When Minnesota artist Prince died last year, it left many people in shock. What has also turned out to be shocking is the lack of a will or other estate planning document. This past week, we learned how much of the estate will go to taxes because of the lack of an estate plan and probate litigation.
Even for those Minnesotans who have tried to avoid it, almost everyone has some kind of digital presence whether it be email, online photo storage, or social media. These are important assets that can be easily missed when creating an estate plan and can cause issues during probate litigation.
The estate planning process is not unknown to many residents in Minnesota. In fact, several residents have taken the time to draft numerous vital documents for an estate plan. While these documents serve vital roles if an individual becomes incapacitated or dies, if they are not properly drafted, they could result in disputes. Individuals should understand all aspects of this area of the law, including the trust administration process, so they can determine ways to avoid probate and potential litigation, and ease the process for their heirs to claim an inheritance.
Last week's post on this Saint Paul, Minnesota, estate litigation blog discussed the "step-up basis" and its importance in putting the correct value on a probate estate. Arguments over what basis to apply to a piece of property, however, are just one of the many issues that can arise between a family and the state or federal taxing authorities during probate or trust administration.