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.
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.
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.
Michigan residents are living in the digital age. People do not just have assets in their homes or businesses anymore. In fact, people have a whole slew of digital assets that are very important to them. While people may not think of their social media accounts as digital assets, they are. And, these things do not just go away once a person dies. In fact, people need to come up with a plan on how to handle their digital assets after their death.
During the first few months of every year, many individuals start to worry about their taxes. Depending on the person's income, individuals can have a large tax burden each April. Individuals might wonder whether their estate also shares in this tax burden after they have passed away.
When an individual dies in Michigan, the person's assets need to be distributed according to their estate plan. If an individual does not have an estate plan, then Michigan laws will dictate how the property is divided. In either case, the estate is handled in the probate court. The probate court will allow for the appointment of a personal representative who will distribute the assets and pay any liabilities that the estate has. The court may or may not oversee the process but will have the final say about when the process is complete.
Individuals in Michigan will need an estate administration when they pass on. People leave behind in this estate their assets, debts and desires. In many cases, people have an estate plan that helps those left behind understand how the assets should be distributed. In many cases, it will be up to the remaining family to move through the legal process of distributing these assets and finalizing the estate. This can be a difficult process for individuals if they do not understand the legal technicalities that are at play in the probate process.
When people create their estate plans, they often hope to benefit the people and organizations that they love. People have the freedom to choose who should benefit from their assets when they pass on. However, individuals can become susceptible to outside influences. When this happens, the family members of the individual may dispute claims made in the person's estate plans.
Michigan residents may not like to think about their death. However, every individual should take steps to make an estate plan. Estate planning goes beyond creating a simple will. It often requires people to think about how they want their assets distributed, who they want to receive their assets and make other final decisions. In some cases, it may also require people to think about how they want their end of life decisions to be made.
Some Michigan residents are natural planners. For others, planning takes effort and work. Thinking about the future, especially questions involving mortality, can be difficult for some people. However, most people likely want to take care of their love ones following their own passing. Estate planning helps to ensure that people's love ones are taken care of, so they do not need to worry about the future.