Do Not Make a Costly Mistake
It is easy to procrastinate when it comes to estate planning. However, in Minnesota where seasons turn over quickly, it is important to put your loved ones first by doing some simple planning today. Having an estate plan, whether you consider yourself wealthy or not, is a way to provide support and loving guidance to those around you if you should die, become incapacitated or become unable to make decisions for yourself. Estate planning involves every aspect of your life: family, legal, financial, health care, wealth preservation, asset protection and retirement planning. Come to Hellekson Law in Baxter, MN for expert guidance and help on these issues. Whether you have a net worth of $10,000 or $10,000,000, you need some necessary estate planning documents to provide guidance to your family and loved ones.
Make no mistake: it is much more cost effective to have these documents drafted by an attorney rather than going to a court to sort things out. You may also be wondering, can I draft my own documents? There are certainly online aids and kits you can purchase, however, why risk one mistake that could cost you loss of assets, quality of life or increase the amount of taxes you have to pay? We have witnessed middle and high net worth individuals make such costly mistakes.
If you don't have a will, the State has made one for you. Whether young or old, rich or poor, there are four common reasons to have a will:
First, if you have young children, you will want to name a guardian that will take care of your children should you pass away. If you don't have a will, a court will decide who will take care of your children should you and your spouse pass away.
Second, if you have minor children, a trust may be created upon your death through your will so that the money does not go directly to your children. You can name a Trustee to distribute the assets as needed to meet your children's needs, not wants. If you don't have a will, the children may spend the money however they wish, such as purchasing a motorcycle.
Third, a will can establish a Credit Shelter Trust. The purpose of the trust is to exercise your estate tax exemption thereby reducing or, in most cases, eliminating the need to pay state and federal estate taxes.
Fourth, and most importantly, you want to direct who gets your assets when you pass away. If you die without a will, the court will decide how and to whom your assets will be divided. In certain circumstances, even an ex-spouse can stand to inherit.
A well drafted will should address at least all four of these concerns.
A revocable trust is a trust you establish during your lifetime to express your wishes and manage your assets. Sometimes, many consider this strategy instead of a will as your revocable trust has the ability to avoid probate. In order for it to work, you must fund your revocable trust with your assets. Even though you have a revocable trust, you may need a pour over will that places assets into your revocable trust upon your death or otherwise disposes of assets. There are many advantages and disadvantages to having a will, too numerous to elaborate here. If you are considering a revocable trust, call and schedule a free initial consultation with Ed.
Power of Attorney
Who is going to make financial and legal decisions if you are unable? A power of attorney is a legal document that allows someone you choose to make important decisions for you such as legal and financial decisions.
In your Power of Attorney, you appoint someone you trust, usually a spouse or a family member, to act as your attorney-in-fact. A power of attorney may allow decisions to be made on your behalf currently, or can become active upon disability or your incapacity. Also, just because you are married does not automatically give your spouse the power to make transactions upon your behalf. Bank accounts, safe deposit boxes, investments and real estate transactions all have different requirements. A good power of attorney will allow your attorney-in-fact to access assets and do transactions on your behalf if you are unavailable or unable to do so. You can limit the power you grant your attorney-in-fact. Consider the consequences of not having a power of attorney. What would happen if you were in a car accident and cannot manage your affairs? Someone will have to go to court to have a guardian or conservator appointed. It may not necessarily be someone that you trust or want to make important decisions on your behalf. It will also be costly.
Importance of a Power of Attorney:
- Buying or Selling Assets and Payment of Debts
- Conducting Legal Transactions
- Filing Taxes
- Managing Your Investments and Financials
- Paying Everyday Expenses
- Sale or Purchase of Real Estate
Health Care Declaration (Living Will)
A health care declaration, also known as a living will, sets forth your wishes about how you want to be cared for when you can no longer make such decisions for yourself. Your health can change in an instant. For example, whether you suffer from a stroke, car accident or a fall and can no longer express yourself, you will want a loved one who knows your wishes to make important decisions related to your health care on your behalf. In your health care declaration, you name an agent who will make decisions on your behalf. Most people generally appoint a spouse or family member as an agent. In the document, you can express your wishes about how you would like to be cared for. You can express your wishes, depending on your condition, whether you want to have invasive surgery that won't necessarily prolong your life. A good health care declaration will carefully document how you feel about certain procedures and situations. In other words, under what conditions would you want your life prolonged and at what expense and quality of life?
Retirement Planning, Pensions, Benefits, IRAs
Whether you are saving for retirement, considering retirement or retired, there are many important decisions that need to be made. For example, if you are considering retirement, do you know what your income will be over your retirement years? Perhaps you wonder whether you have enough assets to retire. Before you retire, it is important to know your options. Retirement planning has many variables; call to find out your rollover or transfer options. If you are saving for retirement, how much do you need to put away to maintain your quality of life? We can help you answer such important questions and many more. Should you do a rollover out of your company's 401(k)? If you are retiring, how much can you take out over what period of time to maintain your lifestyle?
