When Is the Best Time to Develop an Estate Plan?

When Is the Best Time to Develop an Estate Plan?

Right now! If you do not have an estate plan, right now is the best time for you to develop an estate plan. Without an estate plan, your family could pay unnecessary taxes and expenses, they may need to wait longer for access to funds and property, and they may experience more stress than is necessary when finalizing your financial affairs after your death. Furthermore, your final wishes for your estate may not be carried out without an estate plan. If you need help with your estate plan, contact our Michigan estate planning lawyers for help.

Why Do I Need an Estate Plan?

There are many reasons why a person needs an estate plan. First, you want to make sure that your wishes are carried out after your death. Without a will, Michigan’s intestate laws decide who inherits your property. While some individuals may not mind giving the state that authority, most people prefer to make those decisions for themselves. Furthermore, intestate succession may not represent your wishes. The only way to ensure your wishes are honored is to put your wishes in writing in a format that is recognized by Michigan probate laws.

Other reasons you may need a comprehensive estate plan to protect you and your heirs include:

  • You are not married
  • You have minor children
  • You have no children
  • A child or other family member has special needs or is disabled
  • You own a business
  • You are divorced
  • You are in your second or subsequent marriage
  • You have a blended family
  • You have substantial assets
  • You own assets in another country
  • Your children have financial problems or struggle with money management
  • You own real estate in more than one state
  • Your retirement accounts have substantial funds invested in the accounts
  • You want to leave property or money to distant relatives, friends, or charities

The above list is not an inclusive list of all reasons for having an estate plan. It also does not include all circumstances that should prompt you to contact a Michigan estate planning attorney. Everyone can benefit from having a comprehensive estate plan.

Advantages of Designing an Estate Plan

Regardless of your financial or family situation, there are certain advantages of having an estate plan. For example, an estate plan can help your heirs avoid probate and reduce estate taxes. By utilizing one or more estate planning tools, you can protect your property from your creditors and your heirs’ creditors. You can also keep property in the family by protecting it from in-laws and step-relatives.

An estate plan allows you to provide for individuals with special needs, pets, charities, and other individuals who may not be considered heirs under intestate laws. You can also appoint guardians and trustees for minor children. By planning for incapacitation, you can avoid a court-appointed conservator or guardian for yourself. Estate planning can also help with retirement planning.

Contact a Michigan Estate Planning Attorney for More Information

If you have been putting off creating an estate plan, we can help. The attorneys of The Elder Care Firm of Christopher J. Berry work with our clients to make estate planning affordable, easy, and as stress-free as possible. We walk you through each step in the process of creating an estate plan.

We understand your time is valuable, and you may be on a strict budget. Let us explain how we can work with you to create an estate plan that meets your current needs and provides for your future.

Call 888-390-4360 or use the contact form on our website to schedule a consultation with a Michigan estate planning lawyer.

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