Creating an estate plan typically involves drafting, signing and filing a few key documents. While this is an important part of the process, there are other recommended steps for creating an estate plan. Michigan families may be interested in the following tips and ideas, if they are in the midst of the process of simply beginning to think about creating an estate plan.

An estate plan determines the fate of funds that go far beyond what is in the bank. Everything from life insurance policies and 401(k) plans are at stake. It is vital to designate proper beneficiaries for each. If a person discovers that a beneficiary is listed who is no longer preferred, that person should act to change the beneficiary sooner rather than later. Keeping careful records and letting family members know who beneficiaries are is also recommended.

One tip many people may not think about is to create a joint account between an executor and the person devising an estate plan. This will give an executor immediate access to funds in the event of an emergency. The joint owner would be able to pay for costs such as hotel rooms and travel expenses for extended family if needed.

An estate plan can be a long and complex journey for any Michigan family. Understanding or being aware of the details that may go outside the realm of the typical legal documents may help people create a more comprehensive plan. A legal professional can help individuals and families explore unique options that may cover the bases of which they have not given previous consideration.

Source:, “9 steps to getting your estate plan in order“, Melody Juge, Nov. 3, 2014

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