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Michigan Elder Law Today

Thursday, March 23, 2017

New Law Allows for the Creation of Irrevocable Trusts in Michigan

Is an irrevocable trust the right estate planning tool for me?

The Michigan Qualified Dispositions in Trusts Act of 2016 recently took effect and it could benefit thousands of individuals in Michigan who want to protect their assets from creditors during their lifetime.  Trusts in Michigan have always provided an excellent estate planning tool.  A traditional revocable trust in the state allows individuals to transfer their assets to a living trust for their use during their lifetime.


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Sunday, February 26, 2017

4 Common Myths About Powers of Attorney


Powers of attorney are extremely useful documents in the event of mental incapacity. These documents are also useful in less dire situations, such as when the principal is out of the country or simply unable to sign an urgent document. Nonetheless, rumors concerning potential pitfalls with powers of attorney continue to swirl, including the ever-present concern that an agent can make off with the principal’s money.
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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Basics of Asset Protection Planning

Asset protection is a wealth strategy that helps you protect your assets from creditor claims. It is useful for both individuals and businesses. Proper planning can prevent creditors from having access to some of your most valuable or precious assets. It is often used in conjunction with an estate plan because many of the tools used for asset protection planning are also estate planning tools.

Some clients become uneasy about the idea of asset protection planning because they assume that moving your valuables to avoid creditors is illegal.


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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Long-Term Care Insurance: Salvation or Rip-Off?

Do I need long-term care insurance?

As the baby boomer generation ages, the question of whether or not to purchase long-term care insurance becomes a pressing one to a greater and greater segment of the population. In considering matters like long-term care, having a skilled and knowledgeable elder law attorney at your side is invaluable. The same lawyer who has the experience and savvy to help you plan your estate distribution is fully prepared to guide you towards, or away from, long-term care insurance depending on the specifics of your situation.


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Monday, January 30, 2017

Retirement Planning for Older Parents of with Special Needs Children

What are the particulars of long-term planning for children with special needs?

Regardless of family income level, parents with special needs children have to think seriously about how the long-term requirements of their children will be met after their parents pass away. This is by no means an uncommon problem. One in five Americans has a disability and, according to the National Disability Institute, 20 million families have at least one family member who is disabled. The lifetime costs for caring for individuals with disabilities can be staggering. Disabilities like spina bifida, cerebral palsy, severe mental impairment, and autism can cost more than $2 million over the course of a lifetime.


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Monday, January 23, 2017

Responsibilities and Obligations of the Executor/ Administrator


When a person dies with a will in place, an executor is named as the responsible individual for winding down the decedent's affairs. In situations in which a will has not been prepared, the probate court will appoint an administrator. Whether you have been named  as an executor or administrator, the role comes with certain responsibilities including taking charge of the decedent's assets, notifying beneficiaries and creditors, paying the estate's debts and distributing the property to the beneficiaries.

In some cases, an executor may also be a beneficiary of the will, however he or she must act fairly and in accordance with the provisions of the will. An executor is specifically responsible for:

  • Finding a copy of the will and filing it with the appropriate state court

  • Informing third parties, such as banks and other account holders, of the person’s death

  • Locating assets and identifying debts

  • Providing the court with an inventory of these assets and debts

  • Maintaining any assets until they are disposed of

  • Disposing of assets either through distribution or sale

  • Satisfying any debts

  • Appearing in court on behalf of the estate

Depending on the size of the estate and the way in which the decedent's assets were titled, the will may need to be probated.


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Monday, January 16, 2017

What is Elder Law?


As the population grows older, many elders must face the difficult challenges of aging, such as declining health, long-term care planning, asset protection and other financial concerns. The practice of elder law is designed to assist seniors with meeting these challenges and give them peace of mind knowing that they will age with dignity.

Long-term Care Planning

The escalating costs of long-term care, including services for both medical and non-medical needs, is a daunting challenge for elders and their loved ones. In some cases, elders may need non-skilled care to assist with daily tasks of living such as dressing, feeding, shopping, and light housekeeping. Alternatively, some elders may require skilled nursing care whether provided at home, or in an assisted living facility or nursing home.


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Monday, January 9, 2017

Common Types of Will Contests


The most basic estate planning tool is a will which establishes how an individual's property will be distributed and names beneficiaries to receive those assets. Unfortunately, there are circumstances when disputes arise among surviving family members that can lead to a will contest. This is a court proceeding in which the validity of the will is challenged.

In order to have standing to bring a will contest, a party must have a legitimate interest in the estate. Although the law in this regard varies from state to state, the proceeding can be brought by heirs, beneficiaries, and others who stand to inherit.


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Friday, December 30, 2016

Red Flags of an Estate Planning Scam in Michigan

Scams run amok across virtually every industry, ranging from the financial sector to fashion, art and recreation. It should come as no surprise, then, that the estate planning industry is not immune from a similar plight – and we caution our clients regularly to keep on the lookout for the red flags of the latest estate planning fraud.

One of the biggest indicators that a proposed estate planning tool is likely ill-advised is the tactics employed by the proponent – the pushier, the fishier we say.


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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

How to Plan for the Future as an “Elder Orphan”

With the Baby Boomer generation beginning to age and enter retirement, there has been an assortment of strategies and tactics suggested to those caught in the “Sandwich generation” – that is, those tasked with caring for both minor children and aging parents. However, for some elderly folks, there are no surviving (or available) family members able to help out with transportation, medical needs and daily living. These individuals, coined “elder orphans” are left in the unfortunate position of having to arrange for their own estate planning and care without the assistance of adult children and/or relatives. Fortunately, there are tips and strategies that an experienced estate planning attorney can offer to ensure all senior citizens have a comprehensive plan to address the inevitable needs of getting older.

According to a study by the University of Michigan, as many as one-quarter of


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Monday, December 26, 2016

Disinheritance


Inheritance laws involve legal rights to property after a death and such laws differ from state-to-state.   Heirs usually consist of close family members and exclude estranged relatives.  Depending on the wording of a will, an individual can be intentionally, or even unintentionally, disinherited.

In most cases, spouses may not be legally disinherited.  Certain contracts, however, allow for a legitimate disinheritance, such as prenuptial agreements or postnuptial agreements.


Read more . . .


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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.



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