Laws impact estates and plans, but which one applies first? For those keeping track, we have local ordinances, Minnesota statutes, Minnesota Rules, a State Constitution, Federal Codes, Federal Regulations, U.S. Constitution, administrative opinions, letters, and court decisions, and a handful of other rules and laws.
Also, we have made up rules created by financial institutions, third-party administrators, and employers too. The point is this: we have a lot of laws and most of them impact an estate. So, what should we do?
As the laws around us become more and more complicated, perhaps simplifying our life is the strongest response to an abundance of regulations. Of course, simplifying is different for each family.
For some, this means having a conversation about what to do with an inherited IRA. For others, this means restricting financial temptations.
Another strong response includes a purposeful plan that was designed with triggers and conditions.
For example, if I die with significant wealth, whether that means my family cashed-in on a life insurance policy or otherwise, I want a document that triggers protection from certain taxation. Or, if I suffer from a heart-attack and succumb to a permanent disability, I want my documents to trigger an opportunity for care that alleviates stress.
Really though, the best answer to so many laws impacting an estate is a reminder about control. We can make choices today that will have a positive impact on our future. Even better, our choices teach younger generations about serving and protecting our family.
Estate Attorney Jasper Berg