Category: Estate Planning

Notice of Continued Insurable Interest: Minnesota Transfer on Death Deeds

June 25, 2024  |  Cathryn Reher

A spiteful ex-spouse burned down the decedent’s homestead immediately after death upon learning the property title passed to the decedent’s daughter as the surviving transfer on death beneficiary. The insurance company refused to cover the loss, asserting the daughter did not have an insurable interest! Thankfully, this prompted our legislators to pass a new law effective August 1, 2024, which provides some limited post-death insurance coverage to transfer on death beneficiaries. BUT, it will require you to act. The new law provides that, upon notice, your property insurance company must provide extended coverage commencing on the date of the Grantor Owner’s death or death of the last survivor of multiple Grantor Owners for a period of 30 days, or the date that the insurance policy expires, whichever is shorter, for the named Grantee Beneficiary(ies) under the transfer on death deed. Note that if you change your insurance carrier, you will need to submit a new notice to your new insurance company. This is a benefit to property owners in Minnesota. If you need assistance to provide the required notice, please reach out to your BGS team. Our estate planning and real estate practice groups here at Barna, Guzy, & Steffen are dedicated to staying informed and serving our client’s best interests. Our estate planning…

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Navigating Digital Assets When Settling an Estate

April 9, 2024  |  Tyler W. Eubank

Navigating the estate settlement process after the death of a loved one is an emotional and confusing matter for many people. The existence of password-protected online accounts can further complicate this process. So, what can you do about these “digital assets”? Keep reading to learn more on the specifics of navigating digital assets when settling an estate. Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act The Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (RUFADAA) is a uniform law that has been adopted by nearly all U.S. states, including Minnesota. RUFADAA dictates which digital assets fiduciaries may or may not gain access to when settling an estate. A digital asset is any electronic record in which a person has an interest. This encompasses basically any online account you may have, such as online banking service accounts, accounts from which you pay bills, email, social media, cloud-based storage, and more. Plan Ahead When it comes to digital assets, the best thing that you can do is plan ahead. Make sure your estate plan explicitly authorizes or prohibits access to your digital assets. Keep account usernames and passwords somewhere safe where they can be accessed by a trusted individual in the event of your passing. Many accounts also allow you to designate someone to take…

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Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Write Your Will

July 20, 2023  |  William F. Huefner

Writing a will is a task that many people put off. It’s often due to the uncomfortable nature of discussing what would happen after their death. However, creating a will is an essential step in ensuring your final wishes are respected, your loved ones are taken care of, and your legacy is protected. Continue reading, as we discuss the reasons why you shouldn’t wait to write your will and the benefits it brings. Protecting Your Loved Ones Writing a will allows you to designate how you want your assets to be distributed after you have passed away. Without a will in place, your estate may be subject to intestate laws. This can lead to lengthy legal battles, unnecessary stress, and potential disputes among your family members. By having a will, you are providing clear instructions on who should receive what, ensuring your loved ones are taken care of according to your wishes. Guardianship of Minor Children If you have children who are minors, a will provides an opportunity to name a guardian who is going to take care of them in the event of your untimely passing. Without a designated guardian, the decision of who will take care of your children may be left to the courts. This can cause an additional emotional…

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