Q: What takes precedence at death, the will or the papers from financial planning?
A: Depends on what those 'papers' are. A beneficiary designation for a specific account? Then it is what controls.
Notes from a discussion? That means little.
To provide a real answer however, you're going to need to speak with a local attorney who can read EVERYTHING and make a judgment about what controls.
--This answer is provided for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney - client relationship. If you need legal advice you should consult with a local attorney. I am licensed to practice in Michigan only.
A: It depends on the asset. Here are some examples:
-If the person created a Trust as part of their financial plan, the Trust controls all assets named in the Trust.
-If a Trust was NOT created then:
--If there was real estate, then MN REQUIRES the Will to go through probate if it was either in his/her name alone or as a "tenant in common" with someone else.
--If the financial papers did things known as Probate Avoidance techniques, then the financial papers; such as:
----Name beneficiaries on bank accounts - also know as Payable On Death (POD) designations (POD)
----Name beneficiaries on Life Insurance
----Name beneficiaries on retirement accounts
--Probate Avoidance is exactly that - it allows assets to be transferred to beneficiaries without using the Will
--If the person was married, the surviving spouse is entitled to share of the estate REGARDLESS of what is in a Will, known as a Spousal Elective Share (the % is based on length of marriage)
It is not uncommon for someone to give assets in their Will, but because of their chosen Probate Avoidance techniques, how they title their real estate, and the Elective Share, for there to actually be nothing left to pass via a Will.
So the answer depends on what the assets are and what the "papers from financial planning" are and what they say.
Best of luck!
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.