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Living Trust Estate Planning In West Michigan


Living trust estate planning in West Michigan begins with proper planning, beginning with writing out a will. Such planning is on the rise, especially with Baby Boomers. It is often found ones who care for children with disabilities are most proactive.

A will is the base of any estate plan. It describes who gets what property and assigns caretakers for minors and sometimes adult children with disabilities. If you perish "intestate," without a will, the state will choose these things for you.

The will, or "last will and testament" helps protects your family and property. It is primarily used for:

  • Leave your property to people, organizations or entities
  • Declare a guardian for your minor children
  • Authorize a person to manage property you leave to minors
  • Assign a representative, the one who ensures that the terms of your will are fulfilled

In Living Trust Estate Planning In West Michigan, what happens if I pass on without a will?

  • If you die without a will in Michigan, what you leave behind will be assigned per state "intestacy" regulations. Michigan's intestacy law provides your property to closest relatives, beginning with spouse and kids. If you don't have such relatives, your parents or your grandchildren are next. This order continues with evermore distant relatives, all the way through your spouse's relatives. If the court depletes this index to find that you have no living relatives by the state gets the property.

Does it need to be notarized in Michigan?

No, in Michigan, you do not need to notarize your will to make it legal.

However, Michigan allows you to make your will "self-proving" and you'll need to go to a notary if you want to do that. A self-proving will speeds up probate because the court can accept the will without contacting the witnesses who signed it.

To make your will self-proving you and your witnesses will go to the notary and sign an affidavit that proves who you are and that each of you knew you were signing the will.

For Living Trust Estate Planning In West Michigan, do I need a lawyer?

No you don't. You can make your own will but you might want to consult a lawyer. For instance, if you think that your will may be challenged it is wise to consult an attorney.

In Michigan, what are the requirements for signing a will?

To finalize your will:

  • Your will must be signed by two witnesses
  • You must sign the will in front of 2 witnesses

Should I use my will to name a personal representative?

In Michigan, you can use your will to name a personal representative who will make certain that the items in your will are fulfilled after your death. If you don't name one, the court will assign somebody the task of distributing your property.

A "special-needs trust" is critical if you have a kid with disabilities who cannot support herself/himself as an adult. If your property were to pass directly to this person, it could risk eligibility for means-tested government benefits. The trust assets can be utilized to additionally support the child's basic needs.

Often the parents act as trustees and declare somebody to take over after they pass away. It is recommended that using a corporate trustee with an individual co-trustee with the empowerment to remove the corporate one if needed, and replace it with another.

Difficulty choosing a caretaker is the primary excuse many will never come to completion. It can be a painful process, but it still must be done. Understanding the effect of being indecisive may leave the family in battles over the children. Therefore, popular tactics include making an immediate selection then updating it every few years. Another tactics is choosing a guardian for the children, then choosing another to manage the children's assets.