Estate planning is the process of creating a comprehensive plan to pass your money, property and assets to your family in the most efficient and effective way possible. A last will and testament in Michigan is one of the most well know types of estate planning documents. |
One of the reasons it is so popular is because you can change it at any time before you pass away. This gives you the flexibility to amend your will and add assets or change beneficiaries anytime you want. But this flexibility also has some drawbacks that may not give you the type of protection you are looking for. Here’s why…
1. No protection from incapacity
It’s not uncommon to become seriously ill or incapacitated prior to passing away. One of the reasons people put together an estate plan is to plan for incapacity. They do so by getting the proper financial and medical paperwork in place to take care of themselves and their family if they are no longer able to make decisions themselves.
If you would like to protect yourself, your family and your assets in case of incapacity, you may need a revocable living trust instead of a last will and testament. That’s because a last will and testament only comes into effect after you pass away. However, a living trust becomes valid the moment it is signed.
2. A will does not avoid probate
Many people estate plan with the goal of avoiding probate court. After you pass away, your last will needs to be delivered to the probate court in your county to begin the process of administering your estate.
Probate has a lot of potential drawbacks for your loved ones, which is one of the reasons people try so hard to avoid it. The process can be long and expensive. Additionally, if someone challenges your will, it can delay your family that much longer from receiving the assets you wanted them to have in the first place.
3. Probate is public
The probate court process is public and leaves very little privacy for your family. This means that your will and the assets you leave behind will become public record when they go through probate court. As a result, anyone can see the size of your assets, who you owed debts to, who will get your assets and when. If protecting your wishes from being contested by upset family members or lawsuits from creditors and fraudsters is a priority, then you may want to look into getting a living trust drafted instead.
A last will and testament in Michigan is a popular estate planning document, however it does have some limitations. When deciding what legal document is best for you and your family, make sure you have clear goals in mind.
A last will and testament does not protect from incapacity, it does not avoid probate, and its contents become public after you pass. If these are a concern for you, you should consider a living trust.
About Author -Jim Turner is a USA based author of Legal issues related to estate planning, will & trust , business law and elder law .Jim Turner does his best writing on these topics last will and testament Michigan that helps users to find the best solutions to their FAQ on estate planning , probate , living trust and more about legal family issues .
Author can be reached through rochesterlawcenter.com
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