secure your financial future
Certain truths we know. We will not live forever. For this reason, you need to have your estate in order so that it can properly pass to your intended heirs upon your demise. Also, you need to make sure you have addressed a few other key issues:
- Have a Durable Power of Attorney
- Have a Healthcare Power of Attorney
- Make Sure Your Assets Do Not Go to Your Children’s Creditors or Your Children’s Ex-Spouse
- Appoint a Guardian Over Your Minor Children
A proper Estate Plan covers each of the above points and is not a high-cost proposition. The issues, however, are critical. If you have a Revocable Living Trust with a Pour-Over Will, and your assets are properly funded into the Trust before you pass away, your estate will avoid the Probate Process. Probate is not the end of the world, but it takes time, costs money, and all filed documents are public. By utilizing a revocable living trust, you can avoid this process. Is a Trust expensive? The answer is “No.” The same planning and analysis that we must do for a Will occurs when we do a Trust and Pour-Over Will. It’s just a different form of document used, and there is some necessary work effort needed to make sure you know how to fund the Trust while you are living.
The Durable Power of Attorney is the document used to appoint your spouse or a trusted relative or friend to act for you when you are incapacitated. We also appoint a successor trustee in your Revocable Trust to accomplish this task. Without taking these steps, if you are living and incapacitated to the extent you cannot act on your behalf, your family is then forced to go to Probate Court and have a Conservatorship created for you. This is a costly, untimely and unnecessary situation that can be avoided by taking the proper planning steps.
The Healthcare Power of Attorney, which is sometimes called a “living will” or “advance directive,” is the legal document you utilize to appoint someone to decide what actions are to be taken in connection with the preservation of your life in circumstances where continued care is in question. Of course, this is nothing we like to think about on a daily basis, but it’s important to address it in advance of the time in which such questions arise.
You Don’t Want Your Assets Going to Your Children’s Creditors
- You’ve passed away and left your assets to your children. What if your children have financial problems, or what if your child then elects to get divorced? Do you want your assets ending up with your children’s creditors or the ex-spouse? Most people want to make sure that their hard-earned assets pass to their children and grandchildren – not to creditors or ex-spouses. A proper Estate Plan can and should address both of these issues.
You Need to Select a Guardian if You Have Minor Children
- If you are a young couple with minor children, you must also have a plan in place to appoint a guardian over your children in case something happens to both spouses. This designation is made in the will. Too often, young couples put off estate planning because they feel it’s too far distant to be an issue. While we hope that is the case, we know it is not universal, and therefore the proper step is to have this issue covered.
Keep in mind; money isn’t the only reason for an estate plan. You may not be a multimillionaire, but if you own a business, have a blended family, have kids with special needs or worry about dementia, these are all good reasons to create and maintain a proper Estate Plan.
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- We find the best solution to your financial issues with the many different debt elimination strategies and techniques that we have perfected over our 40 years of experience. We don’t attempt to put a square peg in a round hole like other firms. What works for some might not work for others. Your situation is unique that’s why we formulate a customized solution to resolve your issues.
- You will meet with an experienced attorney that specializes in debt elimination strategies. You won’t be meeting with a secretary or paralegal. Heading up our legal team for debt elimination is shareholder Attorney Brian Small. He is the Vice President of the Consumer Bankruptcy Association of Michigan with over 25 years in practice. He loves finding creative solutions for his clients.
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