Organizing your estate is an important responsibility, one that demands your full attention. You need to plan it carefully and involve the people you trust the most to ensure it is carried out according to your wishes. Choosing who will assume the essential role of executor can be difficult, but there are several criteria you can refer to that should make the decision easier. Before asking anyone to be the executor of your estate, consider whether that individual satisfies the following four qualifications.
The University of Michigan is in line to receive a substantial alumni donation, as recently deceased news legend Mike Wallace left the school a treasure trove of materials relating to his professional career.
There is a plethora of estate planning options for Detroit residents who want to avoid probate litigation and reduce personal liability. Neither lawsuits over personal property nor family strife pertaining to the distribution of assets are desirable consequences of estate planning. In particular, Michigan real estate owners may want to consider a few important tools for avoiding future problems with probate.
Elderly citizens in Michigan may soon see more options for long-term nursing home care. State health officials plan to file for approval of a system that aims to better manage long-term care for seniors who are eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.
Michigan residents might have seen in the news that there may be changes to the law regarding inherited individual retirement accounts, or IRAs. The U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chairman, Max Baucus, has proposed stricter requirements for the transfer of IRA assets to beneficiaries. For now, however, the chairman said he would pull back from trying to officially alter the law.
Readers in the Detroit area were likely saddened to hear of the death of Etta James, the R&B icon with the powerful and husky voice who sang such hits as "At Last" and "Tell Mama." James passed away recently at the age of 72. Sadly, in her later years, she suffered from a number of health problems, including leukemia and dementia, and the final year of her life saw much controversy over matters of estate planning. Oakland County residents may take interest in the dispute over the care of James' estate, as many families in Michigan often face similar issues.
A couple of weeks ago, Michigan residents may remember that we discussed aspects of a modern estate plan that would avoid probate problems potentially caused by people having online accounts that outlive them. Well, like digital clockwork, Facebook has responded to the problem. The social network has introduced an application (or "app") that can be used to allow appointed trustees to post video or text messages on a person's wall, even if he or she is deceased. And, to avoid future probate disputes, readers in the Detroit area may want to look into similar measures with regard to all of their online accounts.
Residents in Oakland County who are involved in estate planning may be wondering if living trusts offer any kind of asset protection.
Michigan residents who are concerned about how to pay for legal assistance in estate matters may be interested to hear of a service currently being offered in Florida. The Community Law Program is a service which offers low-income seniors assistance in legal matters such as estate planning, trusts, and establishing powers of attorney. Although the program is currently in Florida, it may encourage Michigan seniors to look for something similar in their area.