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Oakland County MI Estate Planning Law Blog

What does long term care look like?

People in Michigan are getting older. Americans, in general, are starting to reach retirement age in much larger numbers. 'Baby Boomers' are more often finding themselves in need of long-term care. It is important to understand what long-term care looks like, and what it costs, in order to prepare yourself and your family for the realities ahead. Many people are finding themselves unable to stay in their homes on their own. Therefore, they rely on long-term care facilities or other help in order to live as normal a life as possible.

Long-term care planning is an important part of estate planning. People need to understand how their assets will be used as they grow older. If people do not anticipate long-term care, they may find they do not have enough assets to take care of themselves.

Costs of long term care

Americans, as a whole, are getting older. Many Michigan residents need to begin to plan for their retirement and beyond. While people hope to be healthy in their older years, many people will face health challenges as they age. These challenges can make it difficult for individuals to live alone or to live without significant medical interventions.

Therefore, as people plan for their golden years, they need to factor in the cost of long-term care in Michigan and throughout the United States. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the costs of long-term care in the US can be significant. If an individual needs to go into a nursing home, the costs can be thousands of dollars each month.

Don't forget to plan for your family's future

People spend their adult lives worrying about their loved ones. People go to work to afford the things they need for their families. They take care of their homes to provide their children with a stable and happy environment to grow up in. And, they save money to provide the best future possible for themselves and the people they love.

With all the busyness of everyday life it can be easy to forget about what comes after a person is gone. What happens to a person's family then? Will they be well taken care of? Will they have access to the necessities that they need? Often the answers to these questions can only be reached with some degree of certainty through the use of a proper estate plan.

Even celebrities fail to prepare wills and estate plans

Many Michigan residents were undoubtedly devastated when they learned that the musician Prince had died. The gifted vocalist and guitar player had a recognizable style and presence that was well-known by even those who may not have been big fans of his music. Though news of his untimely death dominated many media outlets in the wake of his passing, an interesting fact about his estate emerged in the weeks following his death.

It appears that Prince did not have a will when he died. Despite his wealth and celebrity stature, he did not create a plan for how his money and assets should be distributed in the event of his passing. His failure to provide any direction about his intentions for providing his loved ones with inheritances left the very real possibility that his entire estate will be subject to review by a probate court.

Who can inherit from an estate other than a spouse?

Many people in Michigan know that they need to have an estate plan in place in order to pass property from themselves to another. However, many people never actually take the opportunity to develop an estate plan during their lifetime.

Therefore, many people die without a will, trust or other estate planning tool in place. These estates, however, will still be distributed. Instead of following the wishes of the decedent, the estate will be distributed based on intestacy laws in Michigan.

Court searches for assets and heirs in Prince estate

The entire country was shaken last month when it was announced that famous singer Prince had died. People from all over the world enjoyed his music for decades and were heartbroken to learn that he had passed. Following the initial shock, the world learned that Prince also died without an estate plan.

This means that the courts are left to determine how the singer’s assets should be distributed now that he has passed. This is complicated by the fact that prince has a complex family tree including half brothers and sisters and a full-blooded sister. The courts are also struggling because there is not one account of all of the singer’s assets.

The potential for abuse with a power of attorney

When people face incapacitation in life it can be a real challenge. People have to learn to rely on others in order for their most basic needs to be met. This doesn't just include people's basic needs -- like housing or food -- but it also includes people's financial affairs. Elderly people, in particular, may need help managing their finances if they begin to lose the ability to help themselves.

In order to do this legally many people create a power of attorney where they authorize another person to act on their behalf. This legal document can be narrowly or broadly constructed to serve the needs of the person.

What is a durable power of attorney?

Michigan residents can suffer from a variety of serious health issues. These issues can progress slowly or quickly and take away a person's ability to make decisions on the person's own behalf. When this happens, Michigan residents may need friends or family members to make important medical decisions for them. Otherwise, people may be left without being able to have a voice in their own treatment.

There are many legal avenues that can be taken in order for people to get decision-making power when it comes to their health. One way is through a durable power of attorney.

Estate planning for modern life

Estate planning takes on many different forms depending on the individual needs of the person. Each person can have different estate planning goals and desires when it comes to how they want their assets distributed following their death. Thankfully, there are many different ways that estate planning can be undertaken. In our modern society, it may be important to use many different estate planning tools in order to meet the goals that the individual has in mind.

Reaching estate planning goals can be difficult if people do not understand all of their options available to them. People need to understand how they can best use and distribute their assets. They also need to understand how to take advantage of Michigan laws in order to minimize tax liability and protect their families.

Planning for digital assets in estate planning

As most Michigan residents realize, the Internet has become an important part of many people's lives. Through the Internet, individuals gain digital assets that they use in their everyday lives. These include social media accounts, email, online bill pays and other online financial services. As a recent blog post has discussed, digital assets can now easily become part of a person's estate plan in Michigan.

Now that these assets can be included in a person's estate, it is important for Michigan residents to understand just how they should prepare for the distribution of their digital assets. The first thing individuals need to do is take an inventory of their assets. This does not just include a person's online accounts. But, it also includes people's hardware and software that contain digital information.

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