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Saturday, October 31, 2020

The Importance of Including a Trust in Your Michigan Estate Plan

The last will and testament is probably the best-known estate planning document. However, there is much more to the estate planning process than simply creating a will. Most people should also consider including a trust in their estate plan. A trust is a legal instrument that allows a third party to hold and direct assets in a trust fund on behalf of a beneficiary. Below is an overview of the importance of including a trust in your Michigan estate plan. For additional information on creating a trust in Michigan, please contact a Michigan estate planning attorney.

A Trust Gives You Control

While a will allows you to define who will receive what assets, a trust gives you the ability to define how and when those assets will be provided to your beneficiaries. This is helpful if you don’t want certain beneficiaries to receive their assets or money all at once. For example, you may want to avoid giving a minor or an adult who is bad with money a large cash inheritance. By arranging for periodic payments via a trust, you can ensure that your assets won’t be wasted.

A Trust Allows You to Manage Trust Property

A trust gives you the power to manage your assets during your lifetime. While you’re living, you are the trustee of your trust, and this allows you to manage property, money, assets, or anything else you have in your trust. In addition, any trust you create is a considered a “living” or “revocable” trust while you’re alive.

A Trust Can Address Incapacitation

If you ever become incapacitated, and your trust includes an incapacity clause (a provision that defines who will manage your affairs in case of incapacity), your trust will ensure that your needs are met.

Creating a Trust in Michigan

In order to create a trust in Michigan, you must take the following steps:

  • Decide whether to create an individual or shared trust.
  • Decide what assets to include in your trust.
  • Designate a successor trustee.
  • Choose the trust’s beneficiaries.
  • Create the trust document.
  • Sign the trust document in the presence of a notary public.
  • Change the title of any property in the trust that has a title document to reflect that you now own the property as the trust’s trustee.

Importantly, in order to ensure that you’ve followed all the required steps to create a valid trust in Michigan, you should enlist the help of a Michigan estate planning attorney.

Contact a Michigan Estate Planning Attorney

If you are ready to create your estate plan, you should contact an experienced Michigan estate planning attorney for assistance. A Michigan estate planning attorney can assist you with all aspects of estate planning, including creating a trust and drafting a will. If you’re ready to begin planning for your and your family’s future, please contact one of our knowledgeable and experienced Michigan attorneys for a free consultation.

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