Even though we are now two months into 2015, there are likely many New Year's resolutions that you have yet to fulfill. Perhaps you haven't made it into the gym quite as often as you vowed or gotten around to cleaning up the basement clutter that has become an eyesore
Statistics show that an astounding 64 percent of Americans currently have no estate plan, meaning they have no formalized plans in place for their assets, their health care wishes or even their children should they pass unexpectedly.
One aspect of their jobs that most people take for granted is the predictability it offers. In other words, even though their day can become very hectic with phone calls, meetings and paperwork, it will typically follow the same course and end relatively peacefully.
While movie fans have been shocked by the unexpected passing of some iconic performers over the last year, no other loss has perhaps resonated quite as much as that of comedic legend actor Robin Williams, who passed away earlier this month at the age of 63.
As we've made abundantly clear on our blog, people from all walks of life should give strong consideration to executing a comprehensive estate plan setting forth very clear expectations concerning the distribution of property, medical care and even guardianship of children.
When a person makes the monumental decision to move to another state, they undoubtedly have a multitude of issues on their mind from finding a new place to live to looking at area schools if they have children. The stress doesn't end once the move is completed, however, as they have to devote significant time to setting up their new living arrangements and, of course, acclimating to their new surroundings.
While many Americans would prefer to put the memory of the recent recession behind them, it's important to understand that the economy is finally showing signs of recovery. To illustrate, the housing market has rebounded to a large extent, consumers are spending more and the unemployment rate is improving.
What is the ultimate goal in the creation of an estate plan? Is it making sure that your wealth and assets get passed on to your intended heirs? Is it to minimize estate taxes? Is it to ensure that your name lives on in the form of charitable giving?
Now that the spring conditions are finally returning to Minnesota after a long and particularly cold winter, people are thinking about their favorite warm weather activities from fishing and gardening to softball and swimming. Still others, however, are thinking about the chores they will need to get done, including their annual spring cleaning.
When the average Minnesotan begins the estate planning process, the first assets that they consider are often cash and investments, along with tangible assets like cars, homes, or valuable art or jewelry. These are the core types of things that we think about when contemplating passing something down to the next generation but these days tangible items are not the only things we should be concerned about. Where we once simply handed over albums full of family photos, now we maintain our archives digitally, often using social media tools like Facebook to chronicle our lives.