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Oakland County MI Estate Planning Law Blog

Preserving one's voice through a healthcare power of attorney

Medical crises can be emotionally taxing on Michigan families. When an individual loses their ability to communicate their healthcare wishes, those who are closest to them can feel the stress of not knowing what to do to protect their ailing relative's wishes. For some, ensuring that every life-saving effort is made to protect their health is important. To others, a dignified and natural death may be preferred.

Many individuals include a healthcare power of attorney in their estate plan. These documents grant specific individuals the right to make decisions regarding the testator's medical care and provide instructions to them. A healthcare power of attorney only becomes relevant when the testator becomes incapacitated and unable to make their own healthcare decisions.

Challenges to wills can draw out probate

The loss of a beloved family member can be difficult for a Michigan resident. As they work through their emotions and manage the decedent's end-of-life plans, they may begin to think about what will happen to the decedent's possessions and property. When a person dies, the things that they own become part of their end-of-life estate and that estate must be managed and distributed.

If the decedent had a will, then that document may dictate what happens to the things they owned. However, if problems exist in the will, then it may be subject to challenge. This post will briefly discuss some of the ways that wills may be challenged, but its contents are neither comprehensive nor intended to be read as legal advice. Questions about probate and will contests should be directed to an attorney.

Special needs trusts

The estate planning process is designed to create protections for the future. Depending on the needs and wishes of an individual, an estate plan can include various documents.

For some, setting up a trust is essential; however, not all trusts are the same. In situations where an individuals has a disabled child, setting up a special needs trust can be extremely beneficial for the child, ensuring they have the financial support they require.

Helping you draft a will that meets your needs

For some, thinking about the future comes natural to them. They have certain hopes and desires, and they want to takes steps to ensure that these fall into place and are protected. In contrast, some individuals in Michigan and elsewhere do not like thinking too far into the future, especially if it means thinking about their demise. Because death is a part of life, it is often something one needs to consider, even at a young age. This is why drafting a will can be a very important step to take, as it can memorialize one's wishes in writing when it comes to their property and assets and what will happen to them after their death.

The attorneys at Prince Law Firm are dedicated to helping individuals in the Detroit area understand how important a living will can be. This legal instrument allows one to express their wishes, making a statement to those they care about at the time of their death. Our goal is to help our clients memorialize these wishes in writing.

Child-free couples need estate planning

More Michigan couples have opted not to have children as the number of babies born in this country fell to its lowest rate in 32 years in 2018. Couples without children, however, have different needs that require estate planning.

These couples should have a will because they do not have natural heirs to inherit their assets. Even though a person will inherit their spouse's assets without a will, couples may die together in an accident. If a person dies shortly after receiving their spouse's assets, the surviving spouse can determine who will receive this property.

How to care for aging parents long distance

As your parents get older and their health declines, you may feel concerned about their welfare, especially if you live far away. Moving closer to them or having them live closer to you may not be viable options.

The good news is that you can still help your parents, even from afar. Follow these tips on providing care long distance.

How do durable powers of attorney work?

It is important to know about Michigan estate documents that can help a resident when they are unable to make decisions and deal with their needs. Some of these cover health and medical matters, while others deal with financial issues. In a durable power of attorney, a person may grant powers to a trusted agent to handle their financial affairs.

The word durable means that the power of attorney becomes effective when a person, known as the principal, is no longer competent and cannot make financial decisions. The principal can describe the disability or incapacity that grants power to that that individual.

Flexibility and trusts

Changes to the federal tax laws in 2017 increased estate exemption amounts and provided other benefits for a trust. But, this law is complex and may expire in 2025, if not earlier. Because of this unpredictability, trusts may need more flexibility.

In addition to dealing with the potentially changing tax laws, flexibility also helps deal with changes with a family's circumstances, finances and various laws and regulations. If trusts are unable to deal with certain circumstances, a court may become involved and make amendments. This can absorb money and time.

Planning for Alzheimer's Disease

Many Michiganders may have to face the consequences of Alzheimer's Disease. This risk increases with a person's family history. Regardless, this may be a good time to engage in long-term planning addressing the financing of the treatment and care of Alzheimer's.

Paying for long-term nursing care, medications and other expenses for a terminal illness should be considered. Savings may cover some of these costs. Nursing home services, which is usually needed for this disease, is costly. This care can cost almost $100,000 each year. Medicare does not pay for long-term residential assistance. Medicaid usually covers this expense, but at a very high price.

Aretha Franklin's wills problems persist

Aretha Franklin left an unbelievable musical legacy, but her estate may be remembered for the problems caused by poor planning. A contentious will contest was on display at recent Oakland County probate hearing.

In a 3-hour complex and contentious hearing involving nine attorneys, the judge asserted more control and placed the estate's administration under judicial administration. The court will play a significant role with many decisions such as the sale of its property. Ms. Franklin's niece will continue to serve the estate's personal representative.

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