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Oakland County MI Estate Planning Law Blog

People need to update their estate plan as they age

When people are younger, they may create a simple estate plan. This plan may be in place to make sure that an individual's children are well taken care of in the event that something happens to them. For example, a will can name a guardian for children in the event that a parent passes away.

However, as a person ages, his or her estate planning goals may change significantly. Children can grow and no long need a guardian. Wealth may accumulate and need to be management, or an individual's health may take a turn for the worst and they may need to plan for their medical care.

Removing a personal representative

There are many responsibilities that people take on over the course of their lifetimes. Many of these, people take very seriously and carry out with great care. There are, however, other times when people do not take their responsibilities as seriously as they should. Or, times when people are just physically unable to complete something that they have been appointed to.

One serious responsibility that a Michigan resident may be responsible for is being a personal representative for another person's estate. When appointed in this role, people have to take on a variety of important financial and legal obligations. They must oversee the estate administration process and ensure that it goes smoothly. If this person does not take the job seriously then there are cases when the personal representative can be held legally responsible. There are instances where a personal representative in Michigan needs to be removed from the position. Under Michigan laws, this is possible.

What is probate?

Michigan residents may not like to think about the time when they will leave their loved ones permanently. Because of this, many people may not consider what would happen to their earthly possessions once they pass on. However, a person's death starts what can be a long and complicated process of distributing those assets to loved ones. Whether or not someone has a will or other estate planning documents in place, this process will still occur.

This process is often referred to as probate. Probate is the legal term for the legal process that is started following a Michigan resident's death. The exact probate process depends on a number of factors in each case. In particular, it depends on whether or not a person died with or without a will.

Trust planning with special needs

Caring for children with special needs can be a difficult but rewarding task. It can take considerable amounts of time and patience in order to make sure a Michigan resident's family member is taken care of in the way that the person should be. Depending on the specific special needs it can also be a very expensive task.

Yet, this task is not often seen as a chore, but as a joy. And, people want to ensure that this care is carried out as long as the disabled person needs it to be. As a person ages, this concern can become a real worry in their life. People want to make sure that their beloved family member will be taken care of as long as the person needs it.

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.

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