February weather can be cold, snowy and cruel in northern Michigan. It can be a time to cuddle up in front of the fire with a good book or reflect on the resolutions one made for January that are still not begun. Maybe one of those resolutions was to look into estate planning in light of getting a new job or having a new baby. Both are good reasons to consider establishing a plan. Any adult can, and should, have an estate plan.
More and more Michigan residents are becoming aware of the importance of creating and maintaining estate plans. Most people are aware that wills and trusts and other documents involved in estate planning should be periodically reviewed and updated, particularly in the event of a life change such as a marriage, divorce or birth of a child. There is one important issue that is frequently overlooked and can have negative ramifications down the road.
Michigan residents have a lot to consider when they think about their estate plans. One of the biggest factors to look into is how they want their property distributed after their deaths. Certainly, family members and close friends come to mind, but some individuals may also be interested in using estate planning to leave some of their estate assets to charitable organizations.
A new year has arrived and along with it a multitude of resolutions made with the best of intentions. Many of those resolutions will be broken by February. There is one resolution that should be made and kept in Michigan. Resolve to review or establish estate planning in 2019.
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?
As the year draws to an end in Michigan, one's thoughts may be drawn to a review of the year almost passed and plans for the year about to begin. Plans for the new year may include taking steps to protect one's family for the future. This may include establishing an estate plan to help ensure that one's final wishes are carried out and that loved ones are provided for. What is entailed in estate planning?
Death is something that comes to everyone in the end in Michigan. Even the co-creator of super heroes is not immune. Stan Lee, the co-creator of such beloved characters as Spider-Man and Captain America recently passed away following a long illness. It's not yet known if he left a will or trust but he had many business managers over the years and had disputes and disagreements with them that resulted in their terminations. A possible lack of cohesive estate planning may cause confusion in settling the estate.
People in Michigan and the rest of the country are living longer. While for the most part, this is a good thing, deteriorating health, and especially dementia, can cause financial and other complications as people age. In the case of dementia, this can be particularly true where estate planning issues are concerned.
People tend to be aware that having an estate plan is a good idea as one gets older. The recent prominent deaths of a couple of celebrities who did not have estate plans served to drive that issue home with many people. While most people in Michigan do not have estates as large as those of Prince or Aretha Franklin, the headaches that could be caused by passing without a will might not be insignificant. Nor does one need to be older before considering estate planning.
Much has been said and written of late regarding Aretha Franklin and the fact that she died without a will. While estate planning is the better way to go to ensure that one's final wishes are carried out, failure to do so is not necessarily the end of the world. Certain protections exist in Michigan such as recognition of oral trusts.