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Biggest estate planning miss, there’s probably three of them in my opinion. The first is you have to be very wealthy to need an estate plan and nothing could be farther from the truth. Because if you haven’t planned and things are unorganized, costs go up, people could fight, it really does a disservice to your family.
The second one would be if I don’t have a probate I definitely don’t have to file an estate tax return. That too, those are not interrelated. Whether you have a probate is based on the assets that are owned at death. Whether you have an estate tax return that has to be filed is based on total assets owned by a decedent whether they’re probate or non-probate.
And then third would be this planning is going to take a long time. For the typical client we can boil it down to two meetings. We get together, we discuss goals and objectives, we give them a fee quote and a recommendation. And if they say yeah, Karen, we’re going to move ahead with working with you we draft and meet a second time, go over the documents and I would say 99.99 percent of the time they’re signed.
So of course, there’s exceptions to that, you know, interesting, sophisticated planning but in general, it’s a two meeting process.
Eden Prairie, MN Estate Planning Attorney Karen Schlotthauer talks about some of the biggest myths people might hear about estate planning.