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September 2013 Archives

Have a plan and relatives will be grateful

When many Michigan residents think about estate planning, they usually know at least the starting point: a will. Even though some reports continue to show that about half of the people who should have a will don't have a will, those people who don't have a will probably still know what a will is supposed to be designed to do. They know that this document is used to designate property distribution for a person's assets, including personal property, after death, and that for people with minor children guardians are named to care for those children in the event that the other parent is also deceased. Some people will say that a will is a way to provide a person with "peace of mind." But some of our Michigan readers may be overlooking who else will be helped by a solid, complete and comprehensive estate plan: relatives.

What do Michigan residents need to know about living trusts?

Many people have two simple goals in mind when they start to consider what to include when establishing an estate plan: protecting inheritance and avoiding probate. Both are laudable goals, as heirs and beneficiaries will appreciate an estate planner who is cautious and considerate with their assets and who knows that the probate process isn't always the easiest way to transfer assets. When a Michigan resident has these two goals in mind, they will often find themselves weighing the pros and cons of a living trust.

Don't overlook powers of attorney in an estate plan

Most people know that they should have an estate plan. However, statistics are routinely reported reflecting the fact that many people still don't have the necessary estate planning documents even though they know they should. Like many other tasks, some people avoid estate planning simply because they don't know what to do or which documents apply to their particular situation. A recent article recognized this problem and sought to educate readers on what exactly needs to be in a comprehensive estate plan - in most cases.

How do Michigan residents know when to consider a trust?

Any time a Michigan resident gets into a legal conundrum they usually start to wonder immediately if they are taking the right steps in their unique situation. This can be true no matter what the problem is, from employee-employer issues, family law concerns or coming up with a plan for protecting inheritance. Most lawyers would be the first to admit that there are very few areas of the law where quick and easy solutions are available. But, no matter how complicated an issue can seem, it is always good to know that getting more information can at least make a Michigan resident more comfortable with the situation, as well as familiarize the ultimate decision maker with all available options. A recent article sought to do just that by demystifying the world of trusts.

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