Estate planning in Michigan requires careful thought and consideration about several matters. An estate planner might have the best interests of beneficiaries in mind, and steps to procure the best outcome could involve deliberately reviewing all actions and responsibilities associated with devising estate plan directives and documents.
Estate plan basics
Writing a last will and testament is the most common step in estate planning. A will allows the testator to grant assets to chosen beneficiaries. The will must be legal under state law to be valid. When the testator passes away, the will must go through probate. An estate planner might examine options to list beneficiaries on transfer-on-death accounts to eliminate probate in full or in part.
Locking estate plans in stone might not be the best approach as circumstances might change, prompting necessary changes. A divorce would probably move someone to remove an ex-spouse from a will. New information about estate taxes and requirements to pay personal income taxes for the deceased testator might require additional financial planning.
An estate planner might also perform a detailed inventory of all assets and liabilities. Keeping accurate records of such documents and making them available to the executor, or the person currently serving as a power of attorney, might make probate proceed more smoothly.
Another step in estate planning entails putting assets into a trust. Transferring a house or a life insurance policy through a trust might be worthwhile. Also, a trust allows the designator to have more control over asset distribution and management after his or her death. The grantor may worry about the beneficiary’s ability to manage the assets, and a trust could provide a solution.
Estate planning might involve other steps that address end-of-life care or responsibilities associated with unexpected adverse health-related incidents, including catastrophic accidents or heart attacks. An estate planner may create a living will or healthcare proxy to deal with incapacitation.
Estate planning involves many steps and responsibilities. Planners may need to invest significant time to devise the right plan.