Time For A Michigan Estate Planning Checkup?
Updated: 4 days ago
While good estate plan should be tailored to the needs of each client, major life events may impact the overall estate plan effectiveness. Such an event may even prevent the client‘s goals from being achieved.
When Should You Review Your Estate Plan?
Major life events include marriage, divorce, death of other family members, changes in wealth, birth of additional children, changes to blended families, acquisitions of property, changes in the ownership structure closely held businesses, moving to a new state, etc. When one or more of these events occurs, you should consider speaking with an estate planning attorney to determine if any updates are required to achieve your estate planning goals.
Impact of Life Events on Your Estate Plan
Often times, a major life event will alter the distribution of property by providing one heir with more property than intended, or maybe none at all. Clients must also take non-probate assets into account including property held in trust, jointly owned property, and property with named beneficiaries. Clients should also consider planning for changes in IRA accounts and how to minimize future income taxes for the beneficiaries of these accounts. Certain laws in Michigan may automatically impact an estate plan’s beneficiaries, including the impact of divorce, but may not affect certain ownership transfers like IRA beneficiaries.
Estate Planning Documents Checklist
Effective estate planning requires many different documents to achieve a client's goals. These generally include wills, trusts and powers of attorney. For simple estates, a last will and testament may be all that is required to achieve a client's estate planning goals. In other cases, additional planning is required, which generally includes a living trust. Living trusts are a popular option in Michigan because they provide flexibility and control during the client's life, and privacy and flexibility after the client has passed. A living trust will provide a trustee with flexibility and avoid probate court oversight.
If have an estate plan in place and are concerned that a recent major life event could harm your plan, contact Michigan attorney Andrew Steiger at Steiger Tax Law for a free consultation to evaluate how the event could impact you. Steiger Tax Law can help you revise or amend your estate plan to help you achieve your goals. Contact Steiger Tax Law today.