Many Michigan residents employ trusts of all kinds to help implement and protect estate planning goals. But, there are still many people who don't know how a trust could help in their specific circumstances. A recent article demonstrated one particular estate planning goal that most people can identify with: preserving ownership of the family home.
Trusts are becoming a popular option for many Michigan residents when they prepare an estate plan. The wide variety of options and uses for trusts can't be understated. There are those that are designed with the primary goal of protecting inheritance, while others are intended to benefit children with special needs. Whatever the purpose behind the trust, there is no doubt about these instruments' ability to protect an estate.
For Michigan residents considering which estate planning instruments are the right ones for their unique situation, the wide variety of options can be daunting. However, for the most part, the basic building blocks of a good comprehensive estate plan are, at the very least, a will, powers of attorney and an advanced medical care directive. These documents will provide directions on how to distribute assets, appoint the right people to make crucial decisions if needed by the incapacity of the planner and express wishes as to what type of care the planner wants in an end-of-life medical situation. But what about 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.
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.
Some of our Michigan readers know exactly what they are looking for when they begin the process of drawing up an estate plan. Most people, however, don't really even know where to start, other than perhaps knowing that a will is probably important to have. The good news is that there are more resources than ever that can help educate a Michigan resident as to the vast range of estate planning options, and one area that is probably cloaked in mystery more than any other is trusts.
Many people, perhaps even some of our Michigan readers, have a will that sets out their wishes for after they die - and they believe that is all that they need. While it may be true in a limited amount of cases that just having a will is enough - and, granted, that is better than nothing - the fact of the matter is that most people will need to have more documents drafted to ensure that every possible eventuality is discussed and planned for to maximize their efforts in protecting inheritance. As mentioned in a recent article, for those with a more significant amount of assets, a living trust could be the best option.
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.
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.
"Let's keep things simple." This phrase is not only common, but also it is often good advice. Unfortunately for many Michigan residents who are thinking about strategies for protecting inheritance and solidifying tax planning, simplicity is often the last thing they think will come into play. When many people hear the terms "estate planning" and "living trust," they most likely think that things are about to get complicated. Fortunately, a recent article acknowledged this possibility and attempted to explain the benefits of considering a living trust as part of an estate plan.