Have you experienced the loss of a loved one, or a sudden accident or illness that prevented them from being able to care for themselves? In those times of grief and loss your family doesn’t want to be concerned with additional stress trying to obtain a power of attorney, figuring out financial assets, and if you had updated your estate plan. Take the time now to meet with a professional to ensure that your future is safe, come what may.
Professional Advice: This item is first and key. In this day and age many believe that they can Google anything, but estate planning is a very complex piece of the law that is continuously changing. It is important to seek the advice of a professional. There are many professionals that offer estate planning advice. Make sure that you partner with a qualified professional that will listen to you first, before crafting a plan to ensure that he or she has your intentions and wishes as their focus. They will have greater understanding of the legal and financial restrictions imposed by the state and federal government so they can ensure that your estate is properly managed.
Health Care Power of Attorney/Patient Advocate Designation: Powers of Attorney are for more than just financial matters. If you become incapacitated you need to decide who will represent your interests with the doctors and medical teams. A health care power of attorney will allow someone to legally make these decisions. A living will can also be used so that the medical staff knows your wishes if you do need to be placed on life support.
Financial Power of Attorney: This legal document appoints someone to handle your financial affairs if you are not able to do so yourself. Choose wisely. This person should be trustworthy, but should also have good knowledge about finance or investing to ensure good long term care of your assets.
Wills and Trusts: Wills are sometimes simple documents and should be held by everyone regardless of the size of their assets or marital status. Trusts are drafted in addition to wills, to aid in more complex estate-planning. Assets can be placed into a trust to shield them from taxes and from the lengthy, expensive probate court process. Trusts can also be used to aid in planning to preserve assets in case of admission to a nursing home or for special needs family members. In a trust a trustee is appointed to manage the trust, which simplifies the distribution of assets greatly.
Charitable Giving and Gifts: Your estate planner can help you understand the many ways you can donate money from your estate. The amount earmarked for a qualified charitable distribution would be excluded from federal income tax. Gifts can also be given without paying a federal gift tax and also help to reduce the size of your estate and the tax paid on it.
Remember to review your estate plan periodically. Make it a tradition to review the beneficiaries and trustees and that all the proper documents have been signed to give medical decision making to the appropriate people.
Seglund Gabe Pawlak & Groth, PLC
Our experienced attorneys are committed to providing our clients with the guidance and support that they need to resolve their estate planning issues. With over five decades of serving clients in Southeastern Michigan, the attorneys of Seglund Gabe Pawlak & Groth, PLC have the knowledge and resources to resolve your issues.
No two families are alike and our attorneys are qualified to handle every type of estate planning situation, no matter how confusing or complex it may seem. We stay up to date on state and federal laws concerning estate planning and the latest laws regarding Medicare changes, Medicaid changes or nursing home issues. Our attorneys will provide you with the guidance you need and the service you expect so that you and your family get the result you want and the protection that you deserve.
Seglund Gabe Pawlak & Groth, PLC
28345 Beck Road, Suite 401
Wixom, MI 48393
Phone: (248) 869-0030
Fax: (248) 869-0039