Trusts and Wills

Estate planning:  An essential and loving thing for any adult to do

A Michigan resident of any age needs to have an effective estate plan that complies with state law and that is tailored to his or her needs. It doesn’t matter whether you are a single person, a married couple with minor children, a person with a disabled adult dependent, or a pair of empty nesters. To die without a plan creates inconvenience for those you leave behind and is all but certain to result in higher taxes and fees levied on the estate.

Kelly Law Firm’s estate planning attorneys have experience with every size of estate and with almost every scenario that can unfold between the time you establish your estate plan and that future day for which you are planning. We know the law. We know how to use the law to safeguard the intent of your final wishes.

Many people come to Kelly Law Firm to establish trusts and wills. Some people also assign a role to Kelly Law Firm in the execution of their estate plan when no other trusted or appropriate individual comes to mind. In those situations, we accept the assigned role with diligence and a solemn respect for our client’s intent.

What an estate plan includes

Not everyone needs a trust. Sometimes a simple will suffices. If necessary, however, based on your assets and intent for heirs, using a trust can help avoid probate administration, protect assets for Medicaid qualification, preserve your estate from federal estate taxes, and manage your assets for minor children.

A complete estate plan also includes:

  • a Durable Power of Attorney, which is a document naming someone else to handle your business, financial and personal affairs if a disability or your disappearance prevents you from doing so. If sometime in the past you executed an ordinary power of attorney, be aware that it will not cover a situation in which you become physically or mentally incompetent to handle your affairs.
  • a Patient Advocate Designation, in which you name another person in advance to make medical treatment decisions for you in the event you become unable to do so for yourself. This document also is sometimes called a Medical Power of Attorney or a Health Care Proxy.

Putting this off is a mistake

Some people put off estate planning because they think they need to know all the answers to all the questions before sitting down with an attorney. Not true. Our estate planning attorneys will ask you all the right questions and guide you to make the many decisions that are yours to make. If you need more time, you take more time, but get the process started.

Some people put off estate planning or take their estate planning work out of town because they think they will need to disclose what and how much they own. Not true. Many, if not most trusts express the division of assets in terms of percentages rather than dollar amounts. And whatever you do tell your attorney about the content of your estate is completely confidential.

If you execute a will or trust with a Kelly Law Firm attorney, and your wishes or circumstances subsequently change, the documents are easily changed within the limitations of the type of trust.  The point is to go through the rest of your life with the peace of mind of having a plan in place.