This site is sponsored by the law firm of Sumner & Associates, P.C. Our firm has attorneys with over 40 years of experience in creating estate plans.
We have successfully assisted hundreds of clients with estate plans. This website provides information on estate plans and their benefits.


  1. Revocable Living Trust – Designed to fit your personal needs, financial needs and family status. A Living Trust is the center of a competent estate plan for avoiding probate, protecting against disability, providing for your beneficiaries, maintaining control over your property, and saving as much in estate and inheritance tax, and probate costs as possible.
  2. Pour-Over Will – This is a Will that names your trust as its beneficiary to act as a safeguard or “insurance policy” against any property from being left outside the control of your trust. This also revokes any previous Wills you have signed.
  3. General Durable Power of Attorney – An all-encompassing power of attorney that gives your appointed legal agent authority to act on your behalf in matters unrelated to your trust. For example, financial documents such as an IRA account must remain in your name; if you become disabled, your agent/representative will be able to transact accordingly on your behalf regarding the IRA account. The power of attorney may be effective immediately, or upon disability only.
  4. Health Care Power of Attorney – A specialized power of attorney, drawn up under a new Michigan law, records your personal instruction regarding medical care, including the use or non-use of life support systems, in the event you are no longer capable of making your own decisions. This power of attorney appoints an agent called a patient advocate to act as your representative to make legally binding decisions.
  5. Funding paperwork – The only trust that avoids probate is a fully funded trust, i.e., your assets must be titled in the name of your trust. This may be time consuming but is an important part of the process. We make the procedure uncomplicated by preparing paperwork to initiate the ball rolling. That entails contacting all brokers and insurance companies, also gathering information on pensions, IRAs, banks, government agencies and counties in which you own real estate. In many cases, you only need to sign the letter or form and send it through the mail.

When you decide to establish an estate plan, you are not only being proactive but also manifesting your testamentary intent to make decisions on matters beyond your own life. This may include providing income to your children throughout their formative years, to determining who is awarded your personal property and real estate. Should you engage the attorneys at to assist with designing your estate plan, we will prepare and provide for you a trust including the latest legal statutes enacted by the Michigan Legislature- the Estates and Protected Individuals Code (EPIC). Click Here for more news on EPIC.

Trusts and Wills developed by attorneys at our firm are also included in the complete estate planning package available from Sumner & Sumner, P.C. Our firm’s estate plan includes Pour- Over wills for you (and your spouse, if applicable), information and documents on: trusts, patient advocate, durable power of attorney, and more. The documents are professionally bound in a handsome estate planning record book. Below is a photo of the cover sheet to the estate plan.

The following chart summarizes many client benefits of a complete estate plan, versus a simple will, or the potential danger if the deceased should die without a will or trust (“intestacy”).



Attorneys at are always tracking the latest developments in probate and estate planning. For example, one of the latest changes that affects wills, trusts, and estate planning in general is the ratification into law on April 1, 2000 of Michigan’s Estates and Protected Individuals Code (EPIC). It substantially changes many facets of estate planning documents and creates a formal and informal procedure for probating an estate. Recent clients have benefited from the changes. Now might be the time to contact the attorneys at if you need an update to your will, trust or estate plan.