Estate Planning Guidance Your Family Can Depend On

Estate planning is both a lifetime and after death process. In many cases, clients want the distribution of their assets done in a cost and tax effective manner according to their intent and desires set forth in their documents. I help clients achieve those goals.

Why Should You Plan Your Estate?

The answer is not one size fits all. There are many reasons to plan. One of the reasons I highlight is that without planning documents, the client estate could end up in the hands of people whom the client did not want to receive any of their estate.

The client is in control of the asset distribution at their death. The documents can be drafted as the client desires and with specificity to ward of contentious disputes among beneficiaries.

The use of a will or will in conjunction with a trust is decided between me and the client after discussing their desires and options.

Why You Should Use Trusts In Your Planning

The increased estate tax exemption has diminished the need for trusts with specific trust tax planning. Despite the change there are many reasons to use a trust:

  • To avoid your assets going through probate and being part of the public record
  • Providing for or protecting children and young adults from receiving assets before their time
  • Succession planning for the family business or farm
  • Planning for beneficiaries with special needs or challenges
  • Planning for beneficiaries who are spendthrifts
  • Providing for a second spouse while maintaining assets

What Are The Important Lifetime Planning Documents?

The two important documents are a financial durable power of attorney and a health care power of attorney.

The financial power of attorney protects your assets by naming a trusted person to serve as your agent under the terms of the document. A person who has asset to be managed without a trust and suffers a disability would require a conservator to be appointed by the Michigan probate court.

The health care power of attorney is in place to allow life ending decisions to be made when the designated cannot make the decision. The document adds stability to family decisions and makes it clear the patient's decision to the medical community.

Common Questions For The Estate Planning Process

What is the time frame to complete?

Generally the time is up to you. Usually the standard time is 60 days. When circumstances dictate the time can be accelerated

How much does estate planning cost?

The range is usually between $200 and $3500. A meeting takes place to discuss options and plans. You make the decision.

Do I have to come to an office?

I can work by phone or email with one in person meeting. I am distinct for other lawyers as I make house or business calls.

Why should I not put off the planning decision?

Putting off makes things worse in the long run. A key component to the counseling aspect of the processes is to help you understand and make decisions on your own. Planning is a necessary part of life. Putting it off only makes matters and decisions harder and more complicated.

Contact Us To Discuss Your Estate Planning Needs

Contact our White Pigeon office by calling 269-525-0733 or by emailing our firm today to arrange a consultation with our lawyer.