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Certain documents are the foundation of an estate plan

Oct 14, 2020 | Estate Planning

One reason people choose to put off making an estate plan is that they are not sure where to start.

Admittedly, estate planning is a process that will vary, sometimes widely, depending on the person. However, there are certain basic documents that most Michiganders will want at least to consider making part of their estate plan.

Even people with complicated plans may still require a will

A will is a legal document, relatively simple when compared to a trust, designed to control the distribution of all property that will pass through a person’s estate.

For many families, a will may be all they really need when it comes to divvying up their property, although they may also need to update the title to their house, their designations on retirement plans, and life insurance policies.

However, even someone with a trust should still have a will.

At the time they execute their wills, some people may choose to write non-binding instructions about funeral planning, the distribution of heirlooms and items of sentimental value and other topics.

Advance care directives are also important

Estate planning is not just about what happens after a person dies. During the process, the person will also to continue executing documents commonly referred to as advance directives.

Individual advance directives are commonly referred to by many different names.

For example, what some may call a durable power of attorney can give a trusted love one the ability to manage a person’s finances and property on hat person’s behalf, especially in the event he or she can no longer do so.

People may also legally appoint what may be called a healthcare representative to give consent to medical care should a person no longer be able to speak for himself or herself.