Prince Law Firm
Call For A Consultation
Toll Free 866-383-1125
Local 248-419-1968

Oakland County MI Estate Planning Law Blog

The many benefits of a pour-over will

If your Michigan estate plan includes a living trust into which you have placed most if not all of your assets but you have not yet executed a pour-over will, you are missing a crucial piece of your estate plan. Without a pour-over will, your entire estate may not in fact be in your living trust at the time of your death, leaving a complicated situation for your heirs to deal with.

pour-over will generally is relatively short, straightforward and easy for your estate planner to draft. Basically all it does is instruct your executor to place any estate assets you own when you die in your living trust.

LGBT community facing long-term care fears

Financing and obtaining long-term nursing home care and medical treatment is concerning for people who are planning for their old age. A recent survey also indicates that lesbians, gay, bisexual or trans Americans are worried that the now-accepted LGBT label still presents obstacles for finding long-term care when they are over 65 years old.

The AARP issued a recent report of its survey of LGBT adults who were at least 45 years old. In addition to long-term care, they expressed worries over access to senior services.

Wills may have limited shelf life

Keeping wills locked away in a strongbox and forgotten may have unintended consequences. These documents must reflect current circumstances.

Marriage, divorce, birth of a child, death of relatives and other significant life events require review of the will. These may require the addition of new heirs, removal of existing heirs or changing the distribution of assets.

Key factors of proper estate plans for new parents

More people are becoming aware of the benefits of having a proper estate plan. Not only does it solidify the distribution of the estate, but it can also help to create a peace of mind for the estate holder.

For parents, an estate plan may be critical in securing the care and stability of their children. To ensure this, parents must consider a few key factors.

Trusts are useful alternative to wills

A will is an invaluable part of estate planning. However, trusts can take care of financial matters even before death and have other benefits such as faster distribution of assets, prompt payment of bills and confidentiality.

Income does not create the advantages of trusts. A revocable trust, for example, performs the same task as a will but avoids the requirement for probate court approval and hastens the distribution of money.

No will, no house

Like oral contracts, verbal wills may not be worth the paper they are written on. Having a written will is important to assure that major assets, like the house, go to intended heirs.

In Michigan and elsewhere, a written and properly-executed will is required for passing personal property to specific people. This helps prevent people from fraudulently claiming that they are entitled to inheritance from the deceased person.

Seeking future financial protection

A power of attorney allows a trusted agent to step in to make health care or other important decisions. There are various ways to make this device more effective and provide better protection.

The authority granted in a power of attorney generally takes effect upon signing and ends when the person who executed the document, the principal, becomes incapacitated. Adding the durable classification allows the power of attorney to remain in effect if the principal becomes incapacitated. This allows a trusted individual, known as their attorney-in-fact, to make important decisions on the principal's behalf.

It is a misconception that a newer will is always the valid one

It happens sometimes that people die with two wills or even more than that. If you are involved in such a scenario right now, it is natural to think, "Well, the newer one is the one I must follow. It is more recent and best reflects Dad's wishes."

However, it is not true in some cases that the newer will is the valid one. Here is a look at some scenarios in which the older will could be the valid one.

Estate planning for pets

Pet care is a lifetime responsibility that does not end with the death of their owners. The Humane Society, however, claims that 100,000 are left homeless each year after their owners died. Planning and the creation of well-drafted trusts helps assure that a trusted family member or friend will care for pets and can prevent the situations where pets were sent to shelters or even euthanized.

Using a basic trust model, the owner may name a new caregiver for the pet who assumes this responsibility after the owner's death. The plan should also contain detailed care instructions and set aside money to continue to pay for ongoing expenses.

Powers of attorney: Important but restricted

A power of attorney is an important estate planning document in Michigan. But, it has limitations and may not always be implemented quickly.

The person granting authority, known as the principal, names one or more agents to act on their behalf in accordance with the powers and restrictions set forth in a power of attorney. These are important because the principal needs a trusted person to manage their assets, pay bills and make important decisions if there is an incapacity. These avoid the situation where a court declares the person as being incompetent and appoint someone to handle their affairs.

How Can We Help You?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Our Office

Prince Law Firm
800 W. Long Lake Road, Suite 200
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302

Fax: 248-865-0640
Bloomfield Hills Law Office Map

Connect with us

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linkedin
  • Google+
VISA | Master Card | American Express | Discover Network