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May 2017 Archives

What steps can you take to avoid probate?

As a previous post highlighted, the estate planning process often revolves around various desires and expectations. For some residents in Michigan, this means carefully drafting an estate plan so that they can avoid the probate process. While probate is not an entirely negative process that must be avoided, it can be long and costly. And, if you seek to help out your beneficiaries after your death, it is possible to take specific measures to help ensure that probate can be avoided.

What to do when a trustee is not doing their job

When a loved one dies in Michigan, and you learn that he or she left behind a legacy, you naturally have the expectation that he or she chose the right person to manage his or her estate. However, if the choice for executor is not honoring his or her fiduciary duty to the testator and other beneficiaries by following the instructions outlined in the testator’s will, you may find yourself wondering what you can do to rectify the situation. After all, doing nothing and waiting and hoping that the executor gets his or her act together can cause you and the other beneficiaries to miss out on your inheritances. 

Estate plans make wishes known, remove stress

While thinking of one's demise is certainly not the most pleasant thought, having all Ts crossed and Is dotted is crucial to everyone's life plan. A solid estate plan can be an extremely helpful in the event of a family member's death in that it can remove the stress of the unknown. Even with its helpfulness, however, there are still many aspects estate planning that may be less understood than others.

What are the risk factors for undue influence?

Making changes to a will is a common experience, but sometimes these changes are caused by undue influence. International Psychogeriatrics published research outlining the risk factors for undue influence in older people, but first, the legal construct must be defined. “To be undue influence in the eye of the law there must be – to sum it up in a word – coercion. The coercion may of course be of different kinds, it may be in the grossest form, such as actual confinement or violence, or a person in the last days or hours of life may have become so weak and feeble that very little pressure will be sufficient to bring about the desired result.” 

Why are powers of attorney useful in an estate plan?

Deciding to draft an estate plan is a major decision, but it is also a very useful and important step to take. No matter your age, individuals in Michigan and elsewhere should take the time to assess their situation and determine what is best for them later in life. Making end-of-life decisions is not easy for anyone, but it has become a necessary step to ensure our needs and interests are protected.

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