Understanding Wills And Trusts

It is a misconception that estate planning is only something that the very wealthy need to consider. Every adult can benefit from having an estate plan in place. At Erhart & Elfelt, LLC, in Anoka, we pride ourselves on crafting tailored estate plans to properly serve our clients' best interests.

The first step in creating an estate plan is an analysis of assets and how property is owned. A home owned in joint tenancy will transfer based upon the title of the home. Beneficiary designations will trump a will in the absence of a clear and specific intent to the contrary — Erhart & Elfelt, LLC, successfully argued this issue on behalf of a client in a leading case heard in the Minnesota Supreme Court.

The next step involves defining the overall goals of the estate plan. Your estate plan should comprehensively serve your goals without adding tools that are not necessary. When you call 763-392-0738 to arrange your consultation with our estate planning lawyer, you will quickly recognize that we are determined to craft the plan best suited to your unique circumstances.

Do I Need A Trust Or Should I Write A Will?

Not every estate plan is identical. We are devoted to helping clients understand the estate planning tools that are available, as well as the purpose of each instrument, and crafting a cost-effective plan that makes the most sense for each client.

For many individuals, writing a will is the most appropriate option to allow them to express their wishes about the distribution of assets. Parents of minor children can also appoint a guardian in a will to have the peace of mind that the children will be well cared for. In more complex estates or when special circumstances apply, a comprehensive estate plan may include a variety of instruments, including powers of attorney, a living will, trusts and a pour-over will.

Will A Trust Help Me Avoid Probate?

A common question that we can answer is whether a trust will help you avoid probate. We will also analyze whether assets will transfer on death based upon title or the beneficiary designation listed on the account without the need to create a trust. We will explain the costs of creating, funding and managing a trust — a trust may not be the best option for your budget.

We will explain the wide variety of tools that may apply to your goals to allow you to make informed decisions. Common instruments in an estate plan include:

  • Wills
  • Revocable trusts
  • Irrevocable trusts
  • Special needs trusts
  • Health care declarations, commonly referred to as living wills
  • Powers of attorney

Call Our Wills And Trusts Lawyers In Anoka For Answers

From our offices in downtown Anoka and Nowthen, we serve clients throughout the northwestern suburbs and northern Minnesota. For skilled guidance and a tailored solution to your estate planning goals, please send us an email or call 763-392-0738.