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Oakland County MI Estate Planning Law Blog

A long-term care plan needs a financial plan

Planning for the future is not an easy feat. But because there are so many what "ifs," it is imperative that Michigan residents take this process seriously. Additionally, it is also crucial to begin the process sooner rather than later. No one can predict when he or she can no longer care for him or herself or make their own decisions, and, while this is typically when we are elderly, this could unfortunately occur much sooner in life than one expects.

The expenses associated with end of life care, such as assisted living or a nursing home, can be extensive. Thus, it is important to understand how these costs will be addressed. In most, if not all instances, one does not want their loved ones to absorb the costs. Therefore, considering a long-term care plan could be very resourceful and necessary.

The importance of long-term planning when you are young

Planning for your future tends to initiate thoughts of fun and goal-oriented events. However, future-planning should also entail considering what might happen if you fall ill and what will happen during your old age when you can no longer care for yourself. Thus, individuals in Michigan need to consider long-term care planning when addressing their estate planning needs. This is an excellent way to ensure your finances are in order and you can afford the care you seek to receive as you age.

When it comes to long term-care and retirement planning, most misunderstand the burdens such planning places on their finances and family members. Because of this misunderstanding, it is suggested that individuals consider long-term care coverage because the benefits of this program could pay for what Medicare and Medicaid does not.

The difference between a will and a living will

Drafting an estate plan is an essential step for Michigan residents to take. While many will put the process off until they are older, taking the time to carefully construct the documents of an estate plan early on could prove beneficial. A will is a vital document to include in an estate plan, as it is the best way to communicate your wishes after your death. Although many understand the role of a will, many do not recognize the difference between a will and a living will, noting the function each document can play.

A will and a living will are two different documents that serve two different purposes. A will, which is the document with which most people are familiar, applies when a person dies. On the other hand, a living will applies while an individual is alive.

What happens when a person dies with two wills?

Writing a will may not be a fun priority. However, far too many Americans are neglecting to create this vital document. In a 2017 report by Fox Business, reports found that more than half of adults in the United States did not have a will. 

While not having a will at all is dangerous, there is another potential issue to watch out for. Over the course of people’s lives, they may create multiple wills. People should update these documents after big life events, such as a marriage or having another child. People should negate previous wills, but occasionally, that step falls through the cracks. When a person dies with two wills in place, there are standard actions the court system will take to determine which one is valid. 

Concerns to address when drafting a power of attorney

As previously discussed, estate plans can include more than just a will. For this reason, everyone should understand the role powers of attorney can play, as they can be a crucial document to include in the estate planning process. While a power of attorney is a document full of potential that could protect the future health and financial needs of an individual, it is also a document that could have various pitfalls if not properly drafted and executed.

A power of attorney is generally an inexpensive legal document that gives a designated individual, who is named in the document, the right to act on another's behalf when making financial and health decisions for them. Typically, adult children are named in these documents, providing them with the power to act on behalf of their aging parent who is no longer capable of making decisions on their own. Unfortunately, financial institutions do not always make it easy to exercise the power presented in these legal documents.

Helping you understand the benefits of a power of attorney

Whether we like it or not, we all age and will eventually die. While facing this reality is not always easy, especially when we are in our youth, we can take steps early on to prepare ourselves for elderly life. Because we never know when or if we will need temporary or long-term care at a nursing home, it is important to plan and prepare for this possibility from a financial perspective. In addition to getting your finances in order, it is also equally important to determine who you trust to make your financial and medical decisions if you are no longer able to make them for yourself.

Including powers of attorney in an estate plan can be a very challenging but crucial step to take. It is not always easy for Michigan residents to reach a conclusion when faced with this decision, yet, the experienced attorneys at the Prince Law Firm have the skills necessary to help guide you through the decision-making process successfully.

Understanding the purpose of a marital trust

Getting married means making a wide variety of important decisions. And for some Michigan couples, it means protecting their future interests. While most married couples will go through the process of developing an estate plan together, this usually entails drafting a will and ensuring that their named beneficiaries match each other when it comes to specific assets and property. But what about taking steps to protect the other spouse in the event of one's own death? No matter what age one is or how long a marriage has lasted, it is important to take estate planning measures to protect the interests of both spouses in the event of incapacity or death.

It should be noted that federal law allows for unlimited marital deductions. This refers to the amount of property that can pass onto a spouse without any estate tax being assessed on it. Because a gift tax could be imposed on assets and property passed to a spouse while living, many couples use the unique estate planning tool known as a marital trust.

3 warning signs of undue influence

Is your parent getting older and finalizing an estate plan? You might feel concerned about the well-being of your loved one during this time. If you are suspicious whether something is happening with the estate planning process, you should be aware of a term known as “undue influence.”

Undue influence occurs when a loved one is heavily pressured and coerced by another person into making the will favorable for that person. If this happens, you may be able to challenge the will. Keep reading for some warning signs of undue influence.

Protecting digital property in an estate plan

Life can be rather complex. It is difficult to pinpoint all the important facets, especially when it comes to protecting your future and the future for your heirs and beneficiaries. Because we are living in the digital age, estate planning means more than bequeathing your physical property and assets to heirs and named beneficiaries. An estate plan today needs to consider you existence online and how to protect those interests.

Today, individuals in Michigan and other states need to think about their digital footprint and what digital property he or she owns. It is very likely nowadays that individuals of all ages have a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and/or YouTube account. While these are often simply looked at as social media sites used to stay connected with people around the globe, they are also platforms that hold digital property belonging to the account holder.

3 crucial estate plan changes to make after divorce

As you go through a divorce, your estate plan may be the furthest thing from your mind. Despite the financial and emotional turmoil, you must remember to update your estate plan. If you do not revisit your will or trust, your ex could inherit some of your assets. Do not make the mistake of putting this off.

Your estate plan should reflect your current wishes. After a divorce, you likely no longer want your money and property distributed in the same ways as before. Here are three things you should do about your estate plan after divorce. 

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