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.
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).
Frequently Asked Questions for Estate Planning Attorney Clarkston
What documents are in a basic estate plan and why?A basic estate plan should consist of:
- Last Will & Testament
- Durable Financial Power of Attorney
- Patient Advocate Designation
Last Will & TestamentA 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 AttorneyA 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 DesignationKnown 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:
- Die with no assets in your name
- You can set up all your assets to pass directly to beneficiaries on accounts, such as bank accounts, retirement accounts and such.
- 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.