Galloway and Collens, PLLC
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May 2016 Archives

Include 'digital assets' in estate planning

In this digital age, our values have shifted to incorporate digital assets on a level similar to our personal belongings and assets. Accordingly, estate planning and its practices have changed to include these assets. Your digital footprint and memories are not only valuable to you but also your loved ones. We make great efforts to use, share and protect our online photos, files and data while we are alive, but what happens to them after we become incapacitated or die? Howard Collens helped to pass legislation in Michigan that provides guidance and allows you to address the handling of your digital assets within your estate plan. The Michigan Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act provides a method for you to grant authority to an agent under a power of attorney, a personal representative under a last will and testament, a trustee under a trust or a guardian or conservator through the probate court for access to social media, online accounts and email. You may also restrict access to digital assets through your estate plan. Galloway and Collens, PLLC is proud to have Howard Collens featured in a recent Lawyers Weekly article, "Include 'digital assets' in estate planning," addressing these concerns. If you would like to learn more on how to grant or restrict access to your digital assets, please follow the link below to read the Lawyers Weekly article.

Construction issues can plague residential real estate deals

Any real estate transaction can get instantly complicated, especially when new construction is involved. When new construction is under contract, residential real estate deals may hit snags that require legal support or intervention. Those in Michigan who are embarking on any kind of new construction project can be better prepared for the process and possible complications by being aware of what can go wrong and what to do about it before issues derail the project altogether.

Inheritances can get complicated for Michigan families

Creating an estate plan that works for every family is impossible because families vary greatly, and the needs of one will not fit the needs of all others. Because of family differences and varying dynamics, plans for inheritances can get infinitely complicated. Michigan families can explore their options for creating plans that take their unique circumstances into account to ensure members' specific inheritances are outlined and drafted as part of comprehensive estate plans.

Trust administration can ensure funds are handled correctly

The transfer of wealth from one person to another, or one generation to another, can be a complicated and highly personal venture. If someone chooses to pass wealth through the use of a trust, the responsibility of trust administration is a challenging responsibility. Michigan beneficiaries and residents embarking on the process of trust creation can ensure proper trust administration by first realizing which kinds of trusts are available and may work best for their given situation.

Michigan probate litigation can become complicated

After the loss of a loved one, few surviving family members have the energy to focus on legal issues or potential estate complications. However, lack of action or a misunderstanding of the probate process can result in probate litigation and other legal complications for grieving families. Michigan families can minimize conflict and head off any potential problems with professional assistance, a clear understanding of the types of probate and they may mean as far as the distribution of the decedent's assets is concerned.

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