The vast majority of Americans no longer have to worry about federal estate taxes, but a will or living trust is still vital for making your wishes known about distributing your estate. Here are steps you can take to ensure that your estate plan achieves your objectives:
- See an attorney who is familiar with estate planning.
- Avoid shortcuts. Don’t rely on preprinted wills or trusts or documents downloaded from the Internet. If you do not comply with all of the formalities of the state where you reside at death, your will might be invalid. Your estate could pass in a way you wouldn’t wish and incur probate fees or estate taxes that could have been avoided.
- Keep your will in a safe, accessible location. Your will is of no value if it can’t be found when needed. Tell a family member or trusted friend where the original is located. You may want to keep a copy in a safe deposit box and leave the original with your attorney.
- Have your will reviewed regularly. Your estate plan may need to be amended. Make an appointment with your attorney after any major tax law changes or whenever there have been significant changes in your life.
- Consider including a bequest to the University of Minnesota Foundation. You can “endow” your annual gifts through a bequest, thereby continuing your support far into the future. Or you can create a trust in your estate plan that pays income to a family member for life, with the assets later passing to the University of Minnesota Foundation.
Please contact our Planned Giving Office for more information: 612-625-8676.