The Importance of Estate Planning for Families in Michigan
If you’re anything like the average person – especially the average pre-retirement age person – you probably have not given a lot of thought to what will happen to your assets when you die. In fact, you may consider thinking about an estate plan to be fairly morbid, and desire to avoid the topic entirely.
There is a common misconception that planning for an estate is something only very wealthy, or very old, people should do. However, planning for an estate and understanding wills and trusts is important for everyone, and can be a key part of ensuring that your family is provided for when you are gone. Here are some reasons why you should put together an estate plan today:
If You Die Without an Estate Plan, Michigan Law Will Dictate How Your Assets Are Divided
If you die without a will in Michigan, the state’s intestacy laws will determine how your estate is divided; you will have no control over who gets what. Per Michigan law, here’s how your estate will be divided:
- Children with no spouse – your children will get everything;
- Spouse with no children – your spouse will get everything;
- Spouse and children – your spouse will inherit the first $150,000 worth of your estate, plus half of whatever’s left (your children will get the rest).
If you die without a spouse or children, your parents and siblings will have access to your estate.
However, if you do create an estate plan, then you will have the ability to divide your estate as you see fit and ensure that your loved ones are provided for.
Creating an Estate Plan Helps Ease Burdens Placed on Loved Ones
It can be very complicated for your loved ones to know how to fulfill your wishes if you die without an estate plan explaining what you want. This can be true when it comes to your healthcare (if you are incapacitated to the point where you are unable to communicate your wishes), your funeral and burial plan, and what you want each of your loved ones to inherit from you. This can also apply to questions about what should be done with a business or certain property types. The stress of making these decisions can be very taxing for family members, and often leads to disputes and conflict.
You Can Mitigate Taxes By Creating an Estate Plan
Another reason why you should start thinking about creating an estate plan now is that a well-crafted estate plan can help your estate avoid taxes. It may also help you to pay for things like nursing home care as you age, or the special needs of a loved one.
Create Your Estate Plan Today
If you have not yet created an estate plan, today is the day to contact an estate planning attorney and get started. At the Van Den Heuvel Law Office, our talented team of estate planning lawyers know estate and tax law, and can assist you in creating a plan that meets all of your needs. To learn more, reach our offices today at 616-698-0000.