Basics of Estate Planning: Protecting Your Legacy and Your Loved Ones
Michigan Estate Planning Attorney
Basics of Estate Planning:
Protecting Your Legacy and Your Loved Ones
Estate planning is an important process designed to ensure your loved ones are cared for after your death and your final wishes are carried out. Many people loathe discussing the topic of estate planning, but the reality is that estate planning encompasses more than just death and taxes. Estate planning provides significant peace of mind and allows you to leave a legacy for your heirs, which for many is ultimately the most important thing in life.
Despite the common recognition as to the import of estate planning, nearly half of all Americans today do NOT have an estate plan. Sadly, the family members are often left behind to suffer the chaos and uncertainty as a result of their loved one’s failure to plan for the event of their death.
At Abraham | Law, we assist individuals, families, and business owners across the state of Michigan with a wide range of estate & succession planning matters. Attorney Matthew Abraham has nearly two decades of experience representing clients with a variety of estate planning needs. Our office will assess your individual situation and develop an estate plan that best suits your desires and needs. You can rest assured that an estate plan developed by Abraham | Law will protect your assets and the interests of your loved ones.
Among several unique options available, we suggest certain minimum basic estate planning techniques to our clients:
Last Will & Testament
Wills are the most commonly used and essential estate planning tool. In a will, you can set out who will receive which assets upon your death. You can additionally appoint an individual to serve as your personal representative. Those with a minor child will be able to appoint a legal guardian to raise and care for their child in the event both parties pass away before the child attains the age of majority.
In the absence of a will (an 'intestate' estate), your assets will be divided in accordance with Michigan’s Estates and Protected Individuals Code and its laws governing intestacy. In such a process, it is quite possible your hard earned assets may not be passed down to whom you would have selected or the way you would have desired. Even more frightening, the court will be forced to select a guardian to raise your minor child if you do not have a will stating your wishes. For these reasons and many others, everyone should have a will so that their last wishes are respected and their family members cared for in the event of their death.
Revocable trusts, also referred to as living trusts, have gained in popularity in recent years. This trust functions much like a will in that it allows you to name beneficiaries who will receive your assets upon your death. The revocable trust, however, does have some added advantages over a will. For instance, in a trust, you can dictate more than just who will receive what. A trust gives you the ability to set conditions or specifically state how and why a beneficiary will receive an asset. For example, you might set aside funds to be used only upon your child’s acceptance into or graduation from a college or university.
The greatest benefit to a revocable trust is that it avoids the lengthy and potentially costly process of formal probate altogether and offers added protection of your assets from creditors and collection. Your estate planning attorney should be able to more fully advise you on the whole array of estate planning tools at your disposal.
Abraham | Law: Experienced and Exceptional Estate Planning Representation
Estate planning is essential for the protection of your loved ones, your hard earned assets, and your legacy. Having an experienced Michigan Estate Planning Attorney to protect your interests is important. Matthew Abraham of Abraham | Law will assist you through the intricate process of thoroughly preparing a complete estate plan tailored to meet your specific needs and wishes. With the myriad of estate planning tools available to you, you need a law firm that will guide you in the best direction for your family.