When you pass away without completing any level of estate planning, your assets are subject to Michigan’s intestate laws. Your assets may pass through the probate process. The court appoints someone to pay any outstanding debt you left behind. Your belongings get disbursed to beneficiaries according to the laws of the state. This is a process that could take several months to years to complete, especially if there is litigation involved.
Even if you had created and signed a valid will, your assets could still go to probate. The key difference is that you choose the beneficiaries by designating them in your will. A will has a broader application than what we just discussed, but the point remains that wills do not circumvent the probate process. Trusts, however, do.
Why Do Trusts Bypass Probate?
A trust is a legal document you should create with a professional estate planning attorney. They enable you to transfer your assets to your beneficiaries without involving the probate courts. This is because when you place your assets into a trust (referred to as funding), you still own them. If you place your home into a trust, you can legally name yourself as the trustee—the person who manages the trust. You will also have to name a successor trustee to take over your responsibilities if you become incapacitated or pass away.
Create a Trust With the Mannor Law Group, PLLC
One of the biggest misconceptions about trusts is that they are only used by the wealthy. They are incredibly valuable estate planning tools that nearly anyone can take advantage of. When you meet with an attorney at the Mannor Law Group, we can discuss your goals and how we can build an estate plan that meets your needs. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.