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September 2013 Archives

Michigan estate plan should include review of named beneficiary

There may not be an overabundance of families in Canton who will need to worry about going over the government's current $5.25 million federal estate tax exemption. Even so, estate administration should be done carefully, experts say, keeping beneficiary designations up to date. This helps avoid nightmare scenarios, such as an ex-spouse getting all the assets and the children getting none. Don't rely on the government to clean up a beneficiary mess, either, as the Supreme Court has made it clear that beneficiary designations on different financial products are not superseded by a will.

Estate planning documents to consider

While most individuals in Michigan and elsewhere may consider creating a will sufficient to protect their wealth and communicate their wishes, estate planning can involve other types of arrangements. For example, powers of attorney may be utilized to protect a person's financial interests at the timing of his or her choosing.

Estate planning documents that everyone needs

It is not uncommon for Michigan residents to feel reluctant about the prospect of planning for their own deaths, but some financial planners say that estate planning is relevant to everyone. Some people may assume that estate planning is just about creating a will and assigning assets to one's heirs. However, while the process does involve wills and distributing assets, it also lets friends and family know an individual's wishes and can inform people of his or her preferences for medical care in the event of incapacity.

Information for those contemplating a guardianship

Massachusetts residents may be interested in information regarding guardianships in order to get a complete picture of estate planning options. Though the cost may be high, a guardianship may be an important option in the event of a person's incapacity.

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