When most people think about an estate plan, they may naturally think of a will and not much else. Depending on the size of the Michigan estate and the number of beneficiaries, an estate plan can be comprised of a multitude of documents. It is important to understand which documents may pertain to your situation and to ensure you have all of your estate plan issues covered.
At the beginning of marriage, most couples do not want to think about the possibilities of anything other than continued wedded bliss. However, all couples must face the reality that the unexpected is possible. Part of this reality is to discuss and share feelings and facts about creating an estate plan. When it comes to estate planning, Michigan couples need to not only understand each other's wishes but also which steps to take together to ensure those wishes are fulfilled.
Creating an estate plan is not just for married couples who want to ensure their spouse and/or children are cared for after their passing. Single people of all ages also need to consider having a comprehensive estate plan in place and periodically updated. Michigan singles are as concerned with their assets as anyone else. They will also benefit by considering who may have decision making rights regarding health and finances in the event of incapacitation.
Regardless of one's age or health, unexpected circumstances can leave a young person incapacitated and unable to make important health or financial decisions for him or herself. This is why it is essential that people of all ages have estate plans in place, and that they update those plans as life circumstances warrant. One lesson about the importance of keeping an estate plan current has been brought to light for Michigan residents due to the news-making health crisis of former NBA and reality TV star Lamar Odom.
There are many ways to manage and leave behind assets for loved ones. While doing so by a last will and testament is an option for many, it may not necessarily be the best option for the unique circumstances of your family. The creation of a trust can be a useful tool for Michigan families wishing to maximize assets, avoid probate, minimize tax liabilities and ensure family members are cared for according to your wishes.
When creating estate plans, families often make provisions for minor children, including the financial care and guardianship of those minors. However, minors grow up and often head to college. When a Michigan family sends a now-grown child to college, it may be the perfect time to sit down and rethink an existing estate plan.
Just as everyone's estate is unique and valuable to them and their family, the process of creating an estate plan also needs to be unique and address the individual needs of those who are affected by that estate. However, many people think the process simply entails creating a will to explicitly say who gets what. Michigan residents should understand there can be much more needed aside from a complete and legal will.
It is estimated that a large majority of young people have not thought about estate planning. The creation of an estate plan is often thought of as an elderly issue or an undertaking to be tackled once a certain level of wealth or assets has been accrued. However, young adults in Michigan may need an estate plan in place many years before they may traditionally think about such ventures.
The task of creating a comprehensive estate plan can be overwhelming and confusing for some. Breaking up the creation of an estate plan into steps is recommended as a way to tackle the process and ensure it is done correctly. Similarly, it is important for Michigan families to weed out steps that may not apply to them and focus on those steps that do.
Some people may wrongfully assume the estate planning process is for families with children or couples with valuable assets to divvy up or protect for the other party's future. Everyone, particularly single Michigan residents, needs to ensure that a proper and well-thought-out estate plan is in place as soon as possible. Single people may be at a greater risk of seeing assets distributed in a manner in which they would not approve.