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July 2013 Archives

Where do Michigan residents start in estate planning?

"Where do I begin?" This is a question that many people have when they start to think about drafting a comprehensive estate plan. Even the term, "estate plan," can lead some people to scratch their heads and go back-and-forth over whether they really even need to have a plan, and if it is worth the work involved. But getting started with an estate plan doesn't have to be overwhelming or daunting. A recent article pointed out that several simple goals are what an effective estate plan is all about.

Setting up trusts for children with special needs

Any of our Michigan readers familiar with previous posts here know that there are a wide variety of reasons to establish trusts as part of an estate plan. Many people incorporate trusts into their estate plans to maximize tax planning scenarios for beneficiaries. Others are simply interested in protecting inheritance - making sure that certain assets go to certain people or charities. However, there are many people who set up trusts to financially protect someone close to them who has special needs. These types of trusts can be especially important to those interested in protecting children with special needs.

Relatives and friends benefit from Gandolfini's estate planning

Some of our Michigan readers are probably interested in avoiding probate litigation as a primary goal of estate planning. There are many ways to avoid litigation, whether the issue is a will contest based on the validity of a will, or arguments among relatives about the distribution of assets. Some wills even include specific clauses that could penalize anyone who challenges the will. However, another good way to avoid litigation may not seem so obvious at first: make sure everyone gets at least something.

Should Michigan residents consider a living trust?

When it comes to an estate plan, protecting inheritance is one thing but avoiding probate can be just as important. Each individual and family will have different needs and goals when drafting a comprehensive estate plan, so a wide variety of documents could apply, depending on the situation. However, if one of the primary goals is indeed to avoid probate as much as a possible, a recent article pointed readers toward the various benefits of establishing a living trust.

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