Guttman Law, PLLC is a leading estate planning law firm serving clients in Minnesota. From our office in Edina, we regularly advise individuals and families in St. Paul, Minneapolis and the surrounding communities about wills and other important planning tools. When you consult with us, we will take the time to learn about your life, listen to your concerns, review your finances, and create a will and estate plan that is tailored to your needs.
Well-versed in the applicable probate, trust and estate laws, we are widely respected for providing each client with compassionate, efficient representation. Above all, we will be your trusted advisors and work to help you make informed decisions about your future. Contact our office today to start working on your will.
A Comprehensive Estate Plan Starts With a Will
While many are aware of the importance of a will, a recent study found that nearly 60 percent of Americans do not have a will, and those under the age of 50 are less likely to have one. Perhaps they think they can start tomorrow or associate making a will with death? Whatever the reasons, having a will is the wise and responsible thing to do for you and your family.
While contemplating our fate is never easy, a well-designed will can accomplish more than making sure the right people receive your assets, such as:
In addition, a will allows you to designate a personal representative to carry out your wishes. This individual will have a number of duties, the most important being properly managing and distributing the estate assets. While it is common to select a spouse, an adult child, or other close relatives as the personal representative, he or she must be capable and trustworthy above all.
What happens if I don’t have a will?
Without a will, the court will appoint a personal representative to manage your estate according to the intestacy laws of Minnesota. This means the wrong people may end up settling your estate, inheriting your assets, and raising your children. No one wants the court to decide on a guardian for their children or having their children raised by a guardian who does not share your values.
Moreover, disputes may arise among family members which can only add to their grief after your passing. Because of these and other risks, it is crucial to have a will, and even more so now than ever, given these unprecedented times. By working with an experienced attorney, you will have comfort knowing you and your family will be protected.
Having an Attorney Prepare Your Wills is the Smart Choice
Today, anyone can download form legal documents like wills from the internet, but it takes a skilled estate planning attorney to prepare a valid will — and one that will best protect your interests. Working with a capable lawyer can also help you avoid costly mistakes and lessen the potential of a will contest (a legal challenge brought by a beneficiary or other interested party).
At Guttman Law, we have extensive experience drafting wills and other essential estate planning documents. At the same time, planning your estate involves more than merely preparing legal papers. Knowing that no two estates are alike, we will provide you with individualized attention and help you create a will that best suits your needs.
What Else You Need to Know About Wills in Minnesota
The first thing to know is that a will must go through probate, the legal process through which the assets are distributed. Depending on the size of the estate, probate can be long and cumbersome. It is also a public proceeding that can expose the details of your distribution plan to public scrutiny. For this reason, we often recommend that clients consider establishing trusts to achieve their estate planning objectives. A properly structured trust will not only avoid probate but help to avoid estate taxes.
Also, a well-conceived estate plan goes beyond having a will and includes planning for incapacity. This basically involves creating a power of attorney and an advance healthcare directive to ensure that your assets and well-being will be protected if you suffer an incapacitating injury or illness and cannot speak for yourself.
Finally, a will is not set in stone. You can modify the distribution plan during your lifetime to reflect the changes that may occur, such as getting married, having children, acquiring property, or retiring. At Guttman Law, we are available to provide ongoing counsel and recommend reviewing your estate plan on a regular basis.
Talk To a Minnesota Estate Planning Attorney About Your Will
Regardless of your financial status or family circumstances, the best way to protect your assets and loved ones is by creating a will. Trust Guttman Law to guide you on preparing your will today, so that you are prepared for tomorrow. Please contact our office to schedule a consultation.