Many people believe that estate planning is only for wealthy families, but the truth is that every family can benefit from having an estate plan of their own. Why? For one reason, without your own plan the state of Michigan will control how your assets are distributed after you pass away. The probate court will simply follow established Michigan guidelines for distributing assets. As you can well imagine, the government is not interested in minimizing costs, streamlining the asset distribution process or making sure your wishes are carried out.
Another reason to have your own estate plan is to ensure that a person of your own choosing, a person you know and trust, can make medical and financial decisions for you in the event of incapacity. Without a plan, someone will have to petition the court to control your medical care and assets. This can be a long and expensive process. Worse, the court might decide to let someone you would never have chosen yourself make important decisions on your behalf.
This is just some of what estate planning can help you accomplish. Depending on your particular situation, we can design a plan that can help you achieve all of the following goals and more:
- Avoid nursing home poverty
- Protect your assets against lawsuits, creditors and other potential threats for you and your loved ones after you are gone
- Pass your values, work ethic and a sense of responsibility to heirs
- Substantially reduce estate, gift and other taxes
- Keep information about your financial affairs and family members private
- Protect your heirs’ inheritances if they get divorced and remarry
- Leave a lasting legacy
- Enjoy greater peace of mind knowing that you have created a plan for the future
Accomplishing goals like these requires more than simply filling out various legal forms. Comprehensive, effective estate plans require close collaboration between you, our attorneys and other members of our team. We will take the time to get to know you personally so that we can gain a thorough understanding of your needs and goals. Only then will we create and implement a customized plan to address every single one of them. We can also work with you to maintain your plan for years to come so that it takes into account your changing needs and goals.
We welcome the opportunity to meet with you in person. Contact us today for a consultation.
Download our Estate Planning Brochure