Reasons for Creating a Michigan Will
I have found over the years there is a lot of confusion and misinformation surrounding a “last will and testament.” In simple terms, a will is an instruction to a probate court – not a way to avoid probate. By creating a written will in Michigan, you determine such things as who will receive your assets, who will be the personal representative of your estate, and who will be the guardian for your minor children. If you do not have a will, the State of Michigan will decide these things for you based on certain inheritance defaults built into the law – which may not match what you would have wanted.
Reasons for Creating a Michigan Trust
A trust is another estate planning technique to determine how your assets will be distributed while you are living and after death. Reasons for setting up a trust include reduction of taxes, avoidance of probate, and delay of distributions to children after age 18. After discussing your individual circumstances and needs, we will develop a personal estate plan to accomplish your goals – which may or may not include a trust.
For a much more detailed analysis of the reasons why a trust may make sense as part of your estate plan, please visit Do I need a Michigan Revocable Living Trust?
In addition to a standard revocable living trust that is the most common type of trust to avoid probate for your assets, we also help our clients prepare many other types of trusts for specific purposes, such as charitable remainder trusts, gun trusts, and pet trusts.
Estate and Gift Tax
As of writing this in 2022, the federal estate tax exemption (also called the “death tax”) sits at a little over $12 million per person, and is portable between spouses, making it a little over $24 million for a married couple. I often joke during initial estate planning meetings that I wish I still had a lot of clients who had to worry about paying estate tax on their passing, but the reality is that avoiding taxes is no longer the top estate planning priority for almost all Michiganders (and Michigan has not had a State-level estate tax since 1993).
For more information about the advance planning process, please visit The Top 4 Reasons You Haven’t Created An Estate Plan Yet
If you are interested in discussing the steps necessary to create an estate plan in Michigan, please contact us today.