What to Expect When Working with Us
We look forward to working with you to plan for death and incapacity. While these aren’t fun or very easy conversations to have, they are important. Our promise to you is that we will deliver quality service and an experience that will leave you with a clear understanding of your plan.
1) Schedule a Meeting
We will talk about what you need for your estate plan and the documents that will meet your needs and the needs of your family. Our process is designed primarily to educate you and build a plan that fits your unique situation.
You will also receive simple, flat rate pricing for your plan so you will be able to make an informed choice about your investment in this process.
Prior to this meeting, please download and complete the New Client Form and bring it to our first meeting together.
2) Receive Draft Documents
Within 10 days, we will send you the documents we discussed at our meeting for your review. We invite additional opportunities to have your questions answered and make any changes you feel are needed.
3) Review and Signing Meeting
We invite you back to our office to go through your documents together in more detail and to sign and finalize your plan.
Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney and Health Care Directives
Revermann Law can help you prepare wills, trusts, powers of attorney and health care directives. Learn more about the about the documents we prepare:
A Will is instructions for probate. A Will does not avoid probate, which is a common misconception. Having a Will may reduce the cost of probate by naming someone to act as your personal representative (executor) and also designating who will inherit your estate. You can also nominate someone as a guardian for your minor children in the Will.
A revocable trust (sometimes referred to as a living trust) is used to transfer your assets upon death to whomever you wish. While you are living, the Trust is an extension of you and you are the trustee of your Trust. You name a trustee who is in charge of following the Trust instructions following your death or incapacity. The primary advantage of using a Trust is to avoid probate, which allows the transition of your estate to be accomplished in the easiest way possible. A simple revocable Trust does not provide tax advantages that are different from using a Will or similar estate planning tool. The downside of the Trust is that it costs more out of your pocket now than a Will; however, the long term costs are less because of the probate avoidance. There are also more complex trusts that provide for estate tax reduction planning.
Powers of Attorney
This is a relatively simple document that gives someone else authority to make your financial decisions for you if you become incapacitated for any reason. The person you name, called the attorney-in-fact, acts in your best interests to perform transactions for you such as paying bills, selling your real estate if it is necessary, etc. when you are no longer able to do them on your own. If you become incapacitated and do not have a Power of Attorney, your loved ones may need to go through a Court process to obtain a conservatorship over you.
Health Care Directives
Sometimes called a living will, this document comes in two parts. The first names someone to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself. The second part is where you indicate your end of life preferences from cremation or burial to your fears about death and dying. There are many variations of this form and you can get the document free from most hospitals. Here is a Health Care Directive you can download for free: Health Care Directive. (Disclaimer: Use of this document, does not establish an attorney-client relationship. We are happy to provide guidance and legal advice in filling out this form. Please contact us to discuss further.) To be effective, this must be signed either in front of a notary public or in front of two witness, neither of whom can stand to benefit from your death (not a child, for example).
Transfer on Death Deeds
A Transfer on Death Deed (TODD) is an estate planning tool that transfers your real estate to someone after you die. It acts similar to a beneficiary designation like you might have for your bank accounts. You continue to own your real estate during your lifetime. The TODD is recorded while you are living and it says that when you die, transfer the property to someone else, such as a child. When you die, the person you named files a document with the County Recorder notifying them of the death and then that person owns the property to do with it as s/he wishes. No probate is needed for that transfer. While this is a great way to easily transfer real estate upon your death, there are disadvantages about how this might apply to your family that we would discuss with you so you can make the right choice.
Probate and Trust and Estate Administration
Probate is the Court process to transfer assets that are held in a person’s name by him/herself when they die. Assets that are owned jointly with someone or with a named beneficiary will avoid probate. If there is a Will, the instructions of the Will are followed. If there is no Will, state law will decide who will get your assets. There are negatives associated with probate such as time, cost and the information is open to the public. With that said, probate is not the worst thing. Our team handles all of the paper shuffling and meets all Court deadlines for you.
When a probate is not needed because there is a Trust, joint assets, or named beneficiaries on all assets, there are still steps to take in settling one’s estate. We are here to guide you.
Elder Law and Medical Assistance (Nursing Home) Planning
Medicaid (called Medical Assistance in Minnesota) is a governmental program that provides health insurance coverage for low-income seniors and people with disabilities. Planning for long-term care costs is a critical concern for many people. We enjoy exploring these planning opportunities with you to protect and use assets in the best way. In our time with you, we cover how to become eligible for Medical Assistance benefits, whether married or as a single person. These include talking about asset rules, transfer penalties (gifting and look-back periods), conserving assets from nursing home costs, and other tools to meet your goals.
Special and Supplemental Needs Trusts
For clients with children or other people in their lives with mental illness or other disabilities, we are here to help plan for their legal and financial future. In these cases, we often look to planning tools like special and supplemental needs trusts. The intention of both is to provide additional funds for a disabled person without causing that person to lose public benefits s/he is otherwise entitled to receive.
Guardianships and Conservatorships
When a person is unable to make personal care or financial decisions for him/herself, it may be possible that a Court appointed guardianship or conservatorship is needed. A guardianship is over the person: making decisions about where a person lives, his/her medical care, etc. A conservatorship is over the assets: making decisions about finances, paying bills, signing contracts. The process to obtain a guardianship and conservatorship includes a formal request to the Court and a Court hearing. As we work with you, we strive to maintain the dignity of the person who needs a guardian/conservator to ensure no one in the process feels less than.
ESTATE PLANNING FAQS
Get answers to some of the most common estate planning questions
Paying for the Nursing Home
MN’s Medical Assistance program
Let's Work Together
If you choose to work with us, our guarantee to you is that the process will be transparent, reliable and accountable.
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