Michigan Estate Planning Resource Center
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- Business Owner Blues
Being a business owner today is both rewarding and challenging, especially if your business is a family business. For business owners facing the unique challenge of transferring ownership of the family business upon retirement, disability or death, a properly funded Buy-Sell Agreement may be the key to survival.
- Common Estate Blunders
When you hear the words estate planning, what images come to mind? Do you see beautiful, tanned people with incredible wealth, living in enormous mansions, riding in shiny limousines and boarding private jets? If so, then you are only partially correct. In reality, everyone has an estate worth planning. Some are just more complex than others.
- Elder Law 101
According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, there are nearly 35 million seasoned citizens and by 2010 there will be some 40 million seasoned citizens. Thereafter, due to the graying of the Baby-Boom generation, we will see that figure jump to 53 million in 2020 and to 70 million in 2030! The good news is that Americans are living longer than ever. The bad news is that we eventually wear out physically, mentally or both. It is a classic Catch-22.
- Estate & Trust Administration: Successful Conclusions
Estate Planning is a Lifetime Process, not a one-time event. Though estate administration is the final stage in the process, a successful conclusion is dependent on proper completion of each of the preceding stages.
- Estate Planning 101
What is estate planning? If you were to ask 10 adult Americans this question, you would likely get 10 different answers. Most erroneously think estate planning is limited to arranging for the ultimate distribution of their assets at life’s end. Due partly to this confusion and partly to procrastination, it is little wonder that six out of 10 adult Americans have no estate plan at all.
- Estate Planning Challenges for Blended (or Step) Families
Are you re-married (or planning to re-marry) and attempting to blend families? Unfortunately, too little attention has been paid to the critical Life & Estate Planning challenges of blended families. These challenges include disinheriting your ex-spouse, protecting your own children, providing for your new spouse and minimizing your estate taxes.
- Pet Trusts
An estimated 500,000 pets are euthanized each year by shelters and veterinarians when their owners predecease them. Do any of your closest friends have feathers, fins or fur? Consider this: If something untoward were to happen to you today, what would happen to your feathered, finned or furred friends tomorrow?
- Planning for Minor Children
It is an unfortunate fact of life: airplanes plummet, trains derail, ships sink and automobiles crash. What happens when a tragedy claims both parents of minor children? While every parent expects to rear their minor children to adulthood, life may throw any of us an unexpected curve ball in the form of a fatal injury or illness. Are you, and your children, prepared?
- Qualified Retirement Plans
Qualified Retirement Plans (QRPs) present some of the most complicated tax and non-tax planning challenges of any asset in an estate, especially for married couples. The failure to make proper Life & Estate Plans for your QRP can unnecessarily enrich the IRS and disinherit loved ones.
- Voluntary Philanthropy
Are there any programs funded by the federal government you personally consider nonessential and perhaps even wasteful? Perhaps there are private sector charities you deem more worthy of your tax dollars? Chances are you already support these charities. If so, then you really should know about IRC § 664 and how you may turn your involuntary philanthropy (taxes) into tax-savvy voluntary philanthropy.
- Women & the Law
Traditionally, women have been the nurturers in our society. Depending on how family is defined for her, a woman may care for a husband, children, pets, parents or even in-laws. While she is busy meeting the needs of others, a woman may forget to take care of her own needs ... even needs as fundamental as her own Life & Estate Planning.