Securing the Future of Your Estate
- POWER OF ATTORNEY
- APPOINTMENT OF A LEGAL GUARDIAN
- HEALTH CARE POWERS OF ATTORNEY
- LIVING WILLS
- APPOINTMENT OF AN EXECUTOR OF YOUR WILL
- REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST
- TAX-SAVING AB TRUST
- MARITAL TRUST
- FAMILY TRUST
- GENERATION-SKIPPING TRUST
POWERS OF ATTORNEY FOR PROPERTY
SPECIAL NEEDS TRUSTS
OBRA SPECIAL NEEDS TRUSTS
MEDICAID APPLICATIONS & PLANNING
ELDER LAW ISSUES
What is Estate Planning, and Do You Qualify for It?
Estate planning is the process of detailing who and when specified people will inherit your possessions after you die. Additionally, anyone with an estate can and should undergo estate planning.
While it is tempting to imagine the definition of an estate to be extreme wealth, you don’t need to have mansions, precious stones and metals, or a large fortune. If you own anything, whether it is a one-story home, some furniture, and a checking account, you have an estate.
The Hidden Dangers of Delaying Estate Planning
One of the most common mistakes that estate owners make is underestimating the value of their property. Many owners prefer to wait until they have accumulated more wealth or property before they start estate planning. However, the average American inherits $177,000 upon the death of a relative. Even with an amount of this size, your offspring or the people you plan to pass your belongings down to can use your inheritance to make critical bill or loan payments or buy the resources necessary to permanently improve their quality of life.
But what happens if you die before you plan your estate? In these cases, state law determines what will happen to it. The consequence is that the state sets a rigid formula for dividing your possessions among your relatives, which makes no exception for those in unusual need. What’s worse is that when the state does the work, the court taxes involved often cost more than if you had planned your estate in advance.
How Good Estate Planning Addresses These Issues
A skilled estate planning attorney will not only guide you through the planning process so that there are as few estate taxes as possible, but they will also help you establish security measures that protect your inheritance long after you have passed away.
One of these measures includes preventing your passed-down inheritance from being squandered. If the recipient of your belongings is financially irresponsible or too young, limitations can be placed on the inheritance. Also, a manager can be appointed to overlook the inheritance in these cases.
Another measure is that, in the event you and your spouse die at the same time, your offspring will be placed in the care of a guardian of your choosing, rather than with someone chosen by the state.
Plan Your Estate Today
Douglas A. Boodt has been working closely with his clients to plan estate for nearly 20 years. His experience practicing law in both Michigan and Illinois gives him a unique perspective of the estate planning system that enables him to get you superior protections and offer the wisest advice. Don’t leave your possessions to the state’s discretion; contact Boodt today and secure the future of your property.
251 NORTH ROSE STREET
KALAMAZOO, MI 49007
BY APPOINTMENT ONLY