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Thursday, September 30, 2021

Michigan Estate Planning Basics

A lot of people mistakenly believe that estate planning is only for the wealthy. This couldn’t be further from the truth. If you have any assets at all, you need an estate plan. In addition, with a Michigan estate planning attorney on your side, the estate planning process doesn’t need to be complicated or stressful. In this article, we examine six of the most common estate planning documents. For additional information on estate planning, please contact a Michigan estate planning attorney for guidance.

Trust

A trust is a fiduciary arrangement that allows a trustee to hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary or beneficiaries. Trusts in Michigan may be either revocable or irrevocable. A revocable trust can help your assets pass outside of probate while allowing you to retain control of them during your lifetime. An irrevocable trust is also useful for avoiding probate, but it cannot be altered after it has been executed.

Will

A last will and testament is probably the most popular estate planning document. This document allows you to control how your possessions will be distributed after you pass away. A will also allows you to appoint a guardian for minor children and provide instructions and set aside funds for the care of your pets.

Financial Power of Attorney

With a financial power of attorney, you can appoint someone to make financial decisions on your behalf should you ever become incapacitated. The person you appoint through a financial power of attorney can manage your finances, make financial decisions on your behalf, and pay your bills.

Medical Power of Attorney

In Michigan, a medical power of attorney is called a patient advocate designation. This document allows you to appoint someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you ever become unable to do so yourself.

Deed

Finally, if you own real estate, you should have a deed for your home. One type of deed that is useful for estate planning purposes is the ladybird deed. Michigan is one of only a handful of states that recognizes the use of a ladybird deed as a method of transferring title to real property following a property owner’s death. With a ladybird deed, a property owner transfers a contingent ownership interest in his or her property to a designated beneficiary. When the property owner passes away, the beneficiary becomes the new owner of the property.

Contact a Michigan Estate Planning Attorney

If you are ready to begin the estate planning process, you need an experienced Michigan estate planning attorney on your side. At Keating Law, PLC, attorney Thomas Keating is here to help you create an effective estate plan that addresses your unique needs. With over 25 years of estate planning experience, we understand what it takes to ensure that you and your loved ones are protected. Please contact us today to arrange a free consultation.


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