Responsive Livonia Estate Planning Lawyers Create Effective Strategies to Manage Personal and Financial Affairs

Knowledgeable Michigan attorneys skillfully handle estate planning matters

Planning for end-of-life issues and the distribution of your estate can be overwhelming. This is why many people specifically avoid addressing these important matters. At McCann Law in Livonia, we advise clients in Wayne County and the rest of the Greater Detroit area on various estate planning concerns. Our firm takes the uncertainty out of this process by creating strategic plans to achieve clients’ goals. We understand how important a well-rounded estate plan is to you and your family and will carefully assess your situation to ascertain the best way to secure your legacy. Whether you want to create a will, set up a trust or learn how to avoid probate, we will explain your options and help you make informed choices.

What are the benefits of having a will?

Wills play a key part in your estate planning strategy by allowing you to maintain control over how and when your property will be distributed after your death. This includes naming someone you trust to manage this process. Wills also help to avoid additional expenses and legal complications for your family by averting disputes over your true intentions. Without this document, the law will decide what happens to your assets, and your wishes will not be considered. We have extensive experience drafting wills to cover a variety of circumstances and will explain how a will fits within your overall estate plan.

Can you avoid probate?

Probate can be a costly and lengthy process that might trigger disputes among potential beneficiaries. Fortunately, there are ways to sidestep this process altogether using tools that automatically transfer ownership of assets at the time of death and thereby streamline settling an estate. The following are some options often used to negate the need for probate:

  • Trusts, including living trusts, some of which leave control over assets with you during your life
  • Life insurance policies
  • Strategic gifts conferred during your lifetime
  • Joint ownership of assets with survivorship rights

Each of these options has specific advantages and potential pitfalls. We will evaluate which methods would be most beneficial for you.

When should you consider guardianship?

When an adult loses the ability to care for him/herself, or a minor is left without a parent, it is the general course of action to petition a court for guardianship. A guardian is appointed when a person is determined to lack the capacity to make or communicate informed decisions. Accordingly, a judge decides that supervision by a guardian is necessary for that person’s ongoing care and welfare. A court may appoint any competent individual as guardian, though preference is given to individuals nominated by the incapacitated person or their parents when possible. Guardianship is complicated and highly sensitive, and we will guide you through every step of this process.

How to manage estate tax issues

Concerns about estate and inheritance taxes is a common worry when formulating an estate plan. Michigan does not currently tax the transfer of an estate or inheritance, but the federal estate tax remains in place. Most estates are not taxed due to the high exemption amount, but you need to be careful if your assets approach the level set for that year or if the deceased owned assets in a state that does have estate or inheritance taxes. If tax liability could be an issue, establishing trusts and funding IRAs, among other options, could reduce this burden. Our team will assess the potential tax liability your heirs and estate may face and develop a comprehensive plan to address it.

Contact a respected Michigan law firm to schedule a free initial consultation

At McCann Law, we counsel clients throughout Wayne County and other parts of Greater Detroit on a variety of estate planning matters. Please call 734-421-7333 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation at our Livonia office.