In an ideal situation, going through a deceased loved one’s possessions and dividing up precious heirlooms might be a time to reflect and share precious memories. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. There are many valid reasons that family members might argue over the assets their parents or other relatives left behind. At the Bingham Legal Group PC, we understand that arguments over an estate can tear Michigan families apart, and we strive to prevent this from happening whenever possible.
Imagine a family with two children. One of those kids has always marched to the beat of his own proverbial drummer. He has traveled the world, lived abroad for many years, can be out of contact for weeks or months on end and has only returned to his childhood home a handful of times in the past decade. He also has a very good-paying job, isn't married and has no children.
It is an unfortunate fact for residents of Detroit and elsewhere that not everyone is able to live to old age with full mental capacities. Numerous conditions, including dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and stroke, can reduce an elderly person’s mental acuity and ability to make informed decisions. In many of these cases, the responsibility falls to the adult children to take care of their parents’ financial interests.
Know Michigan's expectations for personal representatives - and consider getting the right help.
If a loved one has named you as the personal representative of their estate, they clearly trusted you on a personal and financial level. However, that doesn't change the fact that estate administration is often highly complex.
As discussed in previous posts, it may complicate matters significantly if someone dies without leaving behind a will or trust. Therefore, Detroit residents may consider it a wise move to handle their estate planning well in advance. Having a clear and understandable will may protect the beneficiaries of an estate from the hassle and heartache of trying to sort out how to divide money, heirlooms, property and other assets after a loved one's death.
As you probably know, it is important to have a will or trust in order for your loved ones after you pass. Estate planning may help your heirs avoid confusion or conflict later on. However, it is not unusual for Detroit residents to need clarification on some of the common estate planning terms.