Incorporating an endowment into an estate plan allows Michigan residents to lend financial support to cherished foundations beyond the planner's own lifetime. Estate planning strategies typically include establishing specific conditions to preserve assets, regulate distribution and prevent inappropriate spending. A recent dispute involving a Michigan church demonstrates the role a detailed estate plan can play in protecting beneficiaries.
For many people in Macomb County, drafting a will represents a real opportunity to give something back to the community they care about. Early on in the estate planning process -- or even before it begins -- some individuals define a number of entities or organizations they want to help. Other people decide to start a new legacy altogether by creating a charitable foundation.
There are many Michigan residents who have favorite charities. Maybe it is a charity that provides support and research to patients battling certain illnesses, like cancer or heart disease. Or, maybe it is a religious congregation that one feels particularly connected to.
When a person owns substantial assets, a will or trust can play an important part in the distribution of these assets. However, some people would prefer a more complex estate plan than simply passing on their assets to their children or partner. If someone gives assets to a charity, either through a charitable trust or outright donation, it can be beneficial to check how this will affect the overall administration of the estate, particularly with regard to tax issues and benefits when it comes to charitable giving.
When people in Michigan plan their last will and testament, they do so with the idea their final wishes will be followed to the letter of the law. Even though music icon James Brown's estate plan specifically states that anyone who contests his will should not receive anything from his estate that is not how things have ended up. Instead of choosing to enforce that clause in his will, and in essence protect the very charitable organization Mr. Brown left the majority of his estate to, the assistant Attorney General in charge of the case chose to award more than half of Mr. Brown's estate to parties who contested the will in probate litigation.