A sensible person would always plan for future contingencies. We all make out insurance plans so that our dependents are adequately taken care of in the event of our untimely death or disability. If you own property or assets you might want to consider estate planning for any eventuality that may leave your family without income. A basic estate plan can be formulated with the help of a wills attorney or trust lawyer. The package can be typically composed of the following:
* Last will and testament
* Appointment of legal guardian of minor children, if any
* Appointing powers of attorney to trusted individuals or entities that would have the legal right to handle financial affairs, to act on your behalf as a patient’s advocate, if you are incapacitated by illness or accident
* Honoring your wishes to sustain or terminate life support at the end of your life, by rendering your advance directives to physicians
Your wills attorney should help you plan your estate to distribute all your wealth which might include cash, clothes, jewelry, cars, land, houses, retirement, investment, shares, and savings accounts etc. The wills attorney should be able to advise you so that the minimum tax liabilities are incurred during probate. The lawyer should advise you on the various alternatives that are available that most suit your circumstances, i.e. the establishment of trusts for your beneficiaries. The attorney may also counsel ‘special needs trusts’ in your will for a special needs child that is your beneficiary and who cannot look after his/her own interests due to incapacity or disability. In short, the duty of the wills attorney is to customize an estate plan according to your individual requirements.
A will or revocable trust can be changed or amended later on at your discretion. Revocable trusts are becoming increasingly common in the US. Revocable trusts may be revoked, altered, and amended by the settlor during his/her lifetime. When the settlor is not confident that the beneficiaries are able to control their spending, the trustee is entrusted with the authority to decide how the trust funds or corpus may be spent. If the client has small, minor children or children with special needs, the wills attorney will incorporate the will of the client to appoint a legal guardian of these children or create a ‘special needs trust’ for the benefit of the challenged children. The only person who will give proper advice on your estate planning is a professional Wills attorney. Northville, MI residents can take the counsel of legal professionals specializing in estate planning, probate, and estate administration.