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.
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.
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."
One day you get a call from your recently widowed mother. “Can you come over here and look at something for me? I just got a thing in the mail that looks like a financial report of some kind. It says Dad had over $1 million in investments!”
There are several important legal duties for a trustee to follow. A trustee must adhere to the terms of the trust and act in the best interest of the signer and the estate. This person is responsible for making decisions about the estate and administering it according to the wishes of the grantor. Unfortunately, some trustees violate their fiduciary duties.
Another family member is taking care of your aging parent, which can be cause for worry as well as relief for you. You might have the peace of mind knowing that another loved one is taking care of your parent, instead of him or her having to live in a nursing home. However, you could also worry that your mom or dad is not receiving the best care or that the caregiver is abusing her or him. The following information is important for you and other Michigan residents with parents who need care during their later years.
You have recently mourned the death of your last parent and now you are facing the task of making sure you execute your parents’ will according to their wishes. However, while going through their paperwork, you realize that your parents left two wills. Both appear at first glance to be valid, leaving you with some confusion as to which will is the one to go with. You worry that choosing one or the other could cause hard feelings within your family. This is an uncommon situation, but not one that is unknown for Michigan residents.
Wills are such important documents that it seems unlikely you could make one and then lose it or forget where it is. Yet it happens to many people. For example, they make a will, put it in a "secret" space in their home and move 10 years later, forgetting the will is there. Or they put it in furniture that is sold many years down the road.
Taking care of an aging parent is a difficult task. That task is monumentally more difficult, however, when your parent has a terminal illness and thus has a prognosis that tells you how long you might expect him or her to live. People often avoid questions around end-of-life matters when they are healthy because it can be so uncomfortable to think about death and the related planning that accompanies it. When parents are facing the end of their lives, they may be counting on you to help them make important decisions.
If you just found out you are no longer in a will, you probably feel crushed and devastated. Unfortunately, sometimes wills can have surprising contents. If you are facing unexpected exclusion from an inheritance, you may be wondering what you can do.