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Oakland County MI Estate Planning Law Blog

Is a living trust the right choice for your estate plan?

There are many different aspects of a person's financial life that the person must be aware of at all times. One part of this that can often be forgotten, is a person's estate plan. It can always be difficult to plan for a person's death, but it is a necessary task. By understanding all of the estate planning tools available to individuals, people can make the best decisions on how to distribute their assets following their death.

Many Oakland residents may believe that a living trust is important to avoid the probate process. These people understand that probate can be a lengthy, expensive process and an extra burden on their families after they are gone. While a living trust may be appropriate in many situations, there are also times when it may not be the best financial option for everyone.

Long-term care planning includes reviewing health insurance

With National Medicare Education Week quickly approaching many residents in Michigan may have long-term care planning on their minds. Many people throughout the state are starting to inch closer to retirement age. These individuals may be wondering if they have the financial resources available to help provide for their needs well into the future.

While for many people, long term financial planning includes making sure they have enough money to pursue their retirement goals -- like purchasing a vacation home or traveling -- it should also include planning for the unexpected. As people age, this often means a medical crisis.

What should you look for in a nursing home?

As Americans are aging, more families are considering their long-term care needs. Older individuals can suffer from a variety of health concerns that make it difficult for them to live independently. In some cases, it's unsafe for these adults to live on their own because of the mental and physical ailments they are dealing with.

In these circumstances, a nursing home can provide the individualized care that these people need. With 24-hour medical attention, many people can flourish in a care environment. However, families also need to be careful about which nursing home they choose for their family members. Not only can some facilities be cost prohibitive, others may not be in the best condition to serve Michigan residents. In the worst case scenario, residents may be subjected to abuse or neglect.

Tax returns and a Michigan estate

In addition to creating a proper estate plan, many Michigan residents also appoint a personal representative. By designating this person, Michigan residents can rest assured that their estates will be properly handled following the person's death.

Personal representatives to a Michigan estate have a variety of important responsibilities. These individuals must take great care to ensure that these responsibilities are carried out in a careful and precise manner. If mistakes are made they can be costly to the estate and the representative can be held liable, in some situations.

Understanding your role as estate administrator

Estate planning is extremely important for Michigan residents. It helps to ensure that people have a plan for their assets in the event of their death. With the proper estate plan in place, people can help their families avoid unnecessary taxes and a long probate process. This can be immensely helpful following a person's passing.

However, estate planning is only one part of the process. Once a person dies, the estate administration process begins. This is the process of settling the person's estate including collecting any income and paying any debt. It also includes distributing assets and dealing with the probate court, if necessary.

What is a 'small estate' in Michigan?

Every Michigan resident is unique. People have their own interests, passions and fears. Similarly, every person's estate looks different when he or she passes away. While some estates are large and complicated, others may be much more straightforward.

It is important for Michigan families to understand how a family member's estate is qualified under Michigan probate laws, however, because under these laws, small estates are treated much differently than regular estates. When an estate qualifies as small, the distribution process is much simpler than if it is a regular estate. A regular estate, on the other hand, may take much more significant oversight from the probate court in order to be completed.

When can a patient advocate be designated in Michigan?

In Michigan, those who are seeking to have a patient advocate designated need to understand what the law says about this decision, and how it can be completed legally. If the proper rules are not followed, then it might be disallowed. A person who is 18-years-old or older and is deemed to be of sound mind when making the patient advocate designation can place another individual who is 18 or older to be in charge of various issues for the person making the designation. These include care, custody and treatment. The patient advocate will also have the right to donate parts of the person's body after death.

In order for this to be legal, it must meet the following criteria: it must be in writing; it must be signed; it must be witnessed; it has to be dated; the person naming the patient advocate must do so willingly; prior to it being put in place, the attending physician of the patient or the mental health professional who treats the patient, the facility where the patient is cared for, or the program that is providing care to the patient must place it into the record.

Actor dies without will leaving litigation

When people are young, they don't often think about the consequences of failing to have an estate plan. In fact, many people may not even think about their estate plans or find it necessary to create one. When people think about death, they often associate it with older individuals. Sadly, no one is immune from an untimely death. Therefore, even young adults need to consider their estate planning needs.

When people fail to estate plan properly before their deaths, there can be serious consequences for the person's family. If a Michigan resident dies without a will in place, for example, that person's estate will be subject to Michigan intestacy laws. This can result in an increase in estate taxes, and a person's assets being possibly distributed in an undesirable way.

Choosing a medical power of attorney

Residents in Michigan are getting older. With old age come multiple medical issues. Many people will need to seek the care of medical professionals at some point in their lifetimes. Some may be unable to make their own decisions when it comes to their medical needs. When people are unable to make their own medical decisions, they may need someone to do that for them. If a person has a medical power of attorney, this can be a lot easier.

A medical power of attorney holder can make decisions on someone else's behalf when that person is no longer able to make medical decisions on his or her own. This can be extremely helpful in cases where a person is no longer conscious or is otherwise incapacitated. However, it is important that the right person is allotted the medical power of attorney.

When should you challenge a will?

When a loved one dies, it can be very traumatic for the remaining family. People miss their family members and wish their deaths never had to occur. However, death is a fact of life, and we have to come to terms with this difficult time period. While it is often not the first priority, at some point relatives must deal with their deceased family member's will. People will find out how their loved ones planned to distribute the assets following their deaths. The information found in a will, however, can be difficult if the will has terms that people were not expecting.

When a will does not meet these expectations, many people may wonder whether not they should challenge the will. There are many situations where challenging a will is appropriate.

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