Michigan Estate Planning Lawyer

Your Estate Plan Is Not The Place For Taking Risks

With countless free or low-cost estate planning forms readily available on the internet, many people think that estate planning is simple and there is no need to work with an experienced estate planning lawyer. Those forms cannot advise you regarding your different legal options and what will serve your estate best under the law, however.

Internet and TV ads might tell you to handle your estate plan alone, but planning the transfer of your wealth is not the time to be cavalier. You have worked too hard earning and saving your money to risk it.

You can trust our estate planning attorneys to be your personal team of trusted, knowledgeable estate lawyerts in Michigan who will advise you, work with you and ensure that your wishes are met in effective estate plan documents. Our estate attorneys do their utmost to understand your goals and to guide you through the complex legal landscape of estate planning.

Our Detroit estate planning attorneys bring experience and skill, with a focus on providing personalized attention to each client’s needs. At Bingham Legal Group PC, you will work with an estate planning attorney who will take the time to understand your goals and help you find flexible, effective estate planning solutions.

Understanding estate planning in Michigan

Many people believe that they do not need to bother with estate planning. They feel that they do not have enough assets to worry about how these items should be passed along if an unfortunate event occurs.

Unfortunately, this mode of thinking fails to consider the impact that the lack of an estate plan will have on the family members that they leave behind, and some of the disputes that can frequently arise when there is no guidance on how a person’s final wishes should be carried out. Additionally, the last thing that many families need at a critical time is to worry about probate court and the process that the state initiates in lieu of a well-planned out estate.

When do I need to start thinking about estate planning?

No matter what age you may be, or what property you may own, you need to have a comprehensive estate plan in place. You may have purchased a home or started a new job with a retirement plan, and you need to carefully state how each of these items should be treated when you pass away.

If you have children, you and your spouse need to discuss who should raise them in your estate planning documents in the event a tragedy happens. While these things are not pleasant to think about, taking the time to deal with these issues now can make things much easier for everyone in the future.

What’s included in a comprehensive estate plan in Michigan?

Every person has unique estate planning issues that need to be considered when deciding what is best for his or her specific situation. Individuals should create advanced health care directives that specify the type of medical care they should receive if they are incapacitated.

They may also appoint friends or family members who can make health care decisions and also control their finances if they are unable to make decisions due if they become incapacitated.

Other documents include wills, which can range from very simple to complex, that clearly state how property should be distributed to friends and family. In addition to wills, some individuals may need to create trusts to pass along their assets.

These instruments can provide for the care of a loved one with special needs, or allow the individual to retain control over certain property or assets until they pass away.

When should I update my estate plan?

Modifications to an estate plan in the state of Michigan should be made any time significant changes occur in a person’s life. This might be when a person gets married, is recently divorced, welcomes a new child or stepchild into the family, or experiences the death of a beneficiary listed in the will. Individuals will need to be either added or removed from the existing documents, or the estate could be passed down according to the old documents. In some cases, this could lead to serious problems if updates are not made in a timely manner.

Take time to create an estate plan that reflects your needs

Should you have questions or concerns about an issue relating to estate planning, contact an experienced attorney to learn more about your situation. Your attorney will be able to develop a plan that allows you to feel confident that your family will be protected after you pass away.

What happens if I die without an estate plan in Michigan?

Those individuals who do not have a will or other estate planning documents will see their property pass according to Michigan’s intestate laws. These laws specify who will receive what property, and this could result in property passing to unintended beneficiaries. It might also make it more difficult for family members to know what property belongs to the estate, as they will have to spend more time gathering this information. Since more individuals are banking online, the accounts can be much more challenging to track down. Estate planning allows this information to be easily available when necessary.

You are told that everyone should have an estate plan regardless of their assets. But can you wait until you are old to create one? What if you decide not to have a plan or die before developing one?

Under Michigan’s Estate Planning Laws, Your Estate Is in the Hands of the Government

If you die without an estate plan, it will be up to governmental employees you have never met to process your estate. In that case, your assets may end up being placed with family members who you do not wish to have any of your belongings. 

You can avoid this situation by filing an estate plan; it is never too soon. Tragedy can strike anytime without warning, and filing an estate plan can help family members and friends cope with their loss as well as avoid any disagreements regarding your estate.

What if I Die Without an Estate Plan?

According to Michigan’s intestate laws, your estate will be wound down and distributed to heirs. In layperson’s terms, the government will make decisions about your assets and property that may or may not align with your wishes. Therefore, the only way to make your voice heard is to have an estate plan.

Consider Your Family and Friends If You Do Nothing.

Losing a loved one is hard on family members and friends, and the last thing they may want to do is worry or disagree about your estate and how it will be divided. By filing an estate plan, you can help ease the minds and hardship placed on family and friends, giving them mental security knowing your belongings are divided according to your wishes. 

Contact a Michigan Estate Planning Attorney to Protect Your Wishes

These are many more reasons and situations when having proper estate planning in place would be beneficial. Even if you don’t own much, having an estate plan in place protects both your interests and those of your family. On the other hand, those with complex estates and a high net worth have additional special considerations when creating their will, trust, and tax planning.

We Can Handle All Your Estate Planning Needs

A complete estate plan includes more than a single will document. You are not only planning for what happens to your assets when you pass away, but also for how to handle your assets and health care decisions if you can no longer manage your affairs alone. We can help you establish all the essential estate planning documents, including:

  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Powers of attorney
  • Patient advocate designations

Extensive Experience In Transaction And Litigation Matters

Our lawyers have a wide variety of experience in transactional matters and in litigation. This experience helps us spot potential loopholes or pitfalls ahead of time and create effective estate plans designed to avoid probate litigation.

The State of Michigan has resources to assist you with getting your affairs in order, but it’s extremely important to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney to set goals that work for your situation.

We help our clients with many different elder law issues, estate planning for nontraditional families and estate planning involving complex business succession issues.

Our attorneys are also prepared to assist with the probate or estate administration process that can arise after the death of a loved one, as well as any concerns involving will contests or guardianship and conservatorship issues.

Contact our Michigan Estate Lawyers today to learn more.