The Basics of Michigan Estate Planning

When you are alive and happily leading your life, you don’t have any concerns about what might happen to your assets if you are not there to own them. This isn’t carelessness, this is an oversight that can be avoided. Estate planning is what mitigates all the feuds between your beneficiaries and everything bad that is going to happen if you’re incapable of owning your assets. To efficiently carry it out, there are estate planning attorneys that can help you in devising documents and can carry you through the whole process without letting you delve into many complexities.

A probate lawyer is all you need if you’re finally thinking about naming your beneficiaries. However, before hiring any of them, make sure he or she doesn’t only focus on the documentation after your death, but also during your life.

There are six basic estate planning documents that any attorney or lawyer would carry you through.

  1. Last Will and Testament

While others might tell you that proper planning contains only trusts (explained below), we stress the importance of the last will and testament in guiding the process of asset ownership. Your will is the most basic document that decides whether your assets would do in the direction of the trust or not after they experience probate. Therefore, making it a part of your plan is necessary.

  1. Trusts

This category of documents includes two types:

Revocable living trust:

It is a document that can allow a family to avoid any kind of probate and directly be the head figures of control over the property left by you.

Castle Trust:

Besides immunity against probate and control of the assets, the castle trust also gives protection to the assets of the person who creates it; thus, protecting him or her against lawsuits.

  1. Power of Attorney (POA)

The above-stated two types of documents are mainly used for after-death decisions. However, when it comes to regulating or appointing someone as your replacement during your ailment, Financial Power of Attorney can enable you that. It is a document that gives the power of making financial decisions, paying bills, and manage other assets to the one that has been appointed instead of you.

However, upon the death of the owner, the scope of this document diminishes completely. Only then, your will and the trust would come into play.

4) Medical Power of Attorney (MPOA)

Also called a patient advocate designation, the medical power of attorney is a document that grants someone the power of taking medical decisions instead of you.

The life-span of this document is just like the one explained above, it finishes with the death of the owner.

5) Personal Care Plan

Having POA, or MPOA are two necessary things when you are ailing or are near to death. However, it is paramount for you to first draft out a personal care plan that includes instructions based on your intentions to guide how the two documents would work.

6) House Deed

Lastly, there is house deed. It is a document that legally proves the ownership of your house. Although they are in the public land records, they offer complete guidance on the fate of your property after you are no more.

As you can see, estate planning overall is fairly complex.  You should know that even a single mistake in the overall process can prove unhealthy for your beneficiaries. Therefore, if you want the future of your assets to be secured, all you’d have to do is hire an estate planning attorney or a probate lawyer in Michigan.

Learn more about attorney Sean J. Nichols and the legal services he provides for clients including: estate planning, elder law issues, Medicaid planning, elder care, probate law, guardianships, and power of attorney (POA) at  To contact the offices of Sean J Nichols, call 734.386.0224 today.

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