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Protect Your Family's Future with Michigan Estate Planning

Contact me for a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your estate planning goals.

Michigan attorney Andrew M. Steiger

Common Estate Planning Situations

  • High Net Worth Individuals

  • Blended Families

  • Business Succession Planning

  • Provide for Loves Ones

  • Special Needs Trusts

  • Protect Assets Distributed to Heirs

  • Protect and Plan for Family Cottage Succession

  • Incapacity Planning

  • Medicaid Planning

  • Estate and Income Tax Planning

  • Lifetime Distribution Planning

  • Maintaining Control of Assets

Michigan Estate Planning Services

LIVING TRUSTS

BUSINESS SUCCESSION PLANNING

WILLS

ESTATE TAX PLANNING

POWER OF ATTORNEYS

PROBATE

Why Choose Attorney Andrew M. Steiger to Assist You

PROVIDES COMPREHENSIVE ESTATE PLANNING ADVICE

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

FREE, NO OBLIGATION CONSULTATION

STRATEGIC PLANNER FOR FAMILY AND ESTATE PLANNING

AFFORDABLE RATES AND CUSTOMIZED PLANS

LIVING TRUSTS

A living trust allows you flexibility to control your assets during your life, while allowing a trustee you appoint to control and distribute them according to your wishes after death.  

A living trust avoids potential headaches for heirs in probate and is not a public document.

Wills

A will provides for the distribution of assets and payment of debts upon death.  Assuming probate admits the will, an executor is tasked with following the will's instructions to distribute assets of the estate.  A will may provide for the distribution of assets not held in trust, but should be updated from time to time to reflect the intent of the drafter of the will.

Power of attorney

A Michigan Power of Attorney can be for medical or financial purposes.  A medical power of attorney allows a designated person to make decisions on behalf of another person in the event of a medical emergency.  A financial power of attorney may have defined limits or roles to handle under defined conditions.

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Probate

Probate can be simple or complex depending on the assets involved and whether the will is contested. A lawyer may be required in contested cases, but can provide limited advice to help with a simple probate and to speed the process and save  an executor time. 

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ESTATE PLANNING PROCESS

1.

Consultation to Understand Your Needs and Goals

2.

In-Depth Discussion of Your Personal Balance Sheet

3.

Draft All Estate Planning Documents and Complete All Necessary Transfers

Michigan Estate Planning Attorney

Estate planning can have many different objectives and should cover more than just a plan to distribute property upon death.  Clients must consider many factors and each client's situation will be different.  A Michigan estate plan should be flexible and consider many different life events and outcomes, including medical care decisions, incapacity or disability, hospice care and protecting assets.

 

Michigan Estate Planning Attorney Can Help You Achieve Your Objectives

An estate planning attorney can guide you through these factors including:

 

  • the amount and types property expected to be distributed

  • family relations, including blended families

  • the health of the client

  • the client's long-term retirement plan

  • charitable giving

  • the need for privacy

  • tax implications, including both estate, gift and income

  • family cottage or vacation home

  • family business succession planning

  • asset protection for high net-worth or high risk individuals

 

Understand All Your Estate Planning Options

A Michigan estate planning attorney will help answer important questions and provide you with a comprehensive plan that includes more than executing a simple will off the internet.  Many clients may need or prefer a living trust to a will, and will need a health directive and power of attorney to help them manage their personal affairs like maintaining a house or finances.  

 

Understand Michigan Estate Planning Pitfalls or Risks

A Michigan estate planning lawyer will also provide guidance to help ensure that unintended consequences do not occur upon a change in circumstances.  Typical scenarios that require an estate plan checkup include a divorce, change in preferred beneficiaries, change in assets owned, acquisition of new assets that may require specific distributions, impact of estate or gift tax changes, moving to a different state, etc. 

 

A Michigan estate planning attorney can provide a quick check-up after a significant life event to ensure the planning documents continue to align with the objectives of the overall estate plan.  In addition, working with a Michigan estate planning lawyer can ensure that the estate plan will be properly implemented including transferring assets to trusts and ensuring that property is titled correctly.

