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March 2017 Archives

Estate planning and avoiding will challenges

Wanting to make the distribution of one's estate after his or her passing as easy as possible is an understandable goal. It is already a difficult time for loved ones -- one that may only be made more challenging when prolonged if a will is contested. There are things Michigan residents can do when going through the estate planning process to help avoid will challenges.

Two types of Social Security Disability Benefits

There are two types of Social Security Disability benefits when someone becomes disabled. Social Security Disability Insurance benefits ("SSDI") and Supplemental Security Income ("SSI"). What makes these programs significantly different is their eligibility requirements. 

Michigan estate planning: These things do not need to be in wills

Ever wonder what should or should not be included in a will? This is actually a question that many Michigan residents who are going through the estate planning process have. That is the topic of this week's column.

Estate planning essentials for a blended family

If you have been married at least twice, the prospect of planning your estate may seem like a challenge. It is still a necessity, though. According to the American Bar Association, approximately 55 percent of Americans do not have a will or any kind of estate plan in place when they die. You do not want to leave your family in the situation that then follows of sorting through your property, disputing who gets what and likely going to court. There are several things everybody should know about estate planning for a blended family.

Contesting wills during probate litigation is possible

There are several reasons why one might want to challenge a will in Michigan probate court. Contesting wills during probate litigation is not necessarily the easiest of things to do, but under the right circumstances and with the right help, it is possible to achieve positive results. This is something that a probate attorney can assist with if one feels that it needs to be pursued.

Michigan probate litigation: Creditor claims

When closing out an estate, there are certain obligations to creditors that the executor must handle. During probate litigation, creditors have the right to file claims against the estate in an effort to collect on any debts owed by the deceased. This week's column will address Michigan laws regarding such creditor claims.

Assigning financial powers of attorney cannot be overlooked

Preparing an estate plan can feel overwhelming. It is understandable, as one just wants to ensure all his or her bases are covered. The truth is that a lot can be overlooked if one is not careful. One thing that Michigan residents should most certainly not ignore is the assigning of financial powers of attorney.

Estate planning could have protected Prince's assets

When music icon Prince died unexpectedly in 2016, he left behind an estate worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Unfortunately, anyone who may be entitled to make claims on the estate, except the government, will walk way with less than they could have due to the lack of an estate plan. This case is one that Michigan residents can learn from about the need for estate planning.

Estate planning is not a one and done deal

Getting an estate plan together can seem to be a difficult task. There are a lot of things to consider. When the task is finally done, it can be a big relief knowing that all the necessary protections for one's assets and loved ones have been put in place. However, for those residing in Michigan or elsewhere, estate planning is not a one and done type of deal. Updating these plans is often necessary.

Don't forget digital assets when doing your estate planning

As just about every aspect of a person's life is now tied to digital accounts, it is important to protect digital assets in the event of death or incapacitation. Unfortunately, this is something that many Michigan residents fail to do, leaving loved ones fighting for the right to access online information. How can digital assets be included during the estate planning process?

Estate planning is a way to protect your young family

Growing one's family by having or adding children is certainly a gift. When children are young, parents have so many things to worry about, so some things that may not seem important at the time get pushed to the wayside. Estate planning is one of those items that numerous parents of young children, whether in Michigan or elsewhere, do not spend a lot of time considering. However, it really is not something that should be ignored.

Michigan estate planning: Preparing for age and illness

No one really wants to think about the downsides of getting older or the potential of enduring medical diagnoses that can leave one in need of frequent care and attention. Unfortunately, age is a part of life, and illness strikes regardless if one wants it. Michigan residents can help themselves and their loves ones by taking the steps necessary to prepare and plan for age, potential illness and incapacitation well before it is needed as part of the estate planning process.

Michigan estate planning: Is having just a will sufficient?

If you are not sure where to start when it comes to estate planning, you are not alone. A lot of people in Michigan and elsewhere are not sure where to begin or what they really even need to make sure they, their assets and their heirs are fully protected. Wills are an important part of estate planning, as they offer a lot of the protections you will likely desire for your loved one's, but there are also various other documents that may benefit your specific situation.

Why consider powers of attorney?

Planning and preparing for future events can be a daunting task. At the end of the day, planning for everything is impossible. However, ensuring all of one's bases are covered is possible. When it comes to estate planning, in particular, Michigan residents have a lot of things to consider. Powers of attorney, for example, are worth your consideration.

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