Probate, the court proceeding governing the distribution of a decedent's property, is only one process that occurs after that person dies. The decedent's executor must also perform other several duties that are an important part of estate administration.
Estate documents are usually utilized for assuring the proper distribution of funds after a person dies or dealing with issues near the end of their lives. But, there is also reassuring news for those who plan to have their body scientifically frozen for future revival. Estate planning may cover this process, known as cryonics, through the creation of a future income trust, which allows access to assets until a person is ultimately revived and keeps the trust's contents from melting away.
An estate plan is not restricted for people with children. Without a will or other estate documents, Michigan law will determine who inherits a person's assets regardless of that person's wishes. Estate planning is also needed to deal with other important issues that can cause disruption and expense for relatives.
A lifetime of preparation and planning can be wiped out in minutes by a sudden natural disaster like Hurricane Florence in North Carolina or the wildfires in Paradise, California. Now, estate planning must be a part of preparing for natural disasters to ensure that acts of nature do not destroy the ability to pass on assets or preserve long-term planning.
A person may own a lot more than they initially think. For example, a Michigan resident who does not own a home and has a modest income may not believe that they actually need an estate plan. However, they likely have many items of personal property, checking and savings accounts, and maybe even retirement investments that will need to be distributed upon their death.