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Necessary Healthcare Planning Documents Under Minnesota LawIn this article, you will learn:

  • How divorce or remarriage can affect an estate plan
  • How non-adopted step-children can be included in an estate plan

There really aren’t any healthcare-related planning documents that are required. It’s really important that you have something that directs the people that you care about, the people that are able and willing to make decisions for your healthcare when you can’t, to make decisions for you. Healthcare directive puts into place who are your healthcare agents, how do we get a hold of your healthcare agents, their addresses, their phone numbers, and then we detail what kinds of things you would want for your healthcare, and you can be as detailed as you want.

It is important to keep that conversation going and as you mature in life. You are going to come across situations where you are seeing healthcare that you don’t want for yourself or maybe you are seeing things that you do want for yourself. Think about those things and put that into your planning. Maybe you are somebody who wants alternative medicine, great; you can put that into your plan or maybe you are somebody who really loves massage or aromatherapy, or maybe you want last rites. All of those things can go into your documents. Still, it’s important that you do make that planning, and take those steps. If your family doesn’t know what you want, who you want to make those decisions for you, they are going to do the best that they can, but they may not do what you want them to do.

Taking the steps to plan for your healthcare is crucial to help your healthcare agents make good decisions for you.

Estate Planning Documents That Should Be Reviewed And Possibly Updated Once A Couple Divorces In Minnesota

If you have a retirement account at work, you generally have somebody who is a beneficiary on that plan, but if it’s your spouse and you divorce, that divorce eliminates that person as a beneficiary under that plan. So, it’s really important to understand that and if you want them to stay on that plan, you either have that in your divorce documents or you let the company know you still want them on that plan. Also important is any real estate. If you are dividing that real estate, there is very specific language that should be in your divorce documents to specify that.

If you have an estate plan already, you need to make sure that it still says what you want it to say even after your divorce, because the divorce changes those estate planning documents. Let’s say you have a will that designates your spouse as your personal representative and designates your spouse as your beneficiary. Once you are divorced, Minnesota law says that the will now treats your ex-spouse as somebody who has died before you. So, they are not going to benefit from your estate plan even if you wanted them to. You have to take steps to make sure that your estate plan is up to date, to make sure it says what you want it to do.

The Estate Planning Documents That Need To Be Updated When Remarrying In Minnesota

Especially if both of you have children or one of you has children prior to the marriage, you are going to want to make sure that your estate planning documents are aligned in the sense that you know what they say, you know what effect the divorce has on the estate planning documents, and you know what the effect of remarrying is on those documents. So, it’s really important to at least take a look at all of that once you do remarry to ensure that your current spouse is being taken care of in the way that you want to.

How To Include Stepchildren In Estate Planning Documents If They Were Never Legally Adopted

Your stepchildren aren’t automatically beneficiaries if you have not adopted them. So, it is important that you have an estate plan that includes them, and includes them exactly the way that you want them to. We also, in our basic estate plan, include a healthcare directive so that they can make those decisions for you, and then a financial power of attorney so they can make financial decisions for you, including selling your house if that’s something that needs to happen. But without that legal relationship, they are just stepchildren, and they don’t have the same access or the same rights as your legal children do to inherit your estate and your assets.

For more information on Healthcare Planning Documents In Minnesota, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (763) 284-5552 today.

Kathleen Gomez

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