Contact Us

Keating Law Blog

Monday, June 22, 2020

Is a Will the Only Document I Need in My Michigan Estate Plan?

Many people falsely believe that a will is the only estate planning document they need. While a well-drafted and legally valid will is important, it is only one component of an effective estate plan. In most situations, other estate planning documents actually trump the will in terms of importance and immediate impact. Therefore, if you currently have a will and nothing else, you need to contact a Michigan estate planning attorney to begin the estate planning process. Below is an overview of why your estate plan must contain more than a will in Michigan.

Your Will is of Limited Value During Life

Although a last will and testament is a great estate planning tool, it is of limited value while you're living. If your estate plan only contains a will, you and your family will be unprepared if you ever become incapacitated and unable to make certain decisions for yourself. However, if you include the following "lifetime" documents in your estate plan, you can rest assured that you'll be legally prepared for whatever challenges life throws your way.

Durable Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney allows you to appoint someone to manage your finances if you become unable to do so yourself. A durable power of attorney can be effective immediately upon signing or upon the occurrence of a specific event, such as your incapacitation.

Healthcare Power of Attorney

A healthcare power of attorney, which is also known as patient advocate designation, is basically a durable power of attorney for medical decisions. It allows someone to make medical decisions on your behalf should you ever become incapacitated. This is an especially important document if you want to prevent future conflict between your family members regarding your medical care.

HIPAA Release

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, also known as HIPAA, is a law that requires those with access to your personal health information to maintain its confidentiality. Although this law is useful, it can act as a hurdle to your loved ones if you ever become unable to make decisions regarding your healthcare. However, you can avoid this issue by completing a HIPAA release. A HIPAA release allows a named person or persons access to your health information despite HIPAA's general prohibitions against sharing such information.

Contact our Michigan Estate Planning Attorney Today

Whether you need to update your estate plan or want to begin the estate planning process, you need an experienced Michigan estate planning attorney on your side. At Keating Law, PLC, we will assist you with all aspects of the estate planning process, taking special care to answer any and all questions you may have along the way. If you'd like to begin planning for your future, please contact Keating Law, PLC, today for a consultation.

Archived Posts


© 2024 Keating Law, PLC | Disclaimer
24055 Jefferson Avenue, #101, St. Clair Shores, MI 48080
| Phone: 586-498-8400

Overview of Services | Trust Administration | Living Trusts and Wills | Business Law | Estate Planning | Advanced Estate Planning | Asset Protection | Probate & Estate Administration | Elder Law / Medicaid Planning | Civil Litigation | | Resources | Attorney Profile