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Don't forget the smaller details in estate planning

Planning for the future takes on many forms depending upon each family's circumstances. For some families, a basic will is all that is really needed. However, for many Michigan families, there is the need for a more well-developed estate plan. Based upon the family dynamics and other concerns, estate planning should be a priority in planning for the future.

Many families develop a power of attorney for health care matters and financial concerns along with wills and trusts. However, prior to one's death, there are often other matters that need to be addressed that are not always taken into consideration when these documents are drafted. For example, if the individual becomes incapacitated due to illness or injury, does he or she want to be taken care of at home or within a care facility. Additionally, does this decision change based upon the type of care required and the effect it will have upon other family members.

Another area that often needs to be addressed is the care of beloved pets. In many cases, the family pet is considered to be a family member. Who is going to take care of the pet upon its owner's death. Additionally, will funds be set aside to provide for its care?

There are numerous smaller details that go into the estate planning process. While some may seem trivial, they can become challenging for the Michigan family as attempts are made to decide how to best take care of a loved one and his or her estate. An experienced attorney can help guide one in deciding exactly what elements need to be considered in each particular case.

Source: morningstar.com, "Don't Neglect the Softer Side of Your Estate Plan", Christine Benz, Sept. 17, 2017

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