Imagine if you learned that everything you’d done with the intention of protecting your family could be the one thing that destroys them? Far too many parents, professionals and property owners believe that they can rely on a will to smoothly transfer assets and name guardians of minor children when they pass. THEY ARE DEAD WRONG. I’M GOING TO SHOW YOU WHY. Then, I’m going to tell you how YOU CAN REALLY Experience the Peace of Mind Knowing Your Loved Ones will be Provided for through Estate Planning. 9 out of 10 attorneys are selling you and even at the most prestigious firms, clients are getting (one size fits all “OSFA”) Wills that don’t reflect their intentions for their families. OSFA Wills can result in a loss of the client’s wealth (because they are left open to risk of creditors, divorce, opportunist, bankruptcy or law suits) or the client’s intentions not being carried out (for example when a child receives an inheritance outright at age 18 and it derails their future). You may be asking: Why are the clients’ needs not realized?
Well, this may occur for a couple of reasons:
1) The lawyers are using a “template” estate plan. Your family’s name is simply substituted for the Smith family whose estate plan was completed last week. They use a one size fits all “OSFA” estate plan for every client; or
2) Those estate planning attorneys are giving the client what he/she THINKS they want and not what they REALLY want and need.
9 out of 10 clients who see me ask for a simple will. Then, I ask them what their estate planning goals are. The first thing nearly every one of them says is, “I want to avoid probate court”.
This is where any attorney in Minnesota should recognize that it is her professional duty to educate the client that a simple will does NOT achieve the client’s basic goal of staying out to probate. However, time and time again, the lawyer will take the client’s money and give them what they asked for, which doesn’t even achieve their basic goal! I believe this is a disservice to the client and goes against an attorney’s professional obligations. You might be wondering why it is so important to avoid probate. I’ll cover it (in my article so be sure to watch for it), but first let’s discuss what will force an estate into probate. If you have any one of the following in the state of Minnesota, your estate will be probated:
Real property Assets together totaling $175,000 or more Minor Children Creditors
As you can see, very few people in the Minneapolis and St. Paul areas can say that none of the above applies to them. Therefore, their estate will go to probate court when they pass. BUT, there is a way to avoid probate. The solution is to establish a trust with a knowledgeable Minnesota estate Planning attorney who refuses to use a OSFA template and instead, customizes a plan specific to each clients’ needs. Contact us to find out how we can help your family avoid probate.