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Monday, February 22, 2021

What Is a Lady Bird Deed?

Despite its funny name, the lady bird deed is a useful estate planning tool with which all property owners in Michigan should familiarize themselves. As a property owner, if you want to avoid probate in Michigan, a last will and testament, commonly referred to as a will, simply won’t cut it. With a lady bird deed, however, you can rest assured that your property will pass along without going through the expensive and slow probate process. In this article, we examine the lady bird deed.

Purpose of the Lady Bird Deed

Real property, such as a home or vacation rental, that is owned by one or more individuals must go through probate when the final living owner passes away.
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Thursday, January 21, 2021

Wills vs. Trusts in Michigan

Many people believe that estate planning solely refers to drafting a will. While a will certainly has its place in an estate plan, it is far from the only estate planning instrument one should consider. In fact, wills have many disadvantages when compared with other estate planning instruments, such as living trusts.
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Friday, December 18, 2020

Why Estate Planning Is So Important

Many people believe that estate planning is just for the wealthy. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Regardless of your income, you need an estate plan. Below are a few reasons that estate planning is so important.

An estate plan protects young children

If you have young kids, you need to make sure they’ll be taken care of if anything ever happens to you.
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Friday, November 20, 2020

Common Estate Planning Myths

There is a lot of misinformation out there about estate planning. Unfortunately, this confusion leads many people to skip the estate planning process altogether—this is a big mistake. Everyone needs an estate plan. In order to help clear up some of this confusion, below we discuss some common estate planning myths. For additional information on beginning the estate planning process in Michigan, please contact a Read more . . .

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.
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Monday, September 21, 2020

Disinheriting a Family Member in Michigan

Changes in circumstances sometimes require the removal of a family member from an estate planning document, such as a will or trust. However, in order to disinherit a family member, specific legal requirements must be met. If done incorrectly, an attempt to remove a family member from an estate planning document can result in a legal challenge. Below is an overview of how to disinherit a family member in Michigan. For additional information, please contact a Read more . . .

Monday, July 20, 2020

What Can a Michigan Estate Plan Do for Me?

If you want to ensure that your loved ones are financially protected after you're gone, you must have an estate plan. An estate plan ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes, not the state's. Without an estate plan in place, Michigan law will determine who inherits your assets, and this may not mesh with your personal wishes. Below is an overview of some of the many things that a Michigan estate plan can do for you. If you have additional questions, please contact a Read more . . .

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 Read more . . .

Friday, May 15, 2020

How Does the Coronavirus Affect Estate Planning?

The coronavirus is currently affecting people all over the world. It's infected over 400,000 people in the United States to date, and it's unclear how long this virus will continue to spread. Therefore, in addition to following the recommendations of health experts and official government mandates, individuals should consider how the pandemic may affect other areas of their lives, including estate planning. Although most people who contract the virus will recover, there have been nearly 15,000 coronavirus deaths in the United States. Therefore, although the odds of contracting and succumbing to the virus are low, now is as good a time as any to make sure your estate plan is current.
Read more . . .

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

What Are the Duties of a Trustee?

A trust is a fiduciary relationship in which one party (the trustor) gives another party (the trustee) the right to hold title to assets or property for the benefit of a third party (the beneficiary). Given the importance of the trustee's role in the property distribution process, the law imposes several duties on those who choose to accept this responsibility. Below is an overview of the duties of trustees in Michigan. For additional information on the benefits of including a trust in your Michigan estate plan, please contact a Read more . . .

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Estate Planning Tips for Unmarried Couples

It's common today for people in committed relationships to live together without getting married. While this may have its advantages, it can also leave unmarried couples without legal protection, particularly in the area of estate matters. Even in the absence of items like a will or trust, married couples generally remain protected under state probate laws. Unmarried couples don't enjoy this luxury. Therefore, it's particularly important for unmarried couples to work with a Read more . . .

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