What is Estate Planning?  It is the basically how we plan to move all of a dead person’s property to another person.  Once you are dead, you aren’t there to own things anymore. We really can’t leave your things owned by no one.  So, we need to move them on to your heirs.

Everyone has an estate plan whether they know it or not.  Even if you have never been to a lawyer, then you still have a plan.  Your state legislature has created an estate plan for everyone.  This plan is contained in the laws of intestate succession.  Basically they decide that your stuff usually goes to your spouse and after that they go down your blood relatives.  That’s how it works in most states.

Will’s are a way to put this down onto paper.  So are trusts.  Will’s have to be probated though. Probate is just the legal process that changes ownership from the dead person to a new person. Many people want to avoid probate.  Probate doesn’t need to happen much anymore.  So many things have a pay on death or beneficiary designation.  These designations prevent the need for probate.

In Minnesota, you can even put a transfer on death on your car.

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