Share

Michigan Elder Law Today

Friday, October 23, 2015

Estate Taxes, Gift Taxes, and Medicaid


The Internal Revenue Service has announced that the estate tax exclusion amount will increase to $5,450,000.00 for the estates of people dying in 2016.  The exclusion amount is the amount a deceased person can own without there being a federal estate tax that must be paid out of their estate before it is distributed to the deceased person’s heirs or beneficiaries.  Some states have a state estate tax, but the State of Michigan does not have a state estate tax.

The annual gift tax exclusion will remain at $14,000.
Read more . . .


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Reasons to Start Estate Planning Now


Why not wait to consult an estate planning attorney until later in life?

While many people believe that they can put off estate planning until they're of advanced age. Some erroneously believe that they needn't do any estate planning because they are not extremely wealthy.

Here are some of the reasons you should not procrastinate when it comes to estate planning.
Read more . . .


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Essential Estate Planning Provisions for Parents of Minors


We've just had our second baby. What should we specifically include in our estate plan to protect our children?

For parents of minor children, there are certain essential estate planning provisions that should be included in the language of a will or trust that will help bring about clarity and consistency in the event of the unthinkable.

First, parents must discuss and select a guardian to care for minor children in the event both parents become unable to do so due to death or incapacity. This decision may be difficult, but if no guardian is selected by will or trust, the probate court will appoint someone to fulfill this role –  a person who may or may not reflect the parents’ true wishes.

When choosing a guardian, be mindful of several factors:

  • The age, mental and physical health of the guardian
  • Relationship between the child(ren) and the guardian
  • The guardian’s ability to provide financial stability
  • The guardian’s willingness to serve in this role
  • Whether the guardian will be compensated, and if so, to what extent

After choosing a guardian, a Will or Trust should also direct the creation of a sub-trust for the benefit of the minor children.
Read more . . .


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Four Reasons an Estate Can End Up in Litigation


Why does an estate end up in litigation and how can it be avoided?  

Preparing an estate plan is a vital legal milestone that can ultimately protect your assets from being whittled away in legal fees and court costs. Believe it or not, estate litigation cases are among the most common cases to appear in Michigan courtrooms. There were actually several thousand contested Read more . . .


Monday, August 31, 2015

How to Properly Fund a Revocable Trust to Make it Useful


After I have signed my trust, what are the next steps?

Executing a revocable living trust is an excellent way to streamline an estate plan, avoid probate, and provide for loved ones.
Read more . . .


Monday, August 24, 2015

Long-Term Care Planning for Veterans


I am a veteran of the United States military. What do I need to know about planning for an eventual stay in a nursing home?

With proper advanced care planning, a U.S. veterans can enjoy peace of mind that they will be able to access necessary nursing services when the need arises – without relinquishing all of their hard-earned assets and savings in the process.

As a practitioner in elder law, Andrew Byers has a keen understanding of the unique dynamics affecting veterans as they reach a more advanced age, including the need for benefits available to surviving spouses.
Read more . . .


Monday, August 10, 2015

Disposing of Tangible Personal Property in an Estate Plan


I am not sure how I would like to distribute my fine china and jewelry. Do I need to decide this at the time of drafting my will? 


When it comes to estate planning, there are two types of property: real and tangible. Basically, anything that is not land and/or a structure falls within the tangible personal property category – including cash, accounts, assets, boats, cars, jewelry, furs and so on. Generally speaking, testators (those creating a will) are pretty set on how to transfer the family home or vacation property – and, if not, will direct the executor to liquidate the property and add it to the residuary estate. 

However, when it comes to heirlooms and tangible items of great sentimental value, making the decision can be more difficult and may take more time.
Read more . . .


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Understanding the Unique Taxation Standards Applicable to IRA Distributions


I have most of my every-day checking and savings accounts titled in the name of my revocable trust. Should I take the same steps with my 401(k) and retirement investments? 


For clients with a single or joint revocable trust, retitling assets into the name of the trust not only accomplishes the goal of its creation, but ensures the seamless and effortless transition of personal and real property to beneficiaries when the time comes. However, trust creators (known as grantors) are highly cautioned to speak to an elder law attorney prior to retitling retirement accounts or transferring those assets into trust, as a hefty and unexpected tax bill may follow. 

Tax implications of retitling a retirement account

401(k) accounts and IRA’s can reap significant tax savings if withdrawn correctly and at the right time. By contrast, account holders can expect a massive tax penalty for withdrawing too early – or even inadvertently.
Read more . . .


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Funeral Planning for Medicaid Eligibility


Are there any other less common ways to protect assets during the Medicaid planning process?

When it comes to planning for long-term care, many couples and individuals opt to pre-plan to eventually qualify for Medicaid coverage. While the thought of applying for need-based Medicaid coverage may seem unlikely for many middle-class individuals, the rising costs of long-term care – particularly for couples needing care together – is enough to deplete a sizable nest egg in just a few short years. 

The keystone of Medicaid planning is reducing one’s assets to the allowable threshold in order to reach the financial-need eligibility criteria. However, planners must be careful when transferring assets as Medicaid will impose a penalty period to address any transfers made during the five years immediately prior to the application for benefits. Fortunately, there are several other financial options to accomplish the “spend down” of assets other than outright transfers, sales or gifts, such as pre-planning for a memorial service, funeral, and/or burial plot.
Read more . . .


Friday, June 26, 2015

Estate Planning for a Special Needs Child or Relative


My niece will need lifelong care due to a developmental disability, and I’d like to include a provision for her in my estate plan. How can I ensure this will not interfere with her eligibility for benefits? 


Estate planning to include a special needs child or relative should be done with great care and consideration of the beneficiary’s financial situation. While it is undoubtedly noble to provide for the regular care and maintenance of a loved one, many special needs individuals also receive benefits from both benevolent charities and government programs – some of which may be needs-based. In order to ensure the beneficiary receives the financial care he or she needs – while also helping to maintain this eligibility status – be sure to meet with an experienced estate planning attorney in Auburn Hills as soon as possible. 

Planning for a Government Beneficiary Recipient 

Proper precautions should be taken when estate planning for the benefit of an individual receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, and/or Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), as these programs operate based on a recipient’s financial need.
Read more . . .


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Married Couples Should Consider Separate Trusts


What are the benefits of separate trusts?

Estates worth less than a certain amount of money are not subject to Federal estate taxes.  This is called the estate tax exemption and while this amount has changed numerous times over the past few years. it currently stands at $5.43 million.  Therefore, all estates with a total less than $5.
Read more . . .


Archived Posts

2018
2017
2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2015
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2014
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2013
2012
2011
December
November
August
July
June
May
April
March
February


Estate Planning & Elder Law News

Elder Law, Estate Planning, and Probate attorney Andrew Byers helps people in Troy, MI and throughout Oakland County, MI including Royal Oak, Clawson, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Rochester Hills, as well as throughout the metro Detroit area, including Macomb County and Wayne County, Michigan.



© 2018 Andrew Byers, PLC | Legal Advisory
2833 Crooks Road, Suite 104, Troy, MI 48084
| Phone: 248.469.4261

Elder Law | Estate Planning | Probate & Estate Administration | | About Us | Articles

Attorney Website Design by
Amicus Creative


© Andrew Byers, PLC | Disclaimer | Law Firm Website Design by Zola Creative
2833 Crooks Road, Suite 104, Troy, MI 48084 | Phone: 248.469.4261