Estate planning is an important part of protecting one's family and estate. Upon death, the Michigan resident's assets will be distributed to others. How this is handled and who receives what is often part of the estate plan. As such, there are a number of aspects, including trust and probate administration, that need to be considered.
Some assets will be distributed based upon beneficiary designations. For example, life insurance policies and most bank accounts have a designated beneficiary. Other assets will be distributed based upon what is included in the individual's will. Prior to this distribution, however, the estate will need to go through probate.
One way to minimize the financial implications associated with probate and taxes is through the use of a revocable trust. With this type of trust, the individual can maintain control of the assets throughout his or her lifetime. Then, upon death or another appointed time, the assets can be distributed to the beneficiary. One benefit of a revocable trust is that the individual can modify it as needed throughout his lifetime. Additionally, the individual can set specific guidelines, such as the beneficiary's age, marital status or other qualifications, in order to be able to access the trust.
Trust and probate administration are important considerations when developing an estate plan. The average Michigan resident is concerned with protecting his or her loved ones as well as the assets that he or she has accumulated over a lifetime. An experienced attorney can review the individual's needs and make recommendations regarding the best way to offer this protection.
Source: thealmanac.net, "Five mistakes to avoid when planning your estate", Casey Robinson, Dec. 26, 2017