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Frequently Asked Questions About Estate Planning in Michigan

Answers from experienced attorneys in Rochester Hills

At Otlewski & Maloney, P.C., we understand that you have a variety of questions about estate planning. Our attorneys recently compiled a list of five of the most frequently asked questions that our firm receives. We drew on our vast knowledge of estate planning gained over more than 30 years of legal experience to answer these questions, listed below.

Contact our Rochester Hills estate planning law firm for further information

If you have additional questions about estate planning and the services that we can provide to you, call Otlewski & Maloney, P.C. at 248-759-5641 or contact us online to arrange a consultation. We offer evening and weekend appointments at our office in downtown Rochester Hills, located conveniently off of I-75 and M-59. Additionally, we answer our phone calls and emails as quickly as possible. Contact us for quick answers to your estate planning questions.

Estate Planning FAQs

What does a typical estate plan include?

This depends on your own personal needs and the assets that you have. Generally, our estate planning services in Rochester assist people with creating wills and trusts, creating long-term care arrangements (such as nursing home, Medicaid or power of attorney plans), drafting guardianship arrangements, representing people in the probate court and handling other issues. Every estate plan is unique, so you can determine for yourself exactly what you want yours to include when you meet with your attorney.

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What happens if I die without a will or a trust?

The state of Michigan has specific regulations for when people die without a will or trust, which is called intestate. Generally, the court gives control over asset distribution to the spouse or to the children of the deceased. Therefore, if you want to determine how your assets will be distributed, you must create a will or a trust.

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Who can benefit from a trust?

Trusts can have sole or multiple beneficiaries, depending on the type of trust that you create. Trusts are useful for any size estate, but especially for larger estates where you must consider your tax savings while drafting your estate plan. The beneficiaries of your trust could be children, grandchildren, friends, a charity or any other specified party.

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Can’t I just create an estate plan by myself?

We strongly recommend that you seek the assistance of an attorney when creating an estate plan. Attorneys understand how to create thorough wills and trusts that are valid and legally binding, which helps your loved ones to avoid contested will situations and probate litigation after your passing. Our experience and knowledge also help us to cover areas that you might not have otherwise considered.

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When or how often should I review my estate plan?

It doesn’t hurt to review your state plan fairly regularly. You should definitely review it whenever there is a birth, a death, a marriage or a divorce in the family, or if you or a beneficiary becomes disabled. Large increases or decreases in your net worth, major asset changes, purchase or sale of a business, change of residence and changes in tax law are also all good reasons to review your estate plan.

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