Estate planning gives you control over what happens to your assets when you die.
Your estate is the material culmination of your life's work. You're going to want to have some control over what happens to it when you're gone. Who will benefit from your hard work, and when? How should your estate be managed? The goal of your estate plan is to answer these questions while paying minimal taxes, legal fees and court costs.
By being proactive and planning your estate, you can:
Avoid unnecessary family stress when you die
Protect your life's work
Maximize the chances that your beneficiaries are responsible with your life's work
Pass on your values (religion, education, integrity) as well as your valuables
Avoid paying more than you need to in taxes, legal fees and court costs
Keep your family from having to make hard medical decisions
Give instructions on transferring your business to the right hands
Have records of titles and beneficiary designations all in one place
Don't Let the State Plan for You
If you don't have a plan in place in the event you become incapacitated, it will take a costly court action to get a Minnesota court to appoint will appoint a guardian to make decisions for you. Likewise, if you die without a plan, the courts also have control over how your assets are distributed among your family. In both cases, the court's decision may not be what you would have chosen.
Successful People Started Their Plan Yesterday
Most people don't get proactive about their estate plan until they undergo a dramatic life change. But, the smartest planners don't wait for a serious illness, divorce, death of a family member, or other crisis to get proactive about their estate plan. The most successful people are not only proactive about their estate plan, they also update it with their attorney every 2-3 years.