Estate Planning is the process by which you arrange for the disposal of an estate in an attempt to lessen the uncertainties over the administration and to maximize the value of the estate. It usually includes wills, trusts, powers of attorney as well as living wills. Learn a bit about estate planning with Stuart Collis, an Ypsilanti Attorney.

Living Wills and Medical Powers of Attorneys

A living will is a document that provides direction to those around you in the event that you are unable to speak for yourself. Though Michigan does not recognize the living will specifically, it does provide a statute for authorization of Medical Powers of Attorney and gives a person appointed by you the power to make health care decisions for you. This person is called a Patient Advocate. They are only able to act while you are unable to do so, and unless in writing are unable to direct any treatment that is likely to cause death, such as ending medical treatment.


A Trust may be established in a variety of cases as decided by you. It is provided as a way for the Grantor, otherwise known as Trustor, Donor or Settler, to benefit one or more than one individual known as a beneficiary. Those in charge of the trust are known as trustees and are responsible for managing the trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries solely. Generally, if your estate is worth less than $600,000 in assets, a trust is not needed in states such as Michigan, as there is no inheritance tax. However, if you are concerned with those receiving your estate due to other reasons, you are always the final decision in whether or not a trust is needed. If you are planning on establishing a trust, it is always advised that you consult an attorney such as an attorney in Ypsilanti.


A will is different than a trust in that it is a legal tool which specifically states what goes to whom and in what way, but only becomes legal after it is probated after death. Wills are essential for planning how your assets will be distributed after death. If a person fails to create a will, than their estate and assets will have to pass through intestacy, or by the rules of the state. It is always recommended that you create a will and name an executor of your estate even if you have also created a trust, as it will serve as a backup for any assets not mentioned in the trust. There are many legalities involved with the creation and validation of a will, therefore it is always recommended that you consult an attorney when you decide to write a will.

If you live in Michigan and are looking for legal representation in planning your estate, an attorney in Ypsilanti may provide you with key services necessary to assist you in your planning. Contact Collis & Griffor, PC if you have questions on Estate Planning including Medical Powers of Attorneys, Trusts or Wills.

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