Need an Estate Planning Attorney in Clarkston?

Our estate planning attorneys in Clarkston, Michigan have over 40 years of experience in creating estate plans. We have successfully assisted hundreds of Clarkston clients with estate plans. Contact our Michigan Estate Planning lawyer if you’re looking to update your estate plan, will or trust. If you have questions about estate planning or an existing will or trust, contact our Clarkston law office. Unlike some law firms, we pride ourselves on personalized service and estate planning solutions. And we’ll make sure you fully understand your options. Call us today at  248-650-0055 to find out how our Clarkston lawyers can help you.
estate planning attorney clarkston

At Sumner & Associates, P.C., our estate and wills attorneys handle a wide variety of issues, including:

  • Comprehensive estate planning,
  • Drafting wills and trust documents,
  • Estate and trust administration,
  • Guardianships and conservatorships,
  • Powers of Attorney,
  • Probate proceedings, and
  • Special needs planning (if you or a loved one have serious disabilities).
With over 98 5-star reviews on Avvo, please contact us and you’ll experience our “Excellence in Service” first hand!

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Based on 80 reviews
Carol Zachrich
Carol Zachrich
July 25, 2023.
Great experience! This team has the estate planning process down to a science. Very efficient, timely and responsive. Appreciate their expertise and demeanor. Highly recommend!
Christopher Lee
Christopher Lee
June 23, 2023.
This is where you want to go for wills, trusts, or family estate planning. It was quick, thorough, organized, and pleasant. I only wish I could give them a 6th star.
Tony Parrish
Tony Parrish
June 19, 2023.
In August of 2022, Sumner & Associates helped us with Estate Planning for my husband and I. We were impressed that they didn't blink an eye when asked by an LGBTQ couple. Important that I mention this for others looking for good representation. The team was thorough and provided good tips based on the law. Thank you Scott, Sarah, and Rori!
eric bentley
eric bentley
June 17, 2023.
Highly recommended! They were very easy to work with and very informative about all our questions. The entire process went smoothly.
Nitin Shah
Nitin Shah
May 10, 2023.
This office is awesome and I really the way their process and they explained me the step by step process to go for will documentation. When we visited the office to sign final document it was very transparent and clear process and was done quickly. Thanks to Sarah for coordinating and communicating each and every steps clearly and timely.
Edward Sezniak
Edward Sezniak
March 13, 2023.
Will and Trust. Service was very well organized and guided us through the writing of a will and establishment of a trust. We also established durable power of attorney and advanced health care directives. The purpose and function of each device was clearly explained along with the roles and responsibilities of the different participants. Competitively and fairly priced.
Marilyn Sezniak
Marilyn Sezniak
March 12, 2023.
Their reference materials did a good job of explaining the difference between a Will and a Trust. The process had steps that demonstrated progression toward completion of the documents and status was communicated along the way. Sara and Scott were thorough, friendly and answered all of our questions. The final documents are organized in a binder that has a very professional appearance. I highly recommend Sumner & Associates.
Dave Kishimoto
Dave Kishimoto
January 5, 2023.
Always detailed & accurate and takes the time to explain. Updates were quick and easy.
Linda Toussaint
Linda Toussaint
January 3, 2023.
We were very impressed with the attention to details while preparing our trust. I would highly recommend Mr. Sumner and his staff are professional and curious.
Jason Kim
Jason Kim
January 2, 2023.
Wife and I went to get our will and trust made. The staff was very polite. Scott was very thorough and informative with everything. Made the process smooth and easy!
Estate planning attorney Clarkston

What documents are in a basic estate plan and why?

A basic estate plan should consist of:
  1. Last Will & Testament
  2. Durable Financial Power of Attorney
  3. Patient Advocate Designation

Last Will & Testament

A Last Will & Testament is the written wishes of a person’s intent with regard to selection of fiduciaries and instructions to the probate court of the writer’s selection of people who are going to follow up and assist with the probate process (fiduciaries), who will watch over minor children(Guardian & Conservator) and who the person wants as beneficiaries. The first paragraph of the Last Will and Testament identifies the individual making the Will, known as the Testator. The next paragraph of the Will indicates that the person’s debt, funeral expenses, and taxes should all be paid from the proceeds of testator’s estate before the beneficiaries are paid. The Last Will and Testament is the only place to identify a Guardian for any minor children of the testator. The guardian is the person who would raise the children should the parents pass prematurely. If both parents pass or become incapacitated they can identify the person/guardian, her minor children in her Last Will & Testament. The Last Will and Testament is also the only place to identify a Conservator for any minor children. The conservator is the person who would manage the children’s money and finances, should the parents pass prematurely. If both parents pass or become incapacitated the Testator can identify the person, she wishes to become conservator. Next, the Last Will & Testament is where individual name a funeral representative. This is a recent fiduciary role named in the will. This person is named as the funeral representative and has the legal authority to sign for and make final decisions regarding the decease remains and burial arrangements. This appointment helps avoid family disputes, particularly in blended family situations.

Durable Financial Power of Attorney

A Durable Financial Power of Attorney helps manage your assets and debt should you be unavailable or incapacitated. In this doc you appoint another to make your personal financial decisions and consent to business arrangements. Effective either immediately or upon your incapacity. This document helps you and your family avoid the living probate process of have to set up a conservatorship through the local county probate court, to get legal authority and permission to access your funds or give consent your behalf.

Patient Advocate Designation

Known as PAD, helps manage your medical, healthcare and end of life decisions, should you become incapacitated. This is a doc where you appoint another to make your personal medical decisions and arrangements. This document is effective upon your incapacity. This tool will help you and your family avoid the living probate process or needing to set up a guardianship through the local county probate court, to get legal authority and permission to access your funds or give consent you’re your behalf.

How do I avoid Probate when I die?

There are several ways to avoid probate including:
  1. Die with no assets in your name
  2. You can set up all your assets to pass directly to beneficiaries on accounts, such as bank accounts, retirement accounts and such.
  3. You can use a revocable living trust.

How much does a Living Trust cost in Clarkston, Michigan?

The range of cost based upon the depth and quality of the legal service provider and the extent of additional time taken to educate the client, fund trust and coordinating beneficiaries. Ranges from $1,500 for an individual to $2,700 for husband and wife and beyond for multiple trusts or specialty trust such as a Lady Bird Trust.

Who should establish a Living Trust?

  • If you own real estate, you should have a living trust.
  • If your net worth is greater than $250,000, you should have a living trust.
  • If you have children, you should have a living trust; and
  • If you have minor children (under the age of 18) you need to have a living trust.

Where do I go to get a living trust?

Your local experienced estate planning attorney. Don’t go to DIY solutions, there is too much at stake. Contacting an Estate Planning lawyer is a simple process. It is well known in the legal profession that for every dollar a client spends on legal assistance now, saves five to ten dollars in the long run.