When establishing estates and trusts, people normally take into consideration who will care for minor children in the event of the parent's passing. Michigan families may be overlooking important family members. Pets are often considered part of the family, and as such, they should also be accounted for in any estate planning or family trusts.
Avoiding probate and providing privacy for loved ones is often the catalyst behind the Michigan resident's decision to establish a living trust. Yet, in many instances, the individual creates the living trust but, through a series of errors and omissions, does not realize the intended goal. Although the living trust has been established as a part of the estate planning process, the individual still has steps that must be taken in order to make it effective.
As the Michigan family plans for the future, there are a number of decisions that must be made. In addition to the traditional estate planning decisions, the family with a special needs child must also make arrangements for this loved one's future care. Yet, research indicates that less than half of such families have completed this important task.
Who will take care of mom or dad? This is a question that many Michigan families must come to terms with as their parents age. In some families, the adult children work together to take care of the necessary tasks. In other families, there appears to be one individual who retains responsibility for the parents. In either case, addressing this issue and assigning a durable power of attorney is often a necessary part of estate planning.
In some instances, when one doesn't know what to do, doing nothing is the appropriate choice. Rather than make a wrong decision, the Michigan resident chooses to make no decision. However, when it comes to estate planning, this decision to not make a decision can be costly.
Many Michigan residents recognize the need to create an estate plan. This is the overall plan designed to inform loved ones, medical professionals and the courts of the individual's desires for end-of-life care and the final disposition of one's assets. One often takes great care in establishing the plan and devising the proper documents. However, this is not the end of the process. In addition, reviewing and revising these documents as necessary is an important part of the estate planning process.
In some Michigan families, the family all sits down together and irons out the details regarding how one's estate and affairs will be handled when his or her time comes. In other families, there is no discussion or action taken, and the family simply must abide by the court's decisions regarding the loved one's estate. Most family estate planning actions fall somewhere in between these two extremes.
Creating a will, naming beneficiaries and selecting an executor are all part of planning for the end of one's life. However, what many Michigan residents fail to realize is that there may be a number of years toward the end of one's life in which he or she may need care beyond what the family is able to provide. The possible need of this care should also be considered as one going through the estate planning process.
As long as one remains healthy, financial and medical decisions are just a normal part of daily life. However, if the individual suffers an accident or medical condition and is unable to make sound decisions, it will be necessary for someone else to step in. With the proper estate planning documents in place, the individual is able to specify who should be the one to step in; however, without these documents, it will be left up to the Michigan courts to appoint someone.
Over the years, one begins to realize that life does not go on indefinitely. The simple fact is that while each Michigan resident would like to think that he or she has plenty of time left, no one really knows for certain. As such, before it is too late, it is important to make sure that loved ones are taken care of through the estate planning process.