Planning for one's death or physical limitations and health problems is not generally regarded as a pleasant experience by most people. However, long term planning is critical for aging Michigans who want to ensure that their wishes are followed with regard to their medical care and end-of-life plans. In addition, long-term care planning is important to ensure that rising medical expenses and potential nursing home expenses do not unduly burden relatives and caregivers.
Completing a will is a critical juncture in estate planning, but it may not be wise to make it the first and only step in the process. As we've covered on this blog, there are a handful of documents that can effectively stand alongside and support a will. Namely, creating power of attorney plans is a critical step for many people.
Taking the time to make an estate plan is often a very big step for many people. No one likes to think about decisions related to the end of life, which is a sentiment that might be shared among many young people. However, failing to formalize critical plans -- especially in terms of health care -- can create a lot of frustration and pain for loved ones.
Many of our Michigan readers may think that all of their estate planning needs will be met once they have a will, a trust and the appropriate power of attorney forms. While these instruments are vital to a good, comprehensive estate plan, there is another aspect that needs to be considered - long-term planning for care in advanced age or poor health.
Many Michigan residents may think that estate planning is something that only older Americans need to worry about. This type of thinking can come from the view that an estate plan's main purpose is to distribute a person's assets after they die. While there is some truth to that view, there are many more components of an estate plan that need to be considered. And, as a recent article pointed out, young people - even 18-year-olds - would probably benefit from having at least a basic estate plan in place.
It is common for many people to associate estate planning with preparing for the distribution of assets after death. While this is indeed one of the main reasons for a Michigan resident to have an estate plan drafted, there are many aspects of the plan that will address events that could be possible before a person's death. This is where the power of attorney documents come into play.
There is a lot that a Michigan resident needs to do in order to put together a comprehensive estate plan. But, for the most part, there is one overarching requirement: making decisions. The process of estate planning is all about making decisions. From determining how to distribute assets to assessing the pros and cons of trusts, and much more, drafting and executing an estate plan is essentially a series of decisions to be made. However, some decisions are more important than others. For instance, how does a Michigan resident decide who to appoint to make decisions in their place?
Most people know that they should have an estate plan. However, statistics are routinely reported reflecting the fact that many people still don't have the necessary estate planning documents even though they know they should. Like many other tasks, some people avoid estate planning simply because they don't know what to do or which documents apply to their particular situation. A recent article recognized this problem and sought to educate readers on what exactly needs to be in a comprehensive estate plan - in most cases.