Estate planning and probate are two of the most important — and often most neglected — matters people should tend to during their lives. Drafting a last will and testament, planning your estate and preparing for the probate process can be stressful and daunting tasks.
At Collis & Griffor PC, our attorneys can help guide you through this process — you are not alone, and we can help make sure your estate is set up properly so your family and loved ones are provided for after your death. From setting up your estate to avoid unnecessary tax consequences, to using a trust to put property into a line of succession so it’s separate from business lineage, we have the know-how and experience to help you create a plan that reflects the wishes and desires of your estate.
Estate Planning In Michigan
Our experienced estate planning lawyers can assist you in considering and completing a variety of estate documents that can help you plan for the worst as you prepare for the best. This kind of advance planning can help make a difficult time more bearable for your loved ones. These documents include:
- Last will and testament — This document is essential for planning how your assets will be distributed upon your death. Without a will, your assets will pass through intestacy — in other words, by the rules of the state rather than by the decedent’s desires.
- Power of attorney — A power of attorney is used to give an adult the power to act on behalf of another adult. There are a variety of the types of powers of attorney, which can be tailored to fit the needs of a particular situation.
- Health care advocate (medical power of attorney) — Although Michigan does not recognize living wills, it does authorizes medical powers of attorney that give another person the ability to make health care decisions when the person who signed the document is unable to do so.
- Trust documents — There can be many reasons for a trust. Many individuals desire a trust to avoid probate. It can also help protect from spendthrift beneficiaries, disabled beneficiaries and control funds long after one’s death.
- Special needs trust — Also known as a supplemental needs trust, a special needs trust allows individuals to hold an unlimited amount of assets in trust for an individual with special needs precipitated by certain illnesses or physical or mental disabilities.
Probate — Estate And Mental Health
At Collis & Griffor PC, our Michigan probate attorneys are skilled at handling all facets of probate law. In setting up your estate, we can take steps to ensure that probate is minimized or avoided all together. We can also help with the mental health side of probate if we determine during the estate planning process that someone in the family may need assistance with mental health issues.
As with estate planning, probate is a complicated area of law that can be overwhelming to those unfamiliar with the process. Our lawyers have over 30 years of collective experience helping people navigate probate matters in Michigan, and we are here to help you too.
- In the context of a decedent’s estate, the term probate refers to the manner of administering the property of a decedent by a personal representative (PR), who is appointed by the court. If the PR is not named in the will, the court will appoint its own PR to administer the estate. The administration of a decedent’s estate essentially involves three steps: marshalling of assets, payment of charges and distribution of the remaining assets to the estate beneficiaries.
- In the context of mental health matters, the probate court presides over a proceeding that determines whether an individual requires court-ordered mental health care. Mental illness alone, however, is not sufficient to justify involuntary hospitalization.
Michigan Attorneys Who Understand
If you are looking for an experienced, knowledgeable probate or estate planning attorney, call Collis & Griffor PC today at 734-827-1337, or contact us online to schedule your consultation. From our office in Ypsilanti, we serve clients throughout Ann Arbor and southern Michigan.