The State Bar of Michigan is planning on holding estate planning seminars this week in western Michigan with the goal of arming senior citizens with as much estate planning information as possible in the one-hour sessions. The five sessions are part of a total of 28 seminars that will be held across Michigan in 9 different counties. Along with the State Bar of Michigan’s Unauthorized Practice Law Committee, the seminars’ partners include the SBM Elder Law and Disability Rights and SBM Probate and Estate Planning sections.

The seminar, titled “The Living Trust Initiative: Who Should You Trust? Avoiding Estate Planning Mistakes,” is designed to help senior citizens avoid the pitfalls of estate planning and the deceptive sales tactics used by some that have the potential to endanger a senior’s financial stability. The seminar also includes assistance for veteran’s applying for Veterans Affairs benefits.

Licensed Michigan estate planning attorneys will conduct a short presentation along with a question and answer session to provide accurate information about important estate planning issues as well as effective strategies to avoid probate litigation. Seminar attendees will receive a packet of estate planning information, including mistakes to avoid along with how to prevent being victimized by those individuals who sell annuities for their own financial gain, according to a statement released by the association.

The Michigan State Bar’s community outreach program, an almost 80-year-old organization, is holding the seminars to educate senior citizens and others about the importance of proper estate planning as well as the mistakes to avoid when planning for your retirement. Estate planning is for everyone and every size estate, not just those who think estate planning is only for those who have great personal wealth.

With a proper estate plan you can avoid family members bickering over both the big and little things should you become incapacitated and become unable to care for yourself. An estate plan can include a living will or healthcare directive that informs family members and medical personnel of your wishes for the types of treatment you want under certain circumstances. An estate plan can also ensure your wishes for your personal and business holdings are passed on the way you intend. An estate planning attorney can be invaluable in helping you develop the right estate plan for your family. It is never too early to plan ahead.

Source: MLIVE, “State Bar of Michigan holding free estate planning seminars to help protect seniors from being duped,” Shandra Martinez, July 15, 2012

Our law firm helps residents in the Hunting Woods and surrounding areas of Michigan with a variety of estate planning and administration needs, including wills, trusts and elder law and planning.

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