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Keating Law Blog

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Here’s Why You Need an Estate Plan

If you want to provide for your loved ones after your passing, you need an estate plan. Without an estate plan, your assets will be distributed pursuant to state law—leaving your loved ones little say in the matter. Therefore, if you want to avoid state intervention in the asset distribution process, you should contact an experienced estate planning attorney as soon as possible to begin the process. In the meantime, here are a few more reasons why you need an estate plan. 

  1. To plan for incapacity – When creating an estate plan, you can determine what should happen if you ever become incapacitated. With the help of an estate planning attorney, legal documents can be drafted that ensure the management of your assets in the event that you ever suffer disability or mental incapacity.
  2. To address business matters – If you are a business owner, estate planning is especially important. An estate plan will allow you to draft succession documents that ensure your business will continue in an approved manner after your passing.
  3. To address financial matters – If you’d like to prescribe the way in which your assets are held, transferred, and distributed during your lifetime and after death, you need an estate plan. In addition, proper estate planning can lower or even eliminate certain tax obligations.
  4. To protect your privacy – The probate process is public record. Estate planning, however, will allow your estate to avoid probate, thereby protecting your personal information.
  5. To keep creditors at bay – Trusts can protect estate assets from creditors. However, without trust protection, assets can be seized during the probate process to pay creditors.
  6. To avoid intestacy laws – In most states, assets automatically pass to family members as dictated by law unless a valid will is present. If you’d like to be in control of who your property goes to after your passing, then you need an estate plan.
  7. To prevent squandering of your assets – Finally, estate planning can eliminate the risk that your beneficiaries will squander your assets. For example, by establishing a trust, you can decide when and how your beneficiaries receive estate property.

Michigan Estate Planning Attorneys

Estate planning can be complicated, and it’s easy to overlook critical steps when attempting to navigate the process. Therefore, if you’d like to begin the estate planning process, we recommend that you contact an experienced estate planning attorney to discuss your options as soon as possible. Establishing an estate plan is one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones. Proper estate planning not only puts you in charge of your finances, but it can also significantly reduce the expense, delay, and frustration experienced by your loved ones upon your passing or incapacitation. If you’d like to begin the estate planning process, please contact one of our experienced Michigan attorneys for a consultation.

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