A person who dies without a will is considered "intestate". When that happens the state of Michigan has adapted laws that will automatically ascertain your heirs and distribute your estate. Wills are important to have because they give you the control to specifically state how you intend to distribute your property upon your death.
A simple will can give outright gifts and han complex provisions for future interests or establishing trusts. Michigan also has a statutory will, which can make the process simple and inexpensive. Bit wills can be used with a trust as part of an overall estate plan to help minimize tax liabilities. A trust can be used to save taxes, provide assistance in managing assets while delaying distribution at a later date, and can also provide for multiple or successive beneficiaries.
A trust is a relationship where one person holds title of property for another person, who is called a beneficiary. A trust can be a stand alone document(living trust) or included as part of a will (testamentary trust). The purpose of a trust, like a will, is to ensure your property gets distributed to the right people.
For the safety and security of your family and loved ones, you should consider an estate plan that includes a will and/or trust. And please contact our office if you are interested in obtaining a simple will and/or trust.
A Power of Attorney is a written authorization for one to act on another's behalf for private affairs, business, or legal matters. Often they are drawn up for healthcare and financial matters. In the event of a permanent disability or incompetence, the state of Michigan has laws that permit the courts to appoint guardians and conservators to manage a disabled person's affairs. This can mean delay, significant expense, and a public procedure that can be humiliating for the disabled person and his/her family.
The durable power of attorney offers an alternative to this. You can make a durable power of attorney and name whom you wish to make important decisions for you without court intervention. But planning is crucial, because once a disability has occurred, it is too late to sign a durable power of attorney.