estate administration & probate Archives

Why might you challenge someone’s will?

If you were distressed to find out that your recently deceased Michigan relative left you little or nothing in his or her will, you may be thinking about challenging that will. Before you do, however, you should know that unhappiness over a bequest does not rise to the level of a valid reason to challenge a will.

Estate planning provides for your family after your death

Do you know what happens to your money and other assets when you die? If you do not have a will in Michigan, your estate will go to probate, which can be time-consuming and expensive. It also means that distribution of your assets may not occur as you wish. At Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher, P.C., our experienced team helps clients create wills, trusts and other aspects of an estate plan that is valid, per state law.

How can I create an advanced directive?

Creating an advanced directive can be difficult. It’s not easy to consider one’s own mortality, especially if you have a chronic or life-threatening illness. However, doing so is a must to ensure that you receive the type of medical care you prefer should you become incapacitated by illness or injury. The American Cancer Society offers the following tips to help you set up an advanced directive as soon as possible.

Naming an executor for your will

Part of creating a plan for your estate and your future will require you to work with individuals you know and trust who will help oversee that your plan is executed the way you intend for it to be. While you can do a lot to clarify how you want your assets distributed, it is imperative that you inform at least someone who can make your vision a reality. At Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher, P.C., we have helped many people in Michigan to create, modify and finalize their estate plans. 

Providing for your disabled child after your death

Estate planning in Michigan can ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes after your death. If you have a child with a mental or physical disability, or if they need someone to oversee their affairs, this is critical. At Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher, P.C., our experienced team can help set up a trust that provides for your child without jeopardizing their government benefits.

How can you maximize your inheritance?

You have been working hard to plan your estate and complete all of the different requirements to have a well-rounded and concise plan for how you would like your inheritance distributed in Michigan. Now, you have reached the point where you need to name beneficiaries who will be the recipients of your assets following your death. Selecting who you would like to name as heirs is highly dependent on your relationship with the people you care about. Being able to give these people the most is something you can facilitate by planning things the right way. 

How can I choose the right trustee?

While having a trust as part of your estate plan is a good decision, choosing the right trustee can be a complex matter. You want to be able to count on the person you choose while also resting assured that he or she has the ability to make tough financial decisions on your behalf. The AARP offers the following guidance to help you narrow your search and secure a trustworthy trustee for your estate.

What are some common mistakes made while estate planning?

Proper estate planning not only ensures your final wishes are carried out, it also saves your family a great deal of stress after you’re gone.  That’s why avoiding common blunders is so crucial, which requires going into the process fully informed. In order to ensure you have what you need to plan for assets after you’re gone, Kiplinger offers the following advice.

3 Essential Estate Planning Tips

No matter your age or financial status, estate planning is a crucial aspect of preparing for the future. For people in Michigan without an estate plan in place, you could run the risk of your assets being dispersed to the wrong people or even having your wishes for end-of-life care being denied. In this case, U.S. News & World Report offers the following tips to help you create a solid and legally binding estate plan.

What is a charitable trust?

If you are a Michigan resident who enjoys donating to your favorite charity, you may wish to consider establishing a charitable trust so your giving can be more structured and possibly greater than it is now. In addition, one of the best things about a charitable trust is that you can split the assets it contains between your designated charity and a designated noncharitable beneficiary, including yourself if you so desire.

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