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April 2013 Archives

Don't forget the simple things during estate planning

In American society today, the Internet has allowed millions of people to find the answers to almost any type of question at the click of a button. No matter how difficult the query, our Michigan readers can be assured that someone out there has almost definitely posted an answer on the Internet, although the veracity of the answer would probably have to be verified. But what about simple questions? Are there simple questions when it comes to estate planning?

Powers of attorney in every estate plan? Better safe than sorry

What do I need to include in my estate plan? This is a question that many of our Michigan readers will be asking themselves at some point when they begin the process of putting together the necessary documents for their unique situations. Every estate plan is different. Does everyone need to use some kind of trust in their estate plan? Not necessarily, though trusts are great for fulfilling certain needs. However, almost without exception, two important documents that need to be included in a Michigan resident's estate plan are a durable power of attorney and a health care power of attorney.

Are Michigan residents planning for long-term care?

In the wake of the changes to federal tax law at the beginning of the year, many of our Michigan readers may have seen previous posts here about updating an estate plan to account for the differences from previous years. There is no doubt that tax planning is an important part of protecting assets, which in turn is one of the primary goals of estate planning. However, there is more to an estate plan than simply designating property distribution upon death. People in America are living longer, and as such many people, including many Michigan residents, will probably need to start thinking about long-term planning and retirement when they consider their estate plans. A recent article discussed many of these considerations.

When it comes to long-term tax planning, many will use trusts

This is the time of year when many Michigan residents are finding out whether or not they have taken the right approach to tax planning. Withholding too much or too little in taxes from a paycheck will often make the difference between receiving a refund and owing money to Uncle Sam. But what about long-term tax planning? How do Michigan residents make sure that they have the right structures in place for protecting inheritance and guaranteeing the distribution of their estate in the manner they desire?

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