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Estate planning is not just for the wealthy

When people think of estate planning they may rule it out for themselves, believing they don't have enough assets to constitute an estate. Estate planning is not just for the wealthy in Michigan. Everyone can benefit from an estate plan.

Estate plans can vary in complexity, and range from very simple documents to a complex set of documents that may include wills, trusts and health care directives. The nature of the estate plan is often reflective of the desires of the family. A strong case can be made that everyone should have a will, while many of the other possible documents can prove beneficial to establishing an adequate estate plan as well.

A will's most basic function is to determine the deceased's last wishes pertaining to burial, dispensation of any property and assets as well as other belongings. In addition to the will, an executor should be named who will be responsible for executing the instructions specified in the will. A health care directive can ease end-of-life decisions in the event of a catastrophic accident or illness. A trust can help with taxes, provide asset protection and help with legacy planning.

No one wants to spend a lot of time thinking about their death and the loved ones they will leave behind. However, careful planning can alleviate the pain and suffering of surviving family members when a person dies. Seeking the counsel of an established estate planning and probate attorney can assist a Michigan family in making the best decisions for themselves and their loved ones. A well-conceived estate plan can ease a family's mind in the event of the death of a loved one.

Source: investopedia.com, "Estate Planning: Not Just for the Uber Rich", Liz Bernhard, March 29, 2018

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