Free Wills Guide

Are you ready to plan your will or trust? We would like to give you a FREE Wills Guide. This helpful information may enable you to successfully plan your estate and avoid an accidental disinheritance. You may also ask a question in the comments section and read the additional information provided below. Then use our Wills Guide to record your family information and your estate distribution plans.

Please enter your name and email address. Provide for and protect your family with this Wills Guide.Did you know if you pass away without a will, there is a set of laws that will govern the distribution of your estate?  These laws are often referred to as the laws of intestacy or intestate succession, and they vary from state to state. Each state has it's own set of laws or statutes that provide a plan for the distribution of a decedent’s solely owned assets. 

Generally, these laws provide for the distribution of solely owned assets to the decedent’s closest relatives—including spouse, children, parents and siblings.  It is only when no living relatives can be found that the assets are distributed to the state.   When assets are distributed to the state, the process is commonly referred to as ‘escheatment,’ which is rarely utilized as relatives of a deceased, even distant relatives, can usually be found to receive an inheritance.   What is important to know is that intestate succession laws do not provide for any charitable gifts—they only provide for distributions to relatives. For this reason and many others, proper estate planning is critical. 

There are many important considerations when undertaking your estate planning, including whether your beneficiaries will incur income or estate tax on the distribution of your estate, and of course whether your charitable wishes are properly documented so that they will be honored at your death.  If you would like to talk further about your wishes related to leaving an estate gift to Bemidji State University, I would welcome the opportunity to sit down and hear your thoughts. You might be surprised at how easy it is to leave a legacy to Bemidji State University and how by doing so you can often save your family income and or estate tax obligations.

Kathleen M. McKinstra, JD
Planned Giving Officer, Bemidji State University Foundation
Telephone:  218-755-4039    Toll-free:  888-234-5718
Email:  kmckinstra@bemidjistate.edu
          
The information contained herein should not be construed as legal advice. For questions regarding legal, financial,  tax and   similar  matters, a  qualified  professional  advisor  should  be consulted.

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