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March 2017 Archives

Guiding you through the estate administration and probate process

While our loved ones might have carefully crafted an estate plan, making it easy on beneficiaries and heirs during the estate administration process, this does not mean that the probate process is not needed. Although many residents seek to utilize tools to avoid probate when drafting an estate plan, this doesn't mean that the probate process is something that is bad to go through.

Should I discuss estate planning with my parents?

Estate planning is one of these topics (think relinquishing a driver's license or making long-term care arrangements) that can cause difficult conversations between adult children and their elderly parents. For one thing, your parents might get the impression that you are being greedy when you are just trying to help them. The reality is, though, if you have to ask yourself whether to have this conversation with your parents, you probably should. Here are some tips to make the talk go over well.

Why is it important to draft estate planning documents?

Drafting an estate plan is more than just preparing for what will occur when you die. Michigan residents should understand that it is a life-planning tool that could prove to be very effective if you suffer in an unexpected accident. While it is clear that documents in an estate plan have a purpose at the time of your death, but what if you survive a horrific event? What documents will designate powers to individuals if you are in a coma or incapacitated?

Considerations to make before disinheriting a child

If you have ever drafted a will, you probably understand the ramifications of doing so and appreciate the careful consideration that needs to go into the process. When determining how you want to allot your assets in the event of your passing, you may consider things such as who you trust the most, or who has children of their own that may need support. You may, too, give some thought to how each of your children may decide to use any funds you leave to them.

Understanding the roles of a durable financial power of attorney

An estate plan involves taking the time to draft many important and life determining documents. It can be challenging to consider the what-ifs in life; however, some of these documents can play a very vital role when you are deemed incapacitated, unable to care for yourself or even unable to make major decisions for yourself. Thus, you need to invoke that power onto a trusting person, and when it comes to your finances, it is imperative that you carefully design a power of attorney that will grant the appropriate powers to the designated person

The benefits of the long-term care planning process

Making decisions regarding your health care needs is not reserved for times when you are elderly, ill or undergoing surgery. Health care planning is an important step to take and can be carefully addressed in the estate planning process. Even more so, these decisions can be decided earlier in life because an individual does not need to be elderly to initiate the long-term planning process.

Understanding the responsibilities of a trustee

If a loved one has previously established a living trust and has passed away, its instructions will typically indicate who should be responsible for the execution of the trust and other essential functions. One of the most important roles to be identified is that of trustee. This person is tasked with managing the assets that are included in the trust. There are several other important responsibilities that a trustee should be ready to fulfill, too, including the following.

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