Creating an estate plan is a complex process. If you are like most Minnesotans, you have several questions about the steps of estate-planning, the documents to include in an estate plan and many other legal issues involved. At Davis Law Firm, P.A., we work closely with clients to explain the process in detail and help you make the decisions that are best for you and your loved ones.
Here, we will answer a few of our clients’ frequently asked questions.
- Does a will avoid probate?
Not always. Most wills do not have to go through probate. However, probate is necessary in some complex cases. For example, if the will does not stipulate that certain assets transfer to someone directly, then the assets must pass through probate to reach the living beneficiary.
One of the best ways to avoid probate is to establish various trusts to pass your assets to your beneficiaries, as trusts are not subject to probate. Establishing trusts can help your loved ones avoid the tedious probate process and receive their inheritance quickly.
- Does everyone need a trust?
Not all of your beneficiaries necessarily need trusts. Trusts are beneficial if you have:
- Real estate in multiple states
- A large, taxable estate over the threshold
- Past marriages
- Assets that could result in a family dispute
Small, simple estates may not require trusts.
- When should I make an estate plan?
Every adult should have an up-to-date estate plan—it is never too soon to make one. These documents are especially important after the birth of children, a terminal diagnosis or a marriage or divorce.
- Do I need an attorney to make an estate plan?
Many websites offer free documents to write your own estate plan, but these are usually not legally sound. To ensure that your property and assets pass to the beneficiaries you wish, you must work with a competent estate-planning attorney.