Three Simple Methods for Basic Michigan Estate Planning

estate planning

The word estate is used to describe all of the property and money that is owned by a person, such as their assets. Estate planning is the process used to leverage various strategies and tools to ensure that the goals you have for your assets and your loved ones are fulfilled after you pass away. Your goals may be specific to you and are often uncovered after meeting with an estate planning lawyer, but can include things such as avoiding probate, providing for loved ones or reducing estate taxes.

Estate planning can be important for estates of all sizes and there are three major ways that you may wish to provide for the transfer of assets. The first of these is using a will, which helps with the distribution of your property after your death by also appointing a personal representative to ensure that your wishes are carried out. A trust is another option for Michigan estate planning.

This written document appoints a trustee who has the authority to manage specific property for a beneficiary. There are many different kinds of trusts and in order to determine the one most appropriate to you, you will want to work with a lawyer. Trusts can do things like help provide for disability, reduce inheritance taxes, control assets after death and avoid probate.

A final simple option for Michigan estate planning is joint tenancy. This is one way that a piece of property can be held by more than one individual. Joint owners are not eligible to sell their interest without the permission of the other owners. To determine if this is appropriate for your estate planning purposes, sit down with an attorney and discuss your total list of assets and liabilities.

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