Estate Planning Attorneys Serving North Dakota and Minnesota
Planning for your future, both medically and financially, is a necessity that should be done with the help of an estate planning attorney. The estate planning attorneys at Fremstad Law work with you to tailor individualized estate plans that best suit your needs. This is to ensure that your family and assets are taken care of in the way you see fit. We represent professionals, business owners, families, and individuals in preserving assets and helping our clients feel comfortable
An estate consists of everything you own: a vehicle, your home, family heirlooms, bank accounts, life insurance, furniture, etc. Given that almost everyone has an estate, it is important to have an estate plan in place, but more than half of Americans don’t have one. Many people who do have an estate plan have one that is out of date and no longer meets their needs.
At Fremstad Law, our motto is “moving you forward,” and that includes helping you through the estate planning process. Our estate planning lawyers are committed to making the process convenient, comfortable, cost-effective, and customized for every client.
Our Estate Planning Services
Fremstad Law offers a broad spectrum of estate planning services.
We understand that these are not easy subjects to think about. But we also know that learning about options and making decisions before there is a crisis offers tremendous peace of mind. We have never had a client say they wish they had waited longer to make an estate plan, but we have helped many grieving family members sort through the estates of those who failed to plan.
Every person and family is different, so every estate plan should be, too. Depending on your needs, your estate plan may include most or all of the following components:
Last Will and Testament
A last will and testament, commonly referred to as a will, is one of the basic building blocks of an estate plan. A will describes your property and the people or organizations to whom you want to leave it after your death. Without a valid will, you do not have a say in how your property is distributed upon your death. A will also enables you to name the person you would like to be responsible for carrying out your will, donate funds from your estate to charitable organizations of your choosing, appoint a guardian for your minor children and someone to manage any assets they may inherit, and describe your funeral and/or burial wishes.
Powers of Attorney
While much of estate planning involves the distribution of your property after your death, it also includes planning for the possibility of incapacity during your life. This is when a power of attorney document becomes extremely important. There are two types of power of attorney documents that you will want to consider including in your estate planning; a financial power of attorney and a medical power of attorney.
A financial power of attorney is a written permission for someone to take care of property or money matters for you, in whatever way you want. This can include the power to manage real estate, bank accounts, military benefits, and more. In a power of attorney, you are the “principal” and the person acting on your behalf is called the “attorney-in-fact.” You can give multiple powers to your attorney-in-fact or you can give limited power. It is up to you and what best fits your needs.
A medical power of attorney is also called an “advance healthcare directive.” If you were in a car accident or became incapacitated by another major injury or illness, a health care directive would allow your designated “health care agent” to help make those decisions for you. As difficult as it is to think about, it is important to prepare for the possibility that you may not be able to express your wishes at some point in the future. A healthcare directive guides your physician and family members at a time when you are unable to provide that information. A healthcare directive will also help you get the care you would like, particularly toward the end of your life.
Remember, you don’t have to know exactly what you want to include in your estate plan before calling an estate planning attorney. Your attorney will listen to your concerns and work with you to identify your estate planning goals and the best tools for achieving them.
Estate planning provides peace of mind for you and for your family. If the prospect of making an estate plan feels stressful, remember that failing to make one doesn’t doesn’t eliminate the stress. It just passes it on to the people you love most, at a time they are already worried about your care or grieving your loss.
To learn more about our North Dakota and Minnesota estate attorney services, probate services, and help with guardianship and conservatorship, please contact Fremstad Law to schedule a consultation.