When one hears the word “estate”, mansions and sprawling farms often come to mind. However, a person does not have to be rich or wealthy to have an estate. An estate is basically just the property and assets a person owns, such as homes, vehicles or cash – along with any debts outstanding, including taxes. It’s safe to say that most people want to pass their assets and possessions down to loved ones when they die. Here is why estate planning is important for nearly every Michigan family.
It goes without saying that most people do not like thinking about their own demise. However, death is inevitable for every individual, so it only makes sense to prepare for it. Drafting a will is a great way to specify where a person’s property and assets should go after he or she dies. If a person dies without a will or a trust, the state will decide where that person’s assets will go, which could go against their wishes.
What if a person becomes sick or injured and is unable to make financial decisions? An estate plan can offer protection for this scenario as well. A person can designate a power of attorney who can make financial and legal decisions in the event that he or she is unconscious, medicated or lacks the ability to communicate or take action. If a person becomes incapacitated without a power of attorney, bills may go unpaid, insurance policies can lapse and families can be put in a financial bind.
Having an estate plan just makes sense. Unfortunately, far too many people put off estate planning until it’s too late. Those in Michigan who are interested in setting up a plan or have questions about estate planning could benefit by speaking with a trusted attorney. A knowledgeable legal representative can answer questions and help families put together a plan to secure their future.