The language of estate planning can be a little bit confusing. For example, there is a living will and a living trust, and there seems to be some confusion as to what the difference is between the two. In addition, if there is a living will, does there need to be a will? Part of the confusion comes from the wording of the different document names. Successful estate planning in Michigan consists of multiple documents.
Young adults frequently embark on the journey of adulthood with plans to build their fortune. The term estate planning conjures up images of considerable assets to be bequeathed to one's heirs at the time of one's death. However, anyone who has a family can probably benefit from establishing an estate plan in Michigan. While facing one's own mortality is not easy, the reality is that no one knows the length of his or her time on earth. In particular where children are concerned, parents may wish to designate guardians in the event that they pass away before children reach adulthood.
It is no secret that the population in Michigan and around the country is aging. The fastest growing age group is that of people 65 and over. As people age, their health can deteriorate, and the fear of living with a chronic disease becomes a reality for many. Estate planning can not only help with the distribution of one's assets but can also provide needed information and guidance to a person's loved ones as the individual deals with a chronic illness.
Anyone with an estate plan is aware of the importance of protecting financial and physical assets. A new category requiring protection that people need to be aware is that of digital assets. Technology has become an increasingly important part of people's day-to-day lives in Michigan, and the protection of the assets associated with that needs to be a priority when contemplating estate planning.
"No one gets out of here alive" is often a good-natured statement that people may make regarding their mortality. The truth is, no one lives forever and planning for one's legacy is not something to be taken lightly. When people in Michigan consider estate planning they may give little consideration to what actually can go into an estate plan. It is not a one-size-fits-all proposition.
The fastest growing age group in Michigan and elsewhere in the country consists of those 55 years of age and older. They are known as the baby-boom generation, those who were born in the years after World War II. As they near retirement age, or are already retired, there are special issues regarding retirement planning and estate planning that they and their loved ones should be aware of.
Aretha Franklin passed away almost one year ago. At the time, it was believed that she had not left a will. Three documents appearing to be wills were recently found in her Michigan home. The discovery is likely to add to the complexity of settling the late singer's estate and also illustrates the benefit to comprehensive estate planning.
Estate planning and financial planning are two terms that are frequently heard in Michigan. What many people may not understand is the interconnectedness of the two. People may believe they don't need a financial plan as they have an estate plan in place and vice versa. The reality is that one without the other could leave significant aspects of one's estate and family unprotected in the event of one's passing. Estate planning can serve as a comprehensive guide for what happens to one's assets, both financial and nonfinancial.
When a loved one is facing a terminal illness, it can affect all family members and the way in which life is lived day to day. Michigan residents who are in ill health need to think about estate planning and getting the proper documents in order as soon as possible. It will not only give them peace of mind but will also help their family members to focus on their loved one in the moment without having to think about the future.
Planning for one's estate is becoming recognized more and more as an essential tool for protecting wealth in Michigan in order to pass it on to the next generation. This may be particularly true of the baby boomer generation as they enter retirement. They may wish to reap the benefits of their wealth in retirement but also leave some behind for family or favored charities. Without good, well-thought-out estate planning in place, this is a risky proposition.