Kent County, Ottawa County, Allegan County, Muskegon County, Kalamazoo County, Ionia County, and Newaygo County or other Grand Rapids, Michigan residents should all consider whether they have an estate plan in place that protects their assets and ensures they are transferred to the appropriate heirs. In addition, it is also important to ensure you have planned for the issues that your family may face if you are incapacitated. At The Owl Group, our estate planning includes:
For many people, having a will in place simply means they will be recording in a legal document how they wish to have their assets distributed upon their death. A will typically designates a legal representative known as an executor who will be responsible for distributing your assets after your passing. Other forms of wills include a living will which gives the authority over your medical care to another person or specifies your wishes for end of life care per your directions. All wills can be changed at any time you wish to change them and living wills only become effective if you are terminally ill and unable to communicate your wishes to your medical team.
Power of Attorneys
While you may not think a power of attorney is important, it is necessary to plan for what will happen if you are unable to make decisions on your own. Powers of attorney can be written in a manner that they become effective only if you are incapacitated and allow a designee to pay your bills and make other financial decisions on your part.
An Inter-Vivos Trust (a living trust) allows you to manage your assets and appoint a successor who will manage your assets after your death. By using a trust, you can help your heirs avoid the probate process because there is no need for a conservator to be appointed. Your estate planning attorney can help you determine which trust would be most beneficial for your individual needs.
Estate planning is important regardless of how many assets you have. Without a proper plan in place, your heirs will have to go through the entire probate process and the courts could ultimately decide how your assets will be distributed. Contact The OWL Resource Group at (616) 633-1371 if you are a resident of Grand Rapids, MI and we can help you design a customized estate plan.