Vital Aging Network

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VAN Forum

Vital Legal Planning

September 9, 2008
10:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Presenters:
Barbara Kristiansson
Kathy Eveslage
Greg Marita

DARTS
1645 Marthaler Lane
W St Paul, MN 55418 [map]

couple_188The Vital Aging Network’s September forum will explore legal issues related to estate planning and end-of-life planning. Local attorneys will address why legal planning is essential for people at all levels of income.

Ms. Kristiansson is an attorney with Felhaber, Larson, Fenlon, & Voght, P.A. Ms. Kristiansson primary areas of practice include estate planning, and probate, although she has also worked in accounting, estate tax, and estate settlements. She will present on end-of-life issues, with an emphasis on estate taxes.

Mr. Marita is the supervising attorney with the Legal Aid Society Minneapolis Senior Law Unit. Ms. Eveslage is a staff attorney with Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, Senior Law Project in the St. Paul Office. They will address how lower income people can access legal services.

 

FORUM NOTES

Barbara Kristiansson an attorney with Felhaber, Larson, Fenlon, and Voght, Greg Marita the Supervising Attorney with the Minneapolis Senior Law Unit at the Legal Aid Society, and Kathy Eveslage staff attorney with the Senior Law Project at the Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services spoke about the legal planning necessary for people thinking about the end of their lives. The attorneys said that the greatest gift that you can give to your family is for there to be clarity about your end of life issues.

All three attorneys discussed the importance of completing a health care directive. After completing a health care directive it is essential to discuss these health decisions with family members. Even if you don't have family, the attorneys encouraged people to still fill out a health care directive. When choosing a Health Care Power of Attorney, you must make sure it is someone who you trust completely. This person will speak for you when you cannot speak for yourself.

When planning for the end of your life, it is also important to complete some estate planning. The goals of estate planning include planning for incapacity, passing wealth to the next generation, and minimizing both income and estate taxes. Questions that you should seriously consider and discuss when planning for the end of life include:

  • What do you want and not want at the end of life?
  • Who should speak for you?
  • What are your concerns?
  • What gives your life the most meaning?
  • What one thing do you want to be sure your doctors, family and friends know about your wishes?

The attorneys offered some additional resources to assist you in your legal planning. You can call TEL LAW, at 612-752-6699. TEL LAW offers free legal information by phone. The Minnesota Attorney General's Office has a handbook on Probate and Planning: A Guide to Planning for the Future that can help you in your planning efforts. These resources can help assist you when you begin planning for the end of your life.

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