Estate Planning

Practice Area

It's Not a Question of If,
It's a Question of When

An Estate Plan is important so that you, and not the court, control your estate and the distribution of your assets upon death. Your Estate Plan must be flexible and contemplate many different life events and outcomes. Stacey can guide you through this complex process and will ensure you are aware of all the risks and possible outcomes. Some of the factors you must consider include but are not limited to:

Now more than ever, the most thoughtful and caring thing you can do for yourself and your loved ones is to properly prepare an estate plan to help give you and your family members peace of mind. It can be tough to find a good estate planning attorney that has experience both in the courtroom and drafting up the necessary documents for an accurate and thorough estate plan. Stacey has the skill and ability to provide both. Do the best for you and your family and contact Stacey now before it's to late.

Need help with any legal issues?

Frequently Asked Estate
Planning Questions

Asked Estate
Planning Questions

A proper estate plan takes into account all of an individual or family’s assets including, but not limited to, bank accounts, real property, personal property, life insurance, retirement, educational accounts as well as all debts and liabilities. A person’s estate plan will utilize documents such as wills, letters of instruction, revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts, health care derivatives, funeral instructions etc., to ensure that your final wishes are carried out while avoiding many of the pitfalls that a protracted probate process can entail.

Just like using the internet to diagnose an illness or health condition, the use of preprinted trust and estate forms and documents must be utilized with great caution. A licensed trust and estate attorney is trained and experienced in the area of creating a custom estate plan that can minimize or eliminate many of the headaches and troubles that can arise from an improperly or poorly crafted plan.

An estate planning attorney can help minimize tax consequences and maximize the ease at which an individual’s final wishes are carried out. You would not trust your health to a diagnosis found on websites like WebMD alone, so why would you risk assuming your family’s financial future is secure based on forms not specifically drafted with your wishes in mind?

Your non-jointly held probatable assets will not simply pass to any individual without a probate estate being opened in court and a judge ordering your property transferred in compliance with the law. If you die intestate (without a will), Michigan law, or the law of the state you are domiciled in at the time of your death, will determine who receives your property by default. That plan may or may not reflect your actual wishes, and some of the built-in protections may not be necessary in a harmonious family setting.

A proper estate plan allows you to alter the state’s default plan to suit your personal preferences. It also permits you to exercise control over a myriad of personal decisions that broad and general state default provisions cannot address, and further can assist you in avoiding or minimizing the often expensive and tedious process that probate court can entail.

An enhanced life estate, also known as a Ladybird Deed (sometimes written Lady Bird Deed) in one option. A Ladybird Deed allows you to keep a life estate in the property and grants a remainder to the person or persons of your choosing. Michigan probate courts have held that once the grantor is deceased, the property vests as a transfer on death in the individual or individuals named as your remainderman or remaindermen. Your estate has no interest in the property and the property is out of the reach of creditors of the estate. The property would be considered a non-probate asset.

When someone dies without a will, has property that requires administration/division among several beneficiaries, or is involved in a legal dispute over inheritance, probate court will oversee the case. Dinser law  has over 20 years’ experience navigating the complex issues involved with probate.

Even when someone passes away with a valid will, their estate is typically required to go through probate. Wills do not guarantee the avoidance of probate. In fact, In Michigan, if you own any assets solely in your name upon your death, your estate will be subject to probate. Probate will be required to transfer such assets out of your name and distribute them to your beneficiaries or heirs. In order for your estate to avoid probate court proceedings, you will need a trust and/or beneficiary designations to address proper transfer of all assets upon your death.

In the State of Michigan, unless you designate a Patient Advocate no one is legally permitted to make medical decisions in the event you cannot make them for yourself, with one exception. The only exception to this rule is that of a parent-minor child relationship.

The appointment of a conservator involves delegating power to someone to manage financial affairs and other aspects of another individual’s life. In Michigan, an appointed conservator could be an individual, a corporation or a professional conservator.

Similar to conservatorship, Stacey can help with the legal aspects involved with temporary guardianship, limited guardianship, adult guardianship, and guardianship over a minor.

Wills are the foundation in any estate plan. In Michigan, a Last Will & Testament provides you the ability to make several decisions about what happens after you pass away.

– First, it allows you to decide who gets your property including cash, personal property, family heirlooms, and real estate.

– Second, a Will permits you to nominate a Personal Representative of your estate – the person who will have the authority to pay your debts, settle any claims, and distribute your assets to the proper beneficiaries.

– Third, if you have minor children, a Will sets forth who you want to take care of your children upon your death.

The effect of adding a second person to your bank account is joint ownership and increased liability. Upon the death of a joint account holder, the account automatically passes to the surviving owner. The assets in a joint account are subject to collection by creditors of either joint owner. A better approach is to have a Durable Power of Attorney in place. This legal document allows a person you choose to manage your finances for you at your direction or when you are unable to do so.

Free Consultations:

Get in Touch with Stacey Right Now!

Talk to Stacey

(810) 231 - 9352