Inheritance disputes have been known to tear families apart and result in relatives not speaking to each other for the rest of their lives. Of course, this would be something that you and other Detroit residents would want to avoid. The way that you plan your estate may make the difference between your children sharing happy memories after the reading of the will or taking each other to court.
Some people mistakenly think that trusts are only for millionaires. There are many reasons that setting up a trust can help you in terms of protecting what you own, avoiding probate, ensuring the effective distribution of assets after your death and assisting in the management of your affairs if you become incapacitated, mentally impaired or are otherwise unable to do so. With the help of an estate attorney, you can weigh all the pros and cons to see if establishing a trust would be beneficial given your particular circumstances.
You might have seen a scene on television or in a movie where the main character in a dire situation writes out his last will and testament on the only scrap of paper available, then signs it before either perishing or being rescued. Dramatic, certainly, but would such a document hold up in a Michigan court? What if, instead of having a will formally drawn up, you decide to write it out on paper and sign it? Would your wishes be contested or honored if it is your own signature on the paper?
Recently in this blog, we discussed appointing a guardianship or conservatorship over a loved one who is mentally or physically compromised. These legal procedures are often decided by the court after the person's incapacitation. There is also a way that you can voluntarily appoint another person to handle your affairs if you are concerned about becoming unable to make your own decisions in the future. This is known as appointing a power of attorney, and is an option that is often taken by elderly people in Detroit and elsewhere.
Last week, we discussed appointing guardianship in your will or trust planning in case you passed away while your children were still under your care. In some cases, people in Detroit and elsewhere can set up a guardianship, or conservatorship, over an adult. The legal processes for obtaining guardianship over an adult can be complex. At the Bingham Legal Group PC, we assist families in creating conservatorships and other estate and family planning matters that are ideal for each individual situation.