The new year is a good time to consider estate planning

Another year is coming to a close in Michigan and the new year is looming. With the approach of New Year's Day, people frequently review the past and consider plans for the future. Among those plans may be thoughts of estate planning. But what exactly does that entail and who should be concerned about it?

Estate planning, simply put, involves making plans for one's family and belongings in the event of one's death or serious injury. However, there is more to it than creating a last will and testament. In addition, a living will can instruct loved ones on what is to be done in the event of a serious injury that leaves one unable to speak or communicate. If substantial assets are involved, a trust can be set up for the administration and disbursement of those assets and this can benefit family members, including young children.

Other things to consider may involve insurance policies. Are there appropriate policies in place and are the beneficiaries appropriately designated? A recent divorce may mean that an ex-spouse is still named as a beneficiary on a life insurance policy, for example.

Estate planning should be as comprehensive as possible and may be complex. Making a list of goals to be accomplished with an estate plan is a good first step in Michigan. An experienced estate planning attorney can help one look at the big picture and may be able to help ensure that most eventualities are provided for. Providing this security and protection for one's self and one's family can be an invaluable gift for the new year.

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