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Grand Traverse County Michigan Divorce and Estate Planning Blog

Celebrity estate planning mistakes may help Michigan residents

Preparing end of life wishes does not come easy for everyone. Individuals from all walks of life may feel as if they do not need to plan, do not want to plan or simply believe that they can put it off until a later time. However, if too much time goes by without estate planning, a person could pass without having made his or her wishes known.

Even celebrities can make mistakes when it comes to creating an estate plan. As most Michigan residents know, well-known musician Prince died without creating a will, and though his death occurred over a year ago, issues regarding the distribution of his estate are still running rampant. As a result, his $300 million estate remains in the hands of the court. 

Lack of parenting help, communication may contribute to divorce

Though all relationships have their ups and downs, some individuals may notice that they have more dips than highs. As a result, they may begin to question whether continuing with the relationship is worthwhile. For many Michigan residents, certain catalysts could lead to their considering divorce, and in the long run, they could realize that this route provides the best solution to their issues.

For some parents, considerable marital problems can arise if one parent does not help share the parenting responsibilities. When one individual takes on the majority of the discipline, care and other duties, the situation can quickly become overwhelming. As a result, resentment could build up in the relationship, and if the other parent does not begin to take on more of an active role, lack of help could be enough to drive a wedge in the relationship.

No children does not equal no estate planning in Michigan

For whatever reason, many individuals go through life without having any children or close family. While this type of life does not necessarily mean that these individuals have led less fulfilling lives, as they get older, they may begin to wonder what will happen to their accumulated assets. Some Michigan residents may think that it is not even necessary to go through the estate planning process.

However, having an estate plan can be beneficial for anyone. Even if a person does not have children or other family to whom they would like to bequeath property, they can still make their wishes known. If a will or other planning document is not created, the person will die intestate, and state law will dictate how the remaining property will be divided.

Should Michigan residents commemorate divorce with a selfie?

Everyone looks at the idea of ending a marriage differently. Some individuals may think that everyone should try to work through their problems and stay together no matter what, while others may understand that not all marriages are meant to last. The manner in which a person approaches his or her divorce can have a considerable impact on how the process moves forward, and many people find success in striving for amicable cases.

Michigan residents may be interested in a recent divorce trend that shows just how happy some individuals are to end their marriages. A recent report indicated that numerous former couples are now taking selfies, or self portrait photographs, together after their divorces are finalized. The results tend to show two people who are more than happy to be coupled no longer. 

Michigan residents may wish to watch for estate planning errors

Though many Michigan residents like to have plans in place for various scenarios, they may not always understand certain aspects of certain plans. For instances, many individuals may think that estate planning is useful, but they may not be fully utilizing those plans effectively. Mistakes are not uncommon when it comes to this type of preparation, and therefore, parties may wish to be on the lookout for possible errors.

One error that could put a significant kink in a plan involves trust attachments. A schedule is an attachment for a trust that lists an inventory of the items that have been placed into the trust. A major mistake that some people could make is to leave the schedule blank or incomplete. This error could result in confusion or a trust not being properly funded. 

Estate planning could eliminate the search for heirs in Michigan

Some Michigan residents may not think creating an estate plan is necessary. If they have no close family or do not feel the desire to bequeath any of their assets to their family, they may skip the estate planning process altogether. However, even if a person does not create a plan, their estate must still be administered and beneficiaries determined. 

One man in another state has taken on the task of searching for heirs to sizable estates. He typically steps in when an estate he believes is worth the effort -- usually ones worth at least $100,000 -- has no will and no relatives attached to it. He uses birth, marriage and death records to determine the closest relatives who could stand to inherit part or all of the estate.

Estate planning: Michigan residents may benefit from trusts

Because everyone has different needs in life, it should come as no surprise that individuals have different needs when it comes to creating end-of-life plans. Luckily, there are a variety of estate planning options that can help Michigan residents choose the tools that allow them to create the best plans for their circumstances. For some, trusts provide many benefits.

Creating a revocable trust can allow interested parties to avoid the probate process. However, they need to ensure that they have properly funded their trusts. If such action has not been taken, their surviving loved ones could face complications when it comes time to administer the estate. Those family members may have believed that probate was not necessary, only to discover they must go through the process due to improper trust planning.

Estate planning offers a variety of uses for Michigan residents

If a person chooses not to create an estate plan, he or she may miss out on the opportunity to address many important life aspects. Though some parties may think estate planning is unnecessary because the issues will no longer bother them after death, any problems will continue on with their surviving family. Additionally, estate plans could come in handy before the end of a person's life. 

A plan can allow Michigan residents to detail how their affairs should be handled after death. How property should be divided is often a main concern. Because surviving family can have a difficult time dealing with such tasks without instruction, leaving some sort of plan for bequeathing assets could save loved ones time and unnecessary stress. 

Personal details may play bigger role in divorce than statistics

Many individuals, including Michigan residents, may scoff at the idea of successful marriages. Though it may seem snide and cynical to believe that a marriage cannot remain happy forever, this idea may be common due to the continued use of outdated statistics relating to divorce. In fact, individuals may do better to simply assess their personal circumstances when it comes to the potential success of a relationship.

Hearing that half of all marriages end in divorce is relatively common. Though this statistic may have been true at some point, that percentage does not necessarily hold up today. However, many parties continue to present this statistic as fact rather than acknowledging that there are actually fewer divorces today than in the past. Unfortunately, many people continue to believe that, if they get married, there is only a 50-50 chance that their marriage will succeed.

After divorce, life changes could affect support payment ability

Though ending their marriage may be a necessary step for some individuals, this event can cause additional challenges in some cases. For instance, after the divorce, one parent may be required to pay child support to the custodial parent. Though the terms of such support are based on many factors, those factors could change over time. As a result, some Michigan residents may find themselves having a difficult time keeping up with payments.

Numerous parents in another state are currently facing serious predicaments due to falling behind on support payments of their own. Reports stated that authorities conducted a sweep in which they served arrest warrants for individuals owing substantial amounts of unpaid child support. The operation spanned over the course of three days and resulted in 31 arrests. 

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