A recent dispute about a will, which has made some national headlines, has finally been resolved, but it just goes to show how important every little detail of an estate plan can be.
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.
When Michigan residents hear the term "estate plan," some may think of it as a legal term applying only to wealthy people. On the same token, people might think of an estate plan as a stack of documents that directs the distribution of enormous amounts of assets and property. However, what these same people may not know is that drawing up a document as simple as a will is the beginning of virtually every estate planning process.
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.
Oakland County residents may be familiar with the ongoing probate dispute over the estate of Rosa Parks, the well-known civil rights icon who died in 2005 with an estate valued at roughly $9 million.
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.
Many Michigan residents may already have an estate plan which they believe is sufficient to their end-of-life wishes. But sometimes estate plans that seem water-tight are filled with tiny holes that can develop into larger ones. To take this holey metaphor further, the puncturing object in some estate plans may be technology itself.