If you want your property to be distributed in any particular way after you die, it is essential to make a proper will. In the absence of a will, the court will distribute your property based on your state's intestacy laws, and there will be nothing your heirs can do about it, even if they know your real intentions.
Our Detroit-area readers may be familiar with Gary Coleman, the actor who starred in the television show "Diff'rent Strokes" from 1978 until 1986. Coleman died in 2010 at the age of 42 following an accident at his home that resulted in a serious brain injury. At the time of his death, Coleman was struggling financially, but he did have a will. However, that has not stopped two women in his life from fighting to establish his intent during recent probate litigation.
Detroit-area readers may have noticed that previous posts usually mention the need for a comprehensive estate plan. Whether your goal is to avoid litigation between family members, ensure your wishes are followed in the distribution of your assets, or set up long-term care options, comprehensive estate plans can prevent an untold number of headaches.
When Oakland County residents think of establishing a trust, they may think of one aspect in particular: trusts are complicated. While that can be true, the real benefits of trusts are worth the effort when it comes to tax planning or protecting an inheritance. This is true not only for individuals thinking of individual estate planning; trusts can also be an extremely useful for small business owners who intend to eventually pass their business and assets on to beneficiaries.
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.