Better Safe Than Sorry: Updating Your Estate Plan as Your Family Changes

Family Situations Can Change Often Time flies by faster than you think, but this is not merely an observation about life. The fact of the matter is, what works for you and your family today may not make sense tomorrow, or in a few years from now. Maintaining and updating your estate plan very important, [...]

Choosing a Trustee – Why is this important again?

Choosing a Trustee – Why is this important again? I’ve admittedly put more thought into what kind of toothpaste I should buy than who I would appoint as my Trustee. While I am young, I know that one day, hopefully a long time from now, who I pick will become very important. Your family could [...]

Estate and Gift Tax Exemptions for 2018 are Official!

For many, “inflation” might as well be a four-letter word. But in terms of the federal estate and gift tax exemptions for 2018, it seems to be inflating smiles and opportunity for many. In the New Year, estate and gift tax exemption will be $5.6 million per person and $11.2 million for married couples. The [...]

October is “Organize Your Medical Information Month”

Think about this: there are about 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s – only one of many incapacities a person can endure – and only 40 percent of Americans have a medical directive. Living with any illness, disability, or other incapacity is understandably challenging. However, ensuring that you have a patient advocate designation, also called [...]

Fund Your Trust. Fill Your Crust!

Creating a trust is much like baking a pie. Whether you’ve bought a pre-made crust or made your own, there is still some prep in readying it for filling. “Creating” a trust is the same as preparing a crust – you’ve given shape and form to the trust, but it’s still empty. And no one wants [...]

I Don’t Agree with Their Trust/Will. Can I Change It?

Fictional Scenario: Our client who we prepared an estate plan for had just passed away. She had named her oldest daughter as the sole successor Trustee and divvied up her remaining assets among all four of her adult children. Three of her four children had given her grandchildren. The youngest daughter decided that she and [...]

WHO IS A TRUSTEE

The common terms in estate planning can be confusing and overwhelming. Terms such as “grantor,” “trustee,” “settlor,” “successor trustee,” “executor,” “personal representative,” and many others are commonly used. So much legal vernacular is enough to make someone’s head spin, especially without any prior knowledge of estate planning. This post will focus on who a trustee [...]

WHY WE TRUST TRUSTS

The Why So, why do you need a trust? Well, the answer is like the answer to many legal questions: “It depends!” In order to determine whether you need a trust, you must consider your specific estate planning needs or, in other words, which arrangement provides you the most favorable cost-to-benefit ratio. Recall that a [...]

IN TRUSTS WE TRUST

A Lesson In History The Uniform Trust Code (UTC) was coordinated by legal practitioners across the country to standardize and simplify state trust code in 2000, and was last amended in 2010. Since then, many states have completely or, at least, partially adopted the UTC. Estates and Protected Individuals Code (commonly called EPIC) is Michigan’s [...]

WORLD AUTISM MONTH: WHAT YOU WANT TO KNOW

Throughout April, the world has been lighting up blue in recognition of World Autism Month. Universally-recognized landmarks across the globe, such as The White House, the Empire State Building, and Niagara Falls, have lit up blue in support of Autism awareness and the Light It Up Blue campaign. As the fastest-growing developmental disorder in America [...]