The different retirement plans can be complex and difficult to understand. Ed is an experienced attorney that can help you understand the tax implications of each plan and determine which plan is best for you.
- 1035 Exchanges
- Beneficiary Designation Planning
- Choosing a Custodian
- Insurance Analysis
- IRA Transfers
- Rollover Options
- ROTH IRAs
Estate Planning Concerns:
- Do I have enough life insurance or too much?
- How can I make sure the state does not take my home if I need nursing care?
- How can I pass my assets to my loved ones most efficiently?
- How can I reduce or eliminate estate taxes?
- How do I treat my children equally if my estate is mostly land or a business?
- How do you keep the family cabin in the family?
- Is there a way I can designate who gets our family heirlooms?
- Is there a way I can divorce-proof my assets for my children and grandchildren?
- Is there a way I can shield my assets from creditors?
- What happens to my assets if I need to go into a nursing home?
- Who will take care of my children if I pass away?
Whether you are married, a parent, single or divorced, you need an estate and retirement plan.
Business Formation & Planning:
- Asset Protection for Doctors & Business Professionals
- Business Asset Purchases
- Business Liability Protection
- Business Plans
- Business Planning
- Buy/Sell Agreements
- Commercial Leases
- Confidentiality Agreements
- Contract Drafting and Negotiation
- Contract Drafting, Negotiation and Review
- Entity Selection
- Executive Compensation
- Family Limited Partnerships (FLP)
- Family Owned Business Generation Planning
- Financing Agreements
- Incorporation (S-Corp or C-Corp)
- Limited Liability Company (LLC)
- Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP)
- Maximizing Pre-Tax Deductions
- Mergers & Acquisitions
- Non-Compete Agreements
- Obtaining Tax Identification Numbers
- Online Filing
- Purchase or Sale of a Business
- Retirement Planning Options
- Shareholder Matters
- Succession Planning
Initial Business Formation:
- Assumed Name
- Member Control Agreements
- Operating Agreements
- Tax Identification Numbers
- Executive Bonus Agreements
- Nonqualified Plans
- Qualified Plans (Simple, SEP, 401(k))
Hellekson Law Office assists business owners from startup through growth and the eventually sale of the business. Ed has represented businesses and has been hired as a consultant for small and large businesses throughout the United States. Whether your business has 1 employee or 5,000, Ed has the experience to assist you in achieving your goals.
If your business has more than one owner, you need to understand the risks you may face if one of you dies unexpectedly. Some questions you should consider include:
Who would become your new partner if your co-owner died?
If you died, would your spouse or family be able to sell your share of the business at a fair price?
In either case, there should be a written buy/sell agreement in place so that you do not lose control of the business. Usually a funding source is put in place to assist either party in a buyout of the decedent's share of the business. The agreement would help protect you and your business from the effects of unintended transfers of ownership. It also protects your family by giving them an opportunity to turn your share of the business into cash.
Ed Hellekson is a skilled criminal defense lawyer having handled cases from DWI to first-degree murder. Regardless of the charge, facing the criminal justice system can be a terrifying ordeal. You want a skilled trial attorney that is familiar with the system and process of your criminal matter. Ed Hellekson is ready to fight for you and to help you assert and defend your constitutional rights during criminal proceedings.
Ed Hellekson has a successful track record having criminal trial experience from first degree murder, theft, burglary, drug crimes to DWI and misdemeanor offenses. He is an effective attorney that will help you get results. His practice is based in Baxter, Minnesota, where Ed works tirelessly on the behalf of his clients and gets good results.
Ed Hellekson can assist you negotiate the criminal process from obtaining a plea agreement through trial. He has represented clients on many different crimes including:
Criminal Defense For:
- Damage to Property
- Domestic Assault
- Driving After Cancellation
- Drug Possession & Sale
- DWI or DUI
- DWI Test Refusal
- Juvenile Crimes
- Probation Violations
- Restraining & Order and OFP Violations
- Terroristic Threats
- Theft of Motor Vehicle
- Traffic Violations
- Contracts for Deeds
- Lease & Rental Agreements
- Letters of Intent
- Purchase Agreements
- Quit Claim Deeds
- Transfer on Death Deeds
- Warranty Deeds
Call Us Now
Do not delay hiring an attorney if you need to sort out legal issues. The sooner you hire an advocate the better. Call us for more information.
Disclaimer: The materials on this Web site are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Transmission of the information on this Web site is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship. You should not rely upon this information without seeking professional counsel. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.