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Posts tagged "Estate planning"

What if estate planning benefited you now and later?

Many people delay writing a will. Perhaps it's due to fear of the unknown, or anxiety at the thought of the end of life. It's understandable. You may have thought about what you'd like to happen when you die, but you're afraid to put it in writing because it feels too serious or final. Even if you're middle-aged, you might still be putting it off. Isn't estate planning for "old people"?

Unmarried cohabitating couples face unique estate issues

Unmarried couples who live together in Michigan face a unique set of legal matters related to estate and probate planning. Couples who live together but aren't married may be doing so for a variety of reasons. Usually, these types of couples are younger and do not believe in the institution of marriage, or they are elderly and have a more platonic, financially-centered relationship.

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.

Single parents in Michigan need to take estate plan steps

While it is important for everyone to outline exactly what their wishes are for their assets and minor children, it is particularly important for single parents to ensure no stone goes unturned when legally outlining what their wishes are in the event of their passing. Michigan parents who are raising children on their own must take steps to create a comprehensive estate plan. The fate of assets is on the line, and, more importantly, the fates of any minor children are on the line also.

An estate plan can protect Michigan businesses

Business creators work tirelessly to ensure success, but that may all be in vain if proper provisions are not in place to protect the business later on. An appropriate estate plan covers both personal and business interests. Michigan business owners can benefit from creating an estate plan specifically for the business they have worked to see successful.

Ways to avoid conflict with kids and an estate plan

The idea of leaving children an even amount of funds or assets in the event of a parent's passing may seem natural and an easy decision for parents to make. However, real life issues and varying family situations can make it a challenge to avoid conflict between adult children and parents as those parents embark on the process of creating an estate plan. There are tips to help Michigan families navigate this sensitive subject and minimize the potential for conflict.

When exactly is a good time to update an estate plan?

Estate plans are highly personal endeavors. Because each Michigan family is different, there may not be an exact day or month that is appropriate for the updating of an estate plan. However, many leading experts agree there are specific life or family events that require updates be made to estate plans. They also suggest a certain time of year that may be appropriate for many people.

Millennials must include end-of-life care in estate plan

There are a number of documents to consider as part of an estate plan and some of those documents relate to end-of-life care and health care decisions. While millennials may be just starting their own families or venturing out into the world, an estate plan is something all need to discuss with family members. Despite the benefit of youth, anyone any age in Michigan can find themselves in a situation where incredibly important and life-altering decisions need to be made and preparation can make those situations better for all involved.

Circumstances that may warrant changing an estate plan

Many people believe that all they need to do is create a will and their estate planning obligations are met until that estate plan is needed. The truth of the matter is that an estate plan should be crafted by any adult with children or any assets, but also that the estate plan is a baseline that may need to be adjusted over time. While most people in Michigan know the importance of having an estate plan to begin with, those same people may be unaware of when or why to alter that plan years down the road.

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