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January 2014 Archives

Michigan man left specific will for his personal property

Making sure that your wishes are known prior to your death is vital if you want those wishes to be followed. For one man in Michigan, the fact that his brother's wishes spelled out precisely likely made ensuring those wishes were followed a little bit easier.

Estate planning is necessary for all adults in Michigan

People that are approaching their 18th birthday often look forward to obvious milestones such as moving out of the house. What some people fail to consider, however, is that many of the protections enjoyed as a juvenile aren't in place after they the age of 18. Michigan adults, even if they're still quite young, should consider drafting an estate plan to ensure that some basic wishes are spelled out in a legal fashion.

Mother granted conservatorship for missing doctor's estate

It is an unfortunate situation when a family member is unable to make decisions on his or her own finances because of a disability or other extenuating circumstances. When this occurs, you might be able to petition the court to become a conservator over the person's affairs. If the court approves the petition, you will be able to ensure that the financial affairs are properly cared for during the approved conservatorships. For one mother, petitioning the court to become the conservator of her daughter's estate was necessitated by her daughter disappearing after coming to Michigan for a medical residency through the Western Michigan University School of Medicine.

A special needs trust may be the answer

Michigan residents wanting to leave money or assets to a relative who is currently receiving Social Security disability payments may want to consider not leaving an inheritance to the relative directly but through a supplemental or special needs trust. A direct inheritance could jeopardize disability payments and insurance, and this may affect the recipient in exactly the opposite way that was desired.

When a will isn't enough: distributing a retirement account

Many in Michigan believe that a will is the be-all, end-all of estate planning and the final words in how one's assets will be distributed after passing. However, several types of assets aren't covered by a will, and IRAs are one of them. Independent of a will, an retirement account's assets are distributed based entirely upon beneficiary designation forms which are most likely completed at the time the account is set up. The designations aren't set in stone; they can be changed at any time by amending the beneficiary forms.

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