You may not want to think about the unexpected occurring. But the fact is if something happens and you don't have an estate plan in place, your loved ones will have a great bit to deal with in the aftermath - and that can be a lot harder than it needs to be. In this blog post, we'll discuss what should go into an estate plan in Michigan. We'll cover wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and healthcare directives. So whether you're just getting started on your estate planning or you're looking for a refresher course, read on!
A will is primarily used to outline what happens to your property and possessions after you die. You can use a will to:
If you die without a will, state law regarding estates will determine how your property is distributed.
Creating a will is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your loved ones. It can give you peace of mind to know that your final wishes will be carried out and that your loved ones will be taken care of according to your wishes.
Trusts are also popular estate planning tools. A trust is created when a settlor (the person who creates the trust) transfers property to a trustee. The trustee manages the property on behalf of the beneficiaries designated by the settlor. Trusts can be used in various ways, including asset protection, minimizing taxes, and planning for loved ones with special needs.
A power of attorney allows you to appoint someone to make financial and legal decisions for you if you ever become incapacitated. If you do not have a power of attorney in your estate plan, your loved ones will have to get authority from the court to handle your affairs, which can be time-consuming and expensive.
There are two types of power of attorney: durable and nondurable. If you become incapacitated, your appointed person's durable power of attorney remains in effect; nondurable power of attorney expires if you become incapacitated. You can choose to have one type or both types in your estate plan.
A healthcare directive sets forth your wishes regarding medical treatment in the event that you are unable to communicate those wishes yourself. For example, you can use a healthcare directive to specify whether you want to receive life-sustaining treatment if you are ever diagnosed with a terminal condition.
A healthcare directive can also appoint someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself. Choose someone who you trust to make decisions in accordance with your wishes and what they believe would be the best option for you.
There are many things to consider when creating an estate plan. The best way to ensure that your wishes are carried out is to work with an experienced estate planning attorney. An attorney can help you determine what kind of documents you need and how to best protect your assets. If you need help creating an estate plan, reach out to the team at Michigan Law Center, PLLC. We advocate for our clients at all parts of the estate planning process.
Many people interested in estate planning are unsure of the difference between wills and trusts. While both instruments allow you to distribute your assets after death, there are some key differences between the two. Keep reading to learn the differences between wills and trusts in Michigan to make the best decision for you and your family.
A will is a document that directs how your property will be distributed after you die. You can use a will to:
A trust is another way to direct how your assets will be distributed after you die, but with some important differences from wills. Trusts can be revocable or irrevocable. Revocable trusts can be changed at any point during the settlor's lifetime, while irrevocable trusts cannot be changed once they are created. This means that with a trust you can:
While wills and trusts both allow you to direct how your assets will be distributed after you die, there are some important differences to consider. These include:
As mentioned above, one of the main advantages of using a trust is that it can help you avoid probate. With a will, your assets will go through probate after you die. Probate can be time-consuming and expensive, so avoiding it can be a major advantage.
With a will, you have less control over your assets' distribution than with a trust. With a trust, you can place conditions on how and when assets are distributed, which gives you more control over what happens to your assets after you die.
Another advantage of using a trust is that it can help you reduce or eliminate estate taxes. With a will, your assets may be subject to estate taxes when you die.
Deciding whether to use a will or a trust is an important decision in Michigan estate planning. If you have questions about wills vs. trusts, or any other aspect of estate planning, contact an experienced Michigan estate planning attorney today.