Common Michigan Estate Planning Methods

Michigan residents often think of an estate plan as either a will or living trust.  Many clients are not sure which is right for them or what the difference is.  Many have heard that a living trust is better than a will because it avoids the probate process.  

Michigan Intestate Distribution in Probate

The first option is having no will or trust.  This is referred to as intestate and the property distribution rules are determined by Michigan statute.  For some, this may be an acceptable result if there is no property to distribute or there are no heirs.  For many, property may end up in the hands of an unintended beneficiary.  Other property that is not distributed by a will, including jointly owned property, assets with a pay on death or beneficiary designation, and property held in trust are not distributed through the intestate probate process.

Michigan Estate Planning with a Will

The next plan strategy is to have a will.  Client's should have a will to distribute property to intended beneficiaries and appoint a personal representative or executor to competently and honestly handle the assets of the estate.  A Michigan estate plan with a will allows the client to determine who will handle and receive the assets of the estate and ensure that assets are properly distributed.

Michigan Living Trust or Grantor Trust 

An estate plan may also have a living trust that allows privacy and avoids a public probate process.  A trust allows property to be handled by a designated trustee, with rights and responsibilities determined by the client who makes the trust.  Property ownership and distributions are private and the trust can provide flexibility to distribute property to beneficiaries who need it or for a specific purpose including education, health or starting a business.

A living trust can help clients achieve many different goals and can be updated during the client's life as required.  A living trust also allows a client's estate to avoid the cost of probate. 

Durable Power of Attorney Michigan

A durable power of attorney can be drafted to manage financial or healthcare decisions.  It is important for clients to understand the appropriate powers and limitations to grant someone who can act on your behalf during a period of incapacity.  Hiring a lawyer to discuss these important life decisions to draft a power of attorney is one of the most important decisions you can make to ensure that your quality of life is managed properly when you need help the most.  An attorney can also provide you with a comprehensive checkup to ensure that your assets will be properly managed during your time of need.  This is especially true if you own a business.

Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care in Michigan

The average American is living longer and requiring more medical care as they get older.  Health care decisions are becoming more complicated due to the improvement in the medical community's ability to keep people alive longer.  A power of attorney for health care is more complicated a decision due to difficult options for keeping a person alive and the expected quality of life they may have after major surgeries or strokes, heart attacks or other major health events.  Understanding the decision process and your agent's understanding of their obligations under the power of attorney is critical to ensuring your choices are carried out effectively.  

General Durable Power of Attorney in Michigan

When someone becomes incapacitated, it is essential that someone is able to pay bills and manage non-health related affairs.  Without a power of attorney, banks and care providers require some other proof of legal authorization to act on behalf of the incapacitated person.  The most likely authority is a conservatorship, which is expensive and time consuming. This power of attorney may also be referred to as a financial power of attorney in Michigan.  There are situations where that makes sense, but conservatorships should be avoided.  Having the proper durable power of attorney in place will minimize the stress of handling an incapacitated person's finances and helping them recover.  Everyone should consider this as an option when creating a comprehensive estate plan.

Contact a Detroit Estate Planning Attorney for Estate Planning Help Today

If you have questions regarding estate planning, contact Michigan estate planning attorney Andrew Steiger at the Law Office of Andrew M. Steiger, PLLC for a free consultation to discuss your needs and goals.  Attorney Steiger's estate planning services include counseling clients on the importance and impact and types of wills, trusts, health directives and power of attorney.  Detroit estate planning attorney serves residents of metro Detroit, including Grosse Pointe, St. Clair Shores, Mount Clemens, Ann Arbor, Royal Oak and other local communities. 

 

The primary focus is on ensuring financial security during a client's life and the impact of choices related to property distributions upon passing.  Tax considerations are secondary, but remain important, in the context of estate tax if applicable but also income and property taxes related to the disposition of assets.