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Financial and Legal Planning

Two Men Reviewing Financial PapersLegal, financial and health-related planning is for everyone, regardless of health status. Putting a few basic documents in place can give guidance to your loved ones and ensure your future well being. Talking about these plans may make you uncomfortable or seem irrelevant if you're young, but the earlier you start, the better off you and your loved ones will be. Getting your affairs in order is one of the greatest gifts you can give your loved ones.

Financial Planning

Financial planning is the process of setting up a plan for how to cover your financial needs while you are alive, manage your money when you are no longer able to, and disperse your money after your death.
Planning ahead means:
  • Having joint signatures on all financial accounts
  • Discussing future financial affairs with an adviser
  • Making a financial power of attorney
  • Naming beneficiaries on all banking, investment and retirement accounts
  • Arranging for payment of long-term health care: use of private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) when applicable
  • Ensuring the protection of their assets
  • The distribution of the person’s assets on his or her death. (If the person has a disabled spouse, child or another family member that they wish to provide for, special arrangements need to be made.)
  • Legal Planning

Health care directives are a set of documents that describe your health care wishes.

Health care declaration or living will: a written explanation of the type of care you would like should you be unable to communicate at the time of illness; specifically this document addresses the use of artificial life support, mechanical ventilators, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), feeding tubes, pain medication, etc. It is important to note if you choose to refuse life support, this does not mean you refuse all care; you can request specific life support measures, comfort care and pain medication.

Legal Aid

The legal aid community has two resources to connect people with free legal help: and a new statewide number to reach legal aid, 1-877-MY-MN-LAW (696-6529). has information on many civil legal topics including housing, government benefits, youth and education, seniors, consumer, family, immigration, employment, disability, and taxes. Information on LawHelp is written in plain language and updated annually. All fact sheets are available in English, Spanish, Hmong, and Somali. LawHelp also helps users connect with legal resources, prepare documents in certain areas, and apply for legal services online. LawHelp is a service for all Minnesotans with civil legal questions regardless of income or geography, which makes it a great primary referral.

1-877-MY-MN-LAW (1-877-696-6529)

Minnesota now has a statewide centralized phone intake line for civil legal aid services. Callers to the toll-free number are asked to enter their zip code, and then the call is routed to the appropriate organization. Regional legal aid organizations screen incoming calls to determine if the applicant seeking help is eligible for free services at the regional program or another organization. Civil legal aid organizations provide advice, limited scope, and extended representation services on a range of civil legal issues. This coordinated intake process aims to prevent callers from being bounced from one organization to another and help eligible callers find the highest level of service for their issue. For someone to be eligible for free legal aid services, they generally need to have a low income or be over the age of 60 and need help with a civil legal issue.

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