No one likes to think about their own death and how their family will cope with the loss, but unless you do, you risk adding to their heartbreak by leaving them an inheritance mess to clean up. With careful thought and professional planning, you can give your family the gift of a smooth transition of property and assets after you are gone. Our attorneys draw on their experience and knowledge of Michigan law to help clients find the plan that will fulfill their wishes for the loved ones they leave behind.
Below are just some examples of the types of documents we regularly prepare for our clients.
Our clients find this to be an incredibly useful document even though typically when a person thinks about an estate plan their first thought is that they need a Will or a Trust. Unlike a Will or Trust, which deals with the management and distribution of your assets upon your passing, A Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Affairs allows you to appoint an individual to step into your shoes and assist you with the management of your affairs while you are living, which is especially useful should you become incapacitated and unable to manage your affairs.
A Medical Power of Attorney is an estate planning document that appoints an individual to manage your medical care in the event of your incapacity. It avoids the necessity for the dreaded guardianship in most circumstances and also communicates to the Probate Court in the event that a guardianship is needed whom you would want to have priority to make such decisions.
A Last Will and Testament is an estate planning document that communicates to the Probate Court how you would like to divide your estate and to whom you would want to be your heirs. This document does not avoid probate but does allow for you to choose how your estate is divided, as opposed to being subject to intestate succession which dictates to the Probate Court who your heirs are and how you want your estate divided upon your death. You further can and should appoint in your Will guardians and conservators for your minor children. It is a document that is used in all Vincent Law office estate plans, even if you choose to establish a trust.
This is the most basic type of trust document which is typically utilized by our clients who do not require estate tax planning, but are interested in avoiding probate. This document establishes how you want your affairs managed both during your lifetime and upon your passing. Your beneficiaries are designated and trustees are appointed to manage trust property until all distributions to your beneficiaries are made.
A special needs trust can be an important component of any estate plan to protect government benefits for an elderly or disabled loved one. One of the biggest concerns for parents of a special needs child is how to provide for their child after both parents have died. Individuals with a disabled parent, sibling or loved one may also want to provide in their estate plan for the person with disabilities. Government benefits such as SSI and Medicaid are often not adequate to meet all of the needs of the individual with disabilities, especially when the parents or caregiver are no longer able to provide the primary care giving.