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January 2013 Archives

Providing for Fido and Fluffy with a companion animal trust

For most people, estate planning revolves around ensuring the distribution of their assets is executed correctly. Parents, spouses, siblings and children are commonly included as part of estate administration, but there is now an increasing number of people who opt to include the furry, four-legged members of their family as well. Pet owners in Canton as well as in the rest of the nation often view their pets as valued members of the family, and they want to ensure their pets are provided for in the event of their death or incapacitation.

New laws on estate taxes may increase value of silent trusts

Estate planning uses legal instruments such as trusts and wills to distribute assets among an estate's heirs. A trust is often used to establish the conditions under which younger beneficiaries can receive assets. Recent changes in estate taxes may significantly increase the value of estates for wealthy families in Michigan.

Reunited Michigan family faces guardianship challenges

Adult family members often have a number of people who rely on them for financial, emotional and physical care. This includes minor children, the elderly and mentally ill relatives. In some of these cases, it is important for caregivers to consider conservatorship or guardianship issues with the future in mind. These matters can often be taken care of with the legal counsel of an estate and probate attorney.

American Taxpayer Relief Act clarifies estate tax exemptions

When planning for the distribution of assets and the care of those left behind, there are numerous factors to take into account. Estate planning involves everything from wills to trusts and powers of attorney, and minimizing estate taxes is also a common concern of those planning the dispersal of their property. Michigan residents will be glad to learn that the new American Taxpayer Relief Act has clarified the rates and exemptions for federal estate and gift taxes, which have fluctuated over the past decade.

Stockbroker sent to prison for stealing from client's estate

Estate planning requires a high level of trust between the owner of the estate and those chosen to take responsibility for an individual's financial matters. Whether those involved in handling the estate are building a trust or handling investments, they may sometimes have access to the estate's assets and are expected to operate ethically and transparently. For one man and his heirs, however, a trusted money manager stole heavily from the estate, using his access to the estate to misappropriate more than $1million before being caught and imprisoned.

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