Watch Keith Cambre address estate planning questions

What’s the difference between testacy and intestacy and why is it important?
What’s a “Transfer on Death Deed?” and what are the reasons to use it?
What should be included in your health care declarations?
What advice do you give clients concerning estate administration?
What’s the range of costs for doing proper estate planning and how does that compare to the potential cost to your heirs if you don’t do a proper estate plan?


Creating a Comprehensive Plan to Manage Your Assets, Prepare for Illness or Incapacity and Protect Your Loved Ones

Merrigan, Brandt, Ostenso & Cambre, P.A. can help you and your family with your estate planning needs. Our attorneys have over five decades of experience and understand the complexities of Minnesota probate law. We routinely help clients prepare wills, trusts, powers of attorney, living wills and other estate planning documents. We are also experienced in handling guardianships and conservatorships.

Planning for Death — Wills and Estates

Planning for your death may seem like a morbid task, but it is necessary. The decisions you make now will provide peace of mind that your wishes will be carried out and lessen the risk of disagreements between family members. A typical estate plan often includes wills and trusts:

Wills — A will is a legal document that transfers certain property at a person’s death. If you die without a will, your estate is divided among your closet relatives in accordance with Minnesota’s inheritance laws. Wills vary in complexity, but generally name an executor (person tasked with settling the estate), appoint guardians for children and leave property to designated beneficiaries. In Minnesota, you must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind to make a will. You must sign the will in the presence of two witnesses, who must also sign the document

Trusts — A trust is another legal mechanism to distribute your assets. It allows property to be held by one party (the trustee) for the benefit of another (the beneficiary). There are a number of different types of trusts, including revocable, irrevocable, living or testamentary. As the name implies, a living trust is a trust made while the person establishing the trust is still alive. By contract, a testamentary trust is created by a will after a person’s death. While each has its own purpose, they generally help avoid probate (court-supervised distribution of assets), control inheritance or minimize tax consequences

Planning for Incapacity — Living Wills, Powers of Attorney and Guardianships

Estate planning can also address a time when illness or injury may interfere with your ability to make financial and healthcare decisions Estate planning for incapacity may include:

Healthcare directive — A healthcare directive or living will nominates someone to make medical decisions if you are cannot make these decisions because of temporary or permanent incapacitation. It may also provide instructions for medical care, including the use of artificial nutrition and hydration and your desire to donate organs

Durable power of attorney — A durable power of attorney (DPOA) is a legal document that appoint a trusted individual to manage your personal affairs, including making financial decisions, should you suffer a physical or mental disability. It is called a “durable” power of attorney because it survives incapacity. Without a power of attorney, family members must go through the lengthy court process of appointing a guardian or conservator

Guardianships and conservatorships — Unlike powers of attorney, guardianship and conservatorship are often created by court order after a person is no longer capable of decision-making. A conservator is appointed to make financial decisions when a person becomes so incapacitated or impaired that he or she can no longer do so. Similarly, a guardian is appointed to oversee an incapacitated person’s personal care, custody and control, including healthcare decisions

The wills and probate attorneys at Merrigan, Brandt, Ostenso & Cambre, P.A. take care of everything you need to leave your affairs in order for your survivors. Our firm takes pride in providing:

Compassionate service — Clients often needs our services during difficult times. We treat all of our clients with care and dignity

Knowledgeable guidance — Our experienced lawyers take the time to understand your concerns and create an estate plan that meets your needs

Contact our Hopkins and Minnetonka Estate Lawyers for Trusted Advice

At Merrigan, Brandt, Ostenso & Cambre, P.A. our lawyers work with you to create a custom estate plan and provide for loved ones after you are gone. To schedule an initial consultation during our flexible office hours, call us today at 952.933.2390 or contact us online.