Families in the throes of estate planning may sometimes forget about some assets, such as Medicare, retirement accounts, and Social Security. These are assets that can be very important down the road and could carry a lot of value within the estate. A wrong move in the consideration of such assets could have serious repercussions.
Probate court can seem like a mystery to many Michigan residents. After all, going through the probate process may be the first exposure a person has with the court system. But, when the need to go through this process arises, taking the right steps and having all the right information about one's legal options can make the process go smoother.
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.