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What are some of the elements an estate plan may require?

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Adults putting together an estate plan in Michigan often have personal priorities that they want to address. For many, getting married or having a child is what inspires them to put together an estate plan. They want to ensure that they can take care of their loved ones even if an emergency occurs.

For others, establishing a legacy after their passing or implementing protections in the event of a medical emergency might be their top priority. A comprehensive estate plan can address all of these concerns and more.

Support for family members

For those worried about the comfort and financial stability of their spouses and children, testamentary documents are of the utmost importance. Many people draft wills to ensure that their loved ones inherit most or all of the property from their estates.

A will can also provide support for children if someone names a guardian to take over their parental role after their death. In some cases, people may create trusts as a way of protecting the resources they want to set aside for family members and more effectively controlling the use of inherited resources. Trusts can protect assets from creditors and can even help older adults when they apply for Medicaid benefits for long-term care in some cases.

Protection from medical emergencies

A good estate plan considers what happens when someone becomes incapacitated, not just what transpires after they die. People may want to draft powers of attorney and advance directives. They can name someone they trust to handle their financial and medical affairs. They can also provide guidance regarding their preferences related to medical treatment and even anatomical gifts.

The smooth transfer of key resources

Maybe someone owns a business or purchased a home. They may want to specifically address those high-value assets in their estate plan. Some people may add deeds to their estate plans to transfer real property without it passing through probate court. Michigan is one of the few states that allows the use of lady bird deeds, although there are other options available as well.

If someone has an ownership interest in a business, they might use a trust or instructions in their will to transfer that interest to specific beneficiaries. Retirement or investment accounts may also require special consideration. People can transfer those resources to a trust, address them in their wills or file transfer on death paperwork with the financial institution.

Establishing effective estate plans may require a variety of tools and a thorough evaluation of someone’s desires. Testators who utilize a variety of different documents can potentially establish better control over the legacy that they leave when they die and the support they receive as they age.