Young people entering the workforce in Michigan and just beginning their professional and family life may see estate planning as something to worry about further down the road. The reality is that, like planning for retirement, it is better to start estate planning sooner rather than later. There are some common misconceptions around this.
When many Americans consider their assets, they consider "stuff" like cars, art and money in accounts. Many people across Michigan neglect estate planning when they feel their assets are too limited to require a will. However, these people often forget about one of the most crucial and complex assets: their homes.
Estate planning is a term that keeps appearing in Michigan. If a person has a will is that a sufficient estate plan? A will helps to determine who will inherit one's belongings after one's death. It does not make any provisions for what can happen if a person becomes mentally or physically unable to make decisions regarding finances, health care or other issues. Careful estate planning can cover these contingencies.
Estate plans are becoming a little more sophisticated in Michigan as more people become familiar with the multitude of options and tools that are available. For example, having a trust is a way to avoid the lengthy process of probate. In addition to the tools for estate planning, there are also multiple tools available for building wealth and establishing an estate. Included in these are items such as CDs and money markets. How should they be accounted for when considering estate planning?
Parenting a special needs child is challenging. While there are many more opportunities for special needs individuals to live independently as adults in Michigan, many in the special needs community may never achieve complete financial independence. This can be a source of worry for parents raising a child who may be disabled physically or intellectually. Prudent estate planning can help to ease the parents' concerns.
Having an estate plan has become more prevalent as more people have become aware of the need to ensure that their wishes will be carried out after their death. In Michigan and elsewhere, such planning can lead to peace of mind. But what if a terminal illness is diagnosed before estate planning has been put in place?
When a person dies in Michigan, there are many issues to be resolved. If estate planning was done, the process may be relatively straightforward. But what if a plan is not in place or if the appointed executor of the estate is not familiar with the plan? What is the best way to proceed in such an instance?
As people become aware of the need to have an estate plan, they are putting them in place. But what about people who have had an estate plan in place for many years in Michigan? Some think that with the passage of the new tax law and the changes in inheritance taxes that they have no need to review their estate plans. Such may not be the case. Estate planning review may actually be more beneficial now than before the tax law changes.
Estate plans in Michigan are becoming more common as people better understand the need for them. However, just having one in place doesn't mean a person can assume that he or she is covered for all eventualities. There are maintenance issues to be aware of and mistakes to look out for. Like so many things, successful estate planning is in the details.
Everyone in Michigan should have an estate plan. People may think that they don't have enough to constitute an estate. Estate planning can ensure that whatever a person leaves behind will be handled according to his or her wishes and not left to the courts to decide. It may also protect one's heirs from unnecessary costs and expenses.