Estates And Trusts
Jacobsen Law Firm, P.A. assists clients throughout Minnesota with their legal needs in the areas of estates and trusts.
Jacobsen Law Firm, P.A. assists clients throughout Minnesota by providing effective and affordable estate planning solutions.
We approach every estate plan as if it were our own. We get to know you, your family and your goals. We will discuss ways of reducing or eliminating estate taxes, options to avoid probate, asset preservation, ways of ensuring support for your dependents, effective methods to reduce conflict among heirs and exercising control over your financial and health care decisions.
Whether you are a young married couple with limited assets or are approaching retirement and have successfully amassed substantial wealth, Jacobsen Law Firm, P.A. can counsel you to select the best estate planning tools to meet your specific needs.
Our professionals are available to help with a wide range of estate planning matters such as:
- Drafting simple wills
- Drafting wills with trusts
- Creating revocable and irrevocable trusts
- Addressing estate and gift tax issues
- Assisting with transfer on death deeds
- Assisting with life estate deeds
- Preparing health care directives
- Establishing financial powers of attorney
- Petitioning for guardianships and conservatorships
- Assisting with the transfer of closely held family farms or businesses to the next generations
Estate Planning Resources (Links):
Probate And Trust Administration
The passing of a loved one is never easy on a family. It’s important to work with a legal team who understands how difficult it can be to attend to the decedent’s estate while grieving. The team at Jacobsen Law Firm, P.A. assists families by giving clear guidance on a probate or trust administration and working with the fiduciary to guide him or her along with the family through this process.
After someone dies, that person’s financial affairs go through a legal process called probate. In this process, the person’s financial affairs are settled.
The probate process involves:
- Gathering the property titled to the decedent: This can include real property, personal property, investments, retirement accounts and other assets. In this stage of probate, the probate administrator locates, collects and inventories all the property titled to the decedent.
- Handling debts: Once the property is gathered, the administrator will give notice to the decedent’s creditors and make sure all debts are paid, including tax obligations.
- Distributing remaining assets: Once the debts are paid, the administrator will distribute the decedent’s remaining property to the proper recipients. If the decedent died without a will (intestate), the assets will go to his or her heirs according to state probate laws. If the person died with a will (testate), the assets will be distributed as directed by the will and other estate planning instruments.
It is important to note that some types of property can be passed on to beneficiaries without having to pass through probate in Minnesota. These include property owned as joint tenants, bank accounts jointly held and life insurance policies that name a beneficiary specifically.
The probate process can be complex for a family member nominated to serve as a personal representative without previous experience. This is especially true when there may be disagreement among heirs, creditor claims, missing heirs, minor beneficiaries and all sorts of issues that we have dealt with over the years.
Your loved one created a revocable trust to avoid probate and make things easy for the family. That is great news. However, now they have passed away and you don’t know what to do. The person named as the successor trustee now must administer the trust. Although most trusts are not supervised by the court, the trustee has fiduciary duty to the trust beneficiaries to properly administer the trust and make distributions according to the trust instrument. The administration depends on the language of the trust, but oftentimes we represent trustees who are fulfilling their fiduciary duties. This includes but is not limited to preparing the documentation in place to act as the trustee; providing communication that sets reasonable expectations and provides a road map and timeline for trust beneficiaries; locating and collecting trust assets; preparing inventory, sale or disposal of real estate or personal property; paying valid debts; and making distributions according to the trust instrument.
If you have recently lost a family member and need assistance with a probate or trust administration please contact Jacobsen Law Firm, P.A. to speak with a southern Minnesota probate and trust attorney.
Probate And Trust Administration Links:
- Probate Information Form (PDF)