Estate Planning Services
Protect Your Family and Loved Ones
Effective Estate Planning Services
Simple and Tax-Planned Wills
Your Last Will and Testament is the most basic form of Estate Planning. And it is the easiest to prepare. According to a 2017 survey by http://caring.com, only 42% of the population has a will. And only 36% of adults with minor children have a will. One of the most important reasons for a will is for parents to name a guardian to care for their children, in the event of their death.
A will is more than just a document that distributes assets. A properly drafted will name a personal representative and creates an independent administration of the will. Dying without a will in Michigan is a burden on your survivors. If an administration of your estate is necessary, opening an administration, legally determining your heirs, distributing your assets and paying your debts is a complicated and costly process. This can be easily avoided by the creation of a simple will.
Powers of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a written authorization granted by a person, called a Principal to another person, called an “Agent” for a range of purposes, including administering property or making medical decisions in the event of incapacity. The Power of Attorney can be a critical part of Estate Planning and Incapacity Planning.
A Living Will also called a directive to physicians or advance directive, is a document that lets people state their wishes for end-of-life medical care, in case they become unable to communicate their decisions.
The Health Insurance Portability and Affordability Act establishes, among other things, rules and regulations designed to protect the privacy of an individual’s health care information. The law also provides penalties for the unauthorized dissemination of private information, which can cause problems for someone (an Agent) holding a Medical Power of Attorney. Medical personnel may be reluctant to provide information to Agents because of this. This authorization should alleviate those concerns and allow the Medical Agent to act as appropriate.
Most people think of Estate Planning as planning for one’s death. There is so much more to consider, though. What happens to your family if you become incapacitated through injury or illness? Who will make decisions on your behalf? Who will take care of you? How will your care be funded? What about your family or small business? Your partnership interest? Revocable Living Trusts and Business Succession plans are just two of the tools we use to protect families in the event of your incapacity.
Revocable Living Trusts
The Trust is a very useful tool for incapacity planning, probate avoidance, estate administration and asset protection. Like so many estate planning instruments, these trusts are only as effective as the actions taken to effectuate them after they are drafted. Trusts are often left unfunded, meaning, people often fail to transfer assets to their Trust, rendering it worthless. It is important that all appropriate assets are transferred into your Trust.
David G. Johnson, Attorney and Counselor