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.  

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 58 reviews.
Denica Holzworth
Denica Holzworth
November 9, 2021.
Great to work with! We have a plan through MetLaw through my work and they accept it here. There was only a $25 extra free on top for the materials and binder we received. They follow a COVID process which we appreciated. They were incredibly helpeful and answered all our questions. The in person part took about 1.5 hours- just FYI for planning!
richard hanlon
richard hanlon
September 10, 2021.
Needed to get our estate plan done and they were very responsive, professional and straightforward. Had an urgent situation and they accommodated us. Would definitely recommend.
Jason Carlock
Jason Carlock
July 12, 2021.
Scott and Sarah at the Rochester office were professional and efficient in getting a whole estate plan in place for me. They walked me through every step, coaching me regarding what each document was, how it impacted my estate plan, and finally how all of the documents work together. At the end of the process I now have all the documents I (well, my estate) will need when I pass. Thank you.
Eric W
Eric W
June 1, 2021.
The process for preparing a trust was great. Scott and his team were very clear and explained everything in detail many times over. Highly recommend.
Kim N
Kim N
May 30, 2021.
Beyond satisfied with our experience. Sarah and Scott were extremely helpful through the entire process. Scott took the time to thoroughly explain every aspect of our estate planning making sure we understood it all. We learned so much and are grateful to have the peace of mind that all our affairs are now in order.
David Rizzi
David Rizzi
May 10, 2021.
With great effort and attention to detail Mr Sumner made something so complicated easy to understand and follow in explaining our estate plan. Two thumbs up to Mr Sumner and Sara!
Tom Stroin
Tom Stroin
April 30, 2021.
Scott spent the time and went over every aspect of our Family Trust so it was clear and understandable. The documentation was organized very well in a binder for future reference by all family members.Scott was professional, highly experienced and knowledgeable in designing an optimal Trust under Michigan law.I would highly recommend the Sumner & Associates P.C. law practice.
Jason Coryell
Jason Coryell
April 23, 2021.
Very professional, completely satisfied to walk us through and complete Estate planning. A+!
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.