Westland Estate Planning Lawyer

Thinking about and planning for your own mortality is never easy, however, an effective estate plan not only provides for the disposition of your estate upon your death, but also addresses who will make decisions for you and handle your affairs in the event you are unable to do so on your own. A will and/or trust can reduce the likelihood of future disputes among your family and heirs, reduce or eliminate estate tax liability and reduce the likelihood of future probate court involvement.

Our Westland estate planning attorneys firmly believe that everyone should have an estate plan regardless of the size of your estate, age, health or family dynamics. Contact our law firm to learn more about how we can help plan for your family's future.

Plymouth And Canton Area Wills And Trusts Attorneys

There are various documents that exist to help you plan what will happen to your estate in the event of your death or disability, including:

These and many other estate planning tools are effective in clearly communicating your wishes to your heirs and eliminating future disputes over your care, finances and the distribution of your property. Contact our Michigan law office immediately to begin protecting your estate, planning for your future and providing for the ultimate disposition of your estate.

Common Mistakes In Estate Planning — Guidance From A Westland Wills And Trusts Attorney

  • Waiting. The most common, and the most costly, mistake made by individuals is not having an estate plan at all. Most people realize that estate planning needs to be done, but simply procrastinate believing there is plenty of time. Waiting until there are serious health issues or an urgent situation can be problematic because oftentimes the individual in need of an estate plan is no longer competent or able to execute the much-needed estate plan documents. In the event you have no estate plan and are in a situation in which you need someone else to handle your financial affairs or make medical decisions for you, the Probate Court must get involved to grant someone the authority to act for you.
  • Relying on family members to carry out your wishes. Some people do not prepare an estate plan because they believe their family knows their wishes and that their family will carry out those wishes. Oftentimes people will add the name of just one of their children to their bank account or home because they firmly believe that child will be "fair" and will distribute their estate exactly as they wanted. Unfortunately, more often than not, resentments and/or disagreements arise and the children are left arguing about what Mom or Dad would have wanted. You can save your family from any disagreement about your wishes by seeking the advice of an experienced Westland estate planning lawyer and clearly setting forth your wishes in your estate plan documents, which can include a will and/or trust.
  • Taking legal advice from friends and family to "avoid probate." Taking advice from family and friends, without seeking the advice of a skilled Westland wills and trusts attorney, is dangerous and often results in unintended consequences. People are often told by well-meaning friends or family to add someone's name to the deed to their home or to their bank account. However, these can have consequences that neither you nor the other person is even aware. For example, putting someone else's name on the deed to your home or bank account can cause unintended gift and estate tax issues, loss of control over your own property and/or liens or garnishments against your property by the creditors of another. While it is common and understandable to take advice from family and friends, you should seek the advice of a competent estate planning attorney before taking any action that alters the ownership of any asset.
  • Online forms. Some believe that a handwritten will or the completion of an online form will accomplish their goals. These may seem like a good (and inexpensive) idea, but they are not typically unique to the state you live in, and they don't allow for as many options as an attorney can provide. These documents do not provide for certain contingencies as well as a custom will or estate plan could. Typically, online forms will ask you a series of pre-determined questions and spit out a form based on your responses. However, because they ask a limited number of questions, they typically cannot or do not address more complicated situations such as second marriages and blended families, disinheriting an heir, or what happens to the inheritance of an heir if that heir should predecease you.

Contact A Westland Estate Planning Attorney

If you have questions regarding estate planning in Michigan, contact the office of Clos, Russell & Wirth, P.C., to schedule a free initial consultation. We offer evening and weekend appointments based on the needs of our clients. We accept all major credit cards as payment for services.