Westley 3 Law Office
Estate Planning

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The goals of estate planning vary among individuals: to protect one's assets during life; to ensure that, after death, your assets pass to family members, friends and charitable organizations; to provide for continuing care for minor children or disabled family members. Other important issues may include college saving plans, business succession planning, charitable gifting, gift tax planning, and irrevocable life insurance trusts. As each person's objectives differ, Estate Planning documents can be custom tailored. Estate planning will assure that your affairs are taken care of according to your wishes, avoiding unnecessary taxes, stress, confusion and family conflict.

Estate Planning Documents Include:

Durable powers of attorney, is a legal instrument which grants another person the authority to act as your legal representative, and to make binding legal and financial decisions on your behalf. Given that the power of attorney can grant considerable power to a third party to act on your behalf and sign your name to legal contracts, you should give careful consideration to the person to whom you choose to grant those powers, and whether any limits should be imposed in the time the power of attorney will last, or in its scope.

Revocable Trusts and Wills, is a simple document that outlines what your assets are and whom you want them to go to. This is a legal document, which will be used in probate after your demise to ensure that your assets go to the rightful beneficiaries.

Drafting a Will:  A good estate plan provides for the transfer of property upon death with the least amount of estate tax liability, other costs and extended time. A will is part of an estate plan and can stand alone or include a wide range of trusts, including trusts intended to limit tax liability and trusts intended to protect the spouse and children. We tailor each will we draft to the needs of our clients. We have had decades of experience helping clients who desire to transfer a business, fixed assets or a farm to their children.

Contesting a Will: A will contest in Michigan can be based on a number of grounds, including the following:

  • The Michigan Will Was Improperly Drafted. A will can be contested in Michigan on the grounds that it was not properly drafted, signed, or witnessed as required by Michigan law.
  • The Testator Was Not Mentally Competent. Under Michigan law, a testator (the person who died and whose property is being distributed by a will) is required to be mentally competent or the will can be declared null and void.
  • Undue Influence. If someone pressures a testator to execute a will, the will can be declared null and void. There are a number of scenarios that can lead to undue influence. Often the person exerting undue influence is a relative, friend, trusted advisor, or health care worker who seeks to receive part of an estate.

Community property agreements, is allowed in some states to change separate property to community, or vice versa, if the spouses agree in writing. The laws may also permit a transfer of the community property at death to the surviving spouse. Laws vary by state, so local law should be consulted for specific requirements in your area.

Health care directives and planning, an advance directive is a written document in which a competent individual gives instructions regarding his or her health care to be followed at some future time should that person lack the ability to make decisions for himself or herself. An individual may have more than one advance directive.

Tax and Retirement planning, Michigan retirement planning is extremely important for residents who are seeking to end their careers. The account that you choose to open will have an effect on the success of your financial and lifestyle goals. Whether you live in Detroit MI, Warren MI, or other cities like Grand Rapids, Sterling Heights or Flint, there are incredible accounts available to help you start your financial planning for retirement.

Medicaid and long-term care, when you comes to protecting your estate from nursing home costs, we will explain the process and give you a comprehensive overview of your options. We will work together to review existing resources and then develop and implement a complete plan to maximize your assets so that you or your loved one will receive the best, quality care in the desired setting. Our goal is to help you keep as much of your financial success in your family as the law allows.

Nomination of Guardian, is a legal right given to a person to be responsible for the food, health care, housing, and other necessities of a person deemed fully or partially incapable of providing these necessities for himself or herself.

Legal Guardianships,  typically become necessary when a person no longer becomes able to manage his or her own estate and/or able to care for themselves. A Guardianship can be obtained over a person, his or her estate, or both. In its simplest terms, a Guardianship is a Court supervised proceeding where a person (the Guardian) is appointed by the Court to act on behalf of another (the Ward) and/or to manage the Ward's assets if the Ward is a minor or incapacitated.


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