Wills are key for cohabiting couples

On Behalf of | Jan 29, 2021 | Estate Planning And Probate

Every adult in Minnesota should have a will. A last will and testament is the cornerstone of an estate plan. Even people who don’t own much should have one. A will allows the testator to distribute his or her assets, nominate an executor, and name a guardian for any minor children. Wills are especially important for civil partners and cohabitating couples.

Intestate inheritance in Minnesota

Minnesota does have some conventions governing the distribution of assets for adults who die without a will. If the decedent is unmarried with children, everything passes to his or her children. If that individual has a spouse but no children, the spouse will inherit everything. But for unmarried couples living together, it’s somewhat more complicated because there’s no share set aside specifically for them.

Estate planning, even in circumstances in which a couple is married, can better protect assets. Using instruments like wills and trusts can simplify the process of administering an estate. Probate court can take a very long time. With a will and a plan in place, survivors save lots of time and money.

Estate planning and probate law become more complicated when more assets are in play. Anyone who owns several properties or runs a business needs a plan. They should understand that it can take years to resolve such an estate with no will or estate plan in place.

Meeting with an experienced attorney is the first step in creating a solid estate plan. Other professionals who might also be consulted include financial planners and insurance brokers. Together, they can help devise a plan that makes the transfer of assets as worry free as possible for survivors.