As baby boomers in Michigan grow older, asset protection and estate planning matters become increasingly important, and the good news is that now is an excellent time to begin estate planning.
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.
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.
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.
For many Oakland County residents, estate planning is a crucial aspect of financial management. However, mistakes in the estate planning process happen all too frequently. There are some especially common mistakes that a majority of people make when hashing out their estate plans. Whether it involves guardianships or trusts, an estate plan can cause a multitude of problems if due care isn't taken in establishing details.
Michigan readers may have heard the term "powers of attorney" and not been fully aware of what the term means. It is a fairly common legal term that refers to a particular kind of document that many Michigan residents draft in anticipation that they may become enfeebled or incapacitated in some way. For instance, if an adult child discovers that his or her parent is allowing bills to pile up in the parent's home because of the parent's inability to keep up, a powers of attorney document can be helpful in allowing the adult child to take over bill-paying and other estate matters because the parent is no longer able.
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.
There's no doubt about it: when it comes to health care, the older we get, the more complex--and expensive--health care can get. Long-term nursing home care is perhaps one of the most expensive forms of health care, and one that many Americans will need in their later years. The good news is this: with some careful planning, the transition to long-term nursing home care doesn't have to be as much of a strain on Detroit residents' bank accounts.