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Detroit Probate, Trust & Estate Administration Law Blog

Finding the right special needs trustee

In one of our recent posts, we reviewed some of the reasons why special needs trusts are advantageous for some people. If someone you love has special needs and you are interested in helping them down the road, this option could be ideal. However, the Bingham Law Group also recognizes that a number of questions may arise for people in Detroit and other parts of Michigan who have decided to move forward with a special needs trust. For example, you may be unsure of who to choose as the trustee and finding the right person is paramount.

First of all, it is important to make sure that a prospective trustee will have enough time to carry out his or her responsibilities. There are a variety of tasks that trustees may need to perform and these responsibilities can be demanding, especially for someone who has other commitments. Next, you should consider the amount of control you will be handing over to the trustee and make sure that you find someone who you trust, especially since they will be in charge of important matters affecting your loved one.

Avoid unintended estate planning consequences during divorce

If you are going through a divorce, you likely have much on your mind and many demands on your time. However, do not forget to update your estate plan. While the divorce is underway, your spouse still has certain rights, and you will want to keep as much control over your assets as you can.

Update your powers of attorney

Health challenges and your estate plan

There are many different events in life that may affect an estate plan, including divorce and a change of heart. However, some are completely unexpected and can be devastating in more ways than one. For example, some people suffer unanticipated health problems that result in emotional, physical and financial hardships. Depending on the severity of the health problem, it may even be necessary to go over an estate plan once again. There are a number of different reasons why revisions may be called for in the wake of a health crisis and we will cover some in this post.

For starters, health problems can prompt someone to take time off work, leading to financial issues. To make things worse, medical costs can be outrageously high and some problems will require long-term care and permanently alter the course of someone's life. Moreover, the emotional toll of health crises can be absolutely draining, from a cancer diagnosis to a debilitating condition that leaves one unable to walk. If you are suffering from a difficult medical crisis, it is important to focus on your health and do all you can to recover. However, you should not ignore your finances and other issues that could be affected by your condition, such as your estate plan.

Examining other benefits of charitable trusts

Those who decide to set up a trust may have a hard time deciding which option is right, but charitable trusts are an ideal estate plan for some. Aside from being able to support a cause you believe in, charitable trusts offer many other benefits that you may want to review. It is important to make sure that whatever decisions you make with respect to estate planning are best for you and your loved ones and this may be the most sensible option for you.

For starters, those who set up a charitable trust may be able to enjoy benefits from a tax-related standpoint. For example, charitable trusts can help people avoid capital gains taxes and they can also result in tax deductions. These trusts can also allow trustors and beneficiaries to receive income from the trust. However, it is essential to be completely sure that this type of trust makes the most sense before you set one up.

What are express trusts?

When it comes to terms and options regarding trusts, there are many areas people may be unfamiliar with. Not only are there many different types of trusts that people can decide to set up, but they can vary considerably and some may struggle to find one that is most suitable for their needs. Moreover, there are so many terms with respect to trusts and estate planning in general that it can be confusing at times. For example, some people in Detroit and across Michigan may wonder what an express trust is.

On the State of Michigan's website, readers are informed that an express trust needs to have a clearly-stated declaration of trust or show that the trust was created intentionally. Essentially, express trusts are not court-imposed but are set up intentionally. On the other hand, implied trusts are the opposite, legally speaking. There are a number of reasons why express trusts can be beneficial. For example, these trusts can clear up confusion and make the wishes of a trustor very clear, simplifying things later on. On the other hand, implied trusts may be more likely to lead to contentious litigation and confusion, in some instances.

Estate planning and procrastination

Estate planning can be tricky for many reasons, as we have talked about on this blog. For some people, the very idea of setting up an estate plan may be upsetting. Some people may not want to think about the future, or what will happen to their loved ones after they pass away. For others, daily life may be so hectic that the idea of working through estate matters seems overwhelming. Furthermore, some people simply have a tendency to procrastinate. However, pushing off estate planning can be problematic and many people feel a sense of relief after they properly create an effective estate plan.

Our law firm understands that estate planning can be challenging for various reasons and that each person is in a unique situation. Some people may be experiencing major hurdles in their life, which were completely unexpected. For example, the loss of a job, a divorce, problems with family members and all sorts of other issues can interfere with someone's ability to focus on their estate. However, this is an extremely important responsibility for many people that should not be pushed off. Moreover, some of these changes (job loss, ending a marriage or a car accident) can actually necessitate revising an estate plan.

3 common reasons for probate lawsuits

When a family member dies, it is a time full of sadness and grief. Amidst all the emotions, the probate process begins. 

Probate can be a time-consuming, expensive and complex process. While you and your relatives are grieving, you may start arguing and even filing lawsuits. Here are some of the most common reasons you may start fighting with other heirs about the administration of the estate. 

Moving forward with a holographic will

The laws vary from state to state, but holographic wills are recognized in Michigan, so long as certain requirements are met. Our law office understands that estate planning can be complicated and every person's situation is unique. Moreover, unexpected challenges in life can arise at any time, which may prompt people to make decisions that differ from their original plans. For example, someone may not have an estate plan and they may find out that they have a very short amount of time to live, prompting them to set up a holographic will. This also underlines the importance of planning ahead to be prepared for any unexpected events.

Holographic wills work out for some people, but there are various factors to consider. These wills do not always offer the best solutions for people in certain positions and in order for a holographic will to be valid, there are various requirements that have to be satisfied. In order to avoid some of these problems, people can have more confidence in their estate planning and the way in which their assets will be divided by having a solid estate plan in place before anything goes wrong.

Finding the trust that is right for you

We have written about many of the different options that people have when it comes to trusts, from special needs trusts to constructive trusts. For some people, a revocable trust makes the most sense, but irrevocable trusts work out better for others. It is crucial to take an individualized approach to your estate and pinpoint the type of trust that will work best for you as well as those you love. There are many different considerations when it comes to estate planning, but knowing that you have figured out the most practical trust can make you feel relieved and confident in your plan.

Feel free to browse throughout our blog if you are interested in reading more about some of the different types of trusts that exist. Ultimately, it is essential to carefully consider the ins and outs of your estate and some of the expectations you have with regard to your future and your loved ones' futures. Each person needs to find an estate that suits their needs best and there are many different reasons why some plans work better than others for some people.

Revising your estate plan over a serious injury

People find it necessary to go over their estate plan for diverse reasons. Not only can the end of someone’s marriage or a change of heart prompt revisions to an estate plan, but there are other major life changes that can impact someone’s estate, such as a debilitating injury. When someone suffers a major injury that leaves them immobilized or adversely affects their life in other ways, they may struggle to move forward from an accident that caught them completely off-guard. However, recovering in every way possible is crucial for people who are dealing with the aftermath of a serious injury and estate plan revision is one area that should not be overlooked.

Serious injuries that leave people unable to walk or perform certain functions can disrupt life in all sorts of ways. For example, someone may have suffered a brain injury that results in many different life changes. Or, someone may lose the ability to continue working because of an injury, bringing financial devastating into their life. Hospital expenses and costs associated with rehabilitation are other ways that injuries can change someone’s life from a financial perspective. Moreover, someone struggling with a severe injury may find that their relationships with certain family members change.

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