Contact Us

T: (952) 836-2675
 F: (215) 836-2730
 rdborlandjd@comcast.net

5200 Willson Road

Suite 150

Edina, MN 55424

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Minneapolis

St Louis Park

Woodbury


$50 Inital Consultation

FAQ

My Services -

IS THERE A CHARGE FOR MY INITIAL CONSULTATION WITH YOU? - Yes, for the first half-hour discussion with me, either over the telephone or in person, there is an inital consultation fee of $50.  This allows both of us to decide if I can help you with the matter that concerns you, and estimate the cost of my services to you.

DO YOU CHARGE A FLAT FEE OR BY THE HOUR FOR SERVICES YOU PERFORM? - The preparation and execution of most estate planning documents, such as wills or trusts, are billed on a flat fee basis.  Consultation on other matters is billed per hour.  I bill in tenths of an hour.  If your matter requires 3.4 hours of my time that is what you are billed, not 4 hours.

DO I HAVE TO MEET YOU AT YOUR OFFICE IN EDINA TO DISCUSS MY SITUATION? - Through office sharing agreements I have the ability to also meet clients in downtown Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, and Woodbury, Minnesota if that is more convenient for you.  In addition, we can meet in your office or home at a mutually convenient time, but there will be a charge for my travel time.

 

Wills -

WHAT DOES A WILL DO? - A will does two primary things. First, it directs who will receive your estate after your death. Second, it provides instructions about what should happen after death, including who should care and provide for your children or dependents.

WHAT IS AN ESTATE? - Your estate includes furniture, jewelry, bank accounts, automobiles, business interests, real estate, and virtually everything else you own.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO CREATE A WILL? - A valid will in Minnesota must be a written document signed by a person who is at least 18 years old, and of “sound mind”. In addition two witnesses must also sign a will indicating that they witnessed the person’s signature or were present when the person making the will acknowledged that he or she signed the will. Each state may have different requirements from creating a valid well, so check with an attorney to ensure the requirements are strictly followed.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DIE WITHOUT A WILL? - If you die without a will, state law determines who receives all or a portion of your estate. This is called dying intestate. If your spouse survives you generally a large portion of your estate will go to them. However there are some exceptions to the law. If your spouse died before you or you do not have a spouse, the balance of your estate would go to the children. If you are not survived by a spouse or children Minnesota law states that the balance of your estate is to be distributed to your parents, siblings or cousins, and the remainder of your family tree. If you have no surviving family and die without a will, the balance of your estate will be paid to the state of Minnesota. This is called escheat.

WHAT INSTRUCTIONS CAN I PROVIDED MY WILL? - You can provide very detailed instructions or very little instructions at all in your will. Typically, a will provides instructions for the care of the children but also names a personal representative to manage and distribute your estate after you die. This person used to be called the “executor” of your estate. The personal representative, which can also be a legal entity, gathers your property, pays off any debts and taxes, and distributes the balance of your estate to people or organizations you have named in your will.

IF I HAVE A WILL DOES MY FAMILY AVOID PROBATE? - Not necessarily. Probate is a court proceeding which manages and settles your estate. If all of your property is held jointly or in trust, or has designated beneficiaries, a probate may not be necessary after death. If there is property to be administered or taxes to be paid, existence of a will does not necessarily avoid probate nor does it increase the expense of the probate process. If you're concerned about probate, we can help you decide the best plan for your circumstances.

HOW ARE LIFE INSURANCE AND RETIREMENT BENEFITS HANDLED? - Usually life insurance, retirement benefits, joint tenancy property, and property in a living trust are distributed directly to the beneficiaries named in the policy, plan, or trust. If you own certain property specifically as a joint tenant with others, that property will go directly to the other joint tenants who are alive after death, without regard to who you have distributed your estate to in a will.

CAN I REFUSE TO PROVIDE FOR SOME FAMILIES MEMBERS IN MY WILL? - Specifically excluding a person from inheriting part of your estate is called “disinheriting”.  A married person cannot disinherit a spouse without the spouses consent. You may specifically exclude - to disinherit - children, or other relative, as long as you are clear about it in the will so that this inheritance does not appear to be an oversight of mistake.

HOW LONG IS A WILL VALID? - A Will remains effective until it is changed or revoked. It is recommended that you periodically review your will to assure that it provides for your family as you originally planned or have taken into account any changed circumstances. If your will does adjust for changes in your life it may not accurately reflect how you want those assets to be addressed at your death. We should consider reviewing and changing your will when you marry or divorce, if there is a birth or death in the family, a named guardian for your children dies or is no longer available, the value of your estate changes significantly, or if you move to another state.

WHAT IS A LIVING WILL? - In 1998, Minnesota law authorized the use of healthcare directives, which allows you to appoint a health care agent to make health care decisions when you become unable or unwilling to make or communicate such decisions, and give instructions as to what choices you prefer. The healthcare directives law combined and replaced what was previously called a living well and a durable power of attorney for health care. A health care directive can outline and describe your preferences about issues such as surgery, nursing home or specialized care, medication, religious concerns, funeral planning, organization in the types of life-sustaining procedures you may want or not want for yourself.