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An estate plan can entail a number of documents in Michigan

When it comes time to think about how to handle the estate-planning process, there may be more than meets the eye. Each person's estate plan can be vastly different than another person's. Anyone in Michigan who is in the beginning stages of the estate plan process may want to be clear about the differences between documents and the facts about which document may be best for which situation.

Over the years, people have been advised to view creation of a trust as preferable to creating a will. A trust gives a person the power to transfer assets and funds during their lifetime rather than when that person passes on. If a will is chosen, the probate process can take some time, but some say the downside of a will and probate in general is being exaggerated. Anyone choosing between a will and a trust may want to discover which one is best for his or her particular situation.

Another confusing aspect of the estate planning process can involve health care powers of attorney. There is a difference between a living will and a health care power of attorney. A living will is designed to specify wishes pertaining to end-of-life care. However, a health care power of attorney can cover a wide range of health care decisions for a person who becomes incapacitated, either temporarily or permanently.

Many people may discover that there are more options for creating an estate plan than they realized. Discussing the options and learning the differences between certain types of documents can prove to be an important first step. Michigan residents may want to also update any documents they choose as part of an estate plan as circumstances change in the lives of all involved.

Source:, "There's more to estate planning than the will", , Sept. 26, 2014

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