If nothing else, you should at least have 3 essential estate documents: will, health care directive, and powers of attorney. This way, you dictate who inherits your property, have someone to make medical decisions for you if you are in a coma, and have a person with the power to sign contracts on your behalf when you need to but are unavailable.
Your will can also include a future trust in it that will come to life after you pass away. This is usually used when a person owns significant cash and doesn't want the children to inherit the money outright.
Strategic Estate Planning
$2000 per person
•Health care directive
•Powers of attorney
Strategic estate planning includes all of the benefits of essential planning PLUS it allows you to avoid probate. If you die as a sole owner of real estate or if you die owning more than $75,000 worth of property in your name, then your loved ones will need to go to court in order to enforce your will. This can take months or years and cost thousands of dollars.
If you want to save your family the time, money, and stress of probate court, you can do so with strategic estate planning, that includes all of the essential documents plus a living trust.
Tax Conscious Estate Planning $10,000 per person
• Health care directive
• Powers of attorney
• Complex trusts
If you have a net worth over $2.4 million, you will owe Minnesota estate taxes of up to 16%, and if your net worth is over $11.4 million, you will owe federal estate taxes of 40%! That is a massive chunk of your hard earned money going to the government. Failure to plan for the tax consequences means your loved ones won't be able to inherit what belongs to them.
However, even if your net worth is less than that, you may still need to consider the tax consequences of leaving your wealth to certain individuals as it might cause their estate to be taxed.