If you have any assets or minor children, a will and estate plan are a necessity to ensure that your property is distributed according to your wishes and not by the state. An efficient estate plan can identify and correct potential hazards and take advantage of all opportunities allowed by law to protect your assets and minimize taxation.
Wills, Trusts and Probate Administration
An estate planning lawyer from William W. Fischer, P.C., will develop and implement an estate plan that is legally sound and written in clear language that can be easily understood by your family. With more than 38 years of experience, we have drawn up wills, established trusts and negotiated probate issues for clients in the Detroit suburbs and throughout Michigan. We create your estate plan with a range of instruments, some of which include:
- Wills and living wills — A will expresses exactly what you would like to be done with your assets and who will care for your minor children after your death. A living will, or advance health care directive, specifies what, if any, medical treatment you would like should you become incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself.
- Durable powers of attorney (P.O.A.) — A power of attorney identifies an individual who will make financial and health care decisions in your stead, avoiding the inconvenience of having the court appoint a guardian for you. Also referred to as "health care proxies," powers of attorney can be as specific or general as you like and will terminate immediately upon your death.
- Revocable living trust – A living trust is a legal document that provides for the distribution of certain assets at a future time or at a future event, including your own death. A trust is generally created to allow the swift distribution of property and assets after death without the inconvenience and cost of probate. A trust can be an effective tool for estate tax planning and, where specified, can be fully revocable and amendable.
- Charitable remainder trust — A charitable remainder trust places your assets in trust but allows you to continue benefiting from them during your lifetime. Upon your death, the remainder is distributed to the charity you specify.
- Family trust — A family trust is an instrument that places your property under the guidance of a trustee that you specify and distributes amounts for the benefit of your family. This instrument can be very helpful for asset protection within the family.
- Guardianships — Our attorneys can assist in the appointment of guardians for minor children as well as for adults who have been declared mentally or physically unfit.
- Probate — Probate is the legal process in Michigan by which your will is declared valid, your assets are marshaled and distributed, and your estate officially closed. Having a will does not eliminate the need for probate, but an effective will can spell out your wishes exactly and avoid costly disputes between family members or with the government.
Speak With an Attorney About Estate Planning
If you leave your family one thing after your death, let it be a smooth transition and distribution of your assets through an effective will and estate plan. Contact the estate and tax planning lawyers at William W. Fischer, P.C., today for a free consultation and review of your rights and options.