for the protection of their assets. A good time to start is when a couple begins to have children. Defining guardianship for the children, how to handle assets, real property, finances, etc. Our estate planning attorneys and elder law attorneys specialize in this area of law. With over 40 years of providing quality legal representation, the law firm has 100+ years of combined legal experience. Whether you are setting up a will, guardianship, or a health care directive, you need an attorney who will help you with every step. We are one of the top law firms in St Cloud, Minnesota, specializing in Estate Planning and Elder Law. Our lawyers will make sure that you and your assets are protected.

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Estate Planning & Elder Law - Cases We Handle

We can help with any of the following:

  • Estate Plans
  • Elder Law
  • Conservatorship
  • Guardianship
  • Healthcare Directives
  • Living Wills
  • Probate of Estate
  • Testate Estates
  • Intestate Estates
  • Special Needs Trusts
  • Supplemental Needs Trusts
  • Revocable Living Trusts
  • Irrevocable Trusts
  • Charitable Trusts
  • Living Trusts
  • Asset Protection
  • Medicaid Laws
  • Gifts to Minors
  • Probate Litigation
  • Power of Attorney
  • Will Contests
  • Family Business Succession Planning

Minnesota Elder Law Articles

What are Wills and What are They for?

What are Wills and What are They for?

The primary purpose of wills is to distribute items in the estate - money, items properly, and other possessions after someone has passed away. Without a legal will in place, the deceased person's possessions are no longer controlled by the family but by the...

St Cloud’s Most Trusted Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorneys

To help avoid problems in the future, trust our law firm to administer your estate planning needs. We can ensure your wishes are carried out.
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