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March 2020 Archives

What to know about grantor trusts

Michigan residents and others who are looking to protect their assets may benefit from creating a trust. Assets inside of a trust are generally off-limits to creditors, and beneficiaries may be limited in how they use money or other items distributed from it. A grantor trust is a type of living trust that allows the creator to retain control of assets titled in the document's name. As the assets are still under the grantor's control, income is taxed to that person instead of to the trust.

How 529 plans can fit into an estate plan

Making gifts to an irrevocable trust may be an effective way for an individual to reduce the size of his or her taxable estate. However, it also means giving up control of how assets are used, and it also means giving up the ability to change who benefits from those assets. This can be problematic if the beneficiary passes away or no longer needs money or other items that were placed in the trust.

Financial powers of attorney can be abused

When Michigan residents are planning their estate, they often first think of preparing a will to pass on their assets to family members and other beneficiaries. There are other types of documents that can be important as well, including trusts, advance medical directives and financial powers of attorney. Unfortunately, the latter document can be abused if in the hands of the wrong person.

Having a will may not be enough

Michigan families that have an estate plan will almost always have a will in place. However, they often want to know whether they need a trust if they already have a will. In many cases, the answer to this question is yes.

Have you updated your estate plan since your divorce?

Getting a divorce is a life-changing event. Though many people end their marriages every year, it can create considerable upheaval in any individual's life. You may know this firsthand since you recently went through a divorce yourself. Now, you may be wondering what other areas of your life you need to address in order to mitigate any negative repercussions of ending your marriage.

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