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Guidelines For Your Estate Planning In Bingham Farms, Michigan

Irrespective of whether you have a sizeable estate or not, it is important to have an effective estate plan if you wish to ensure that the right persons will inherit your assets. Your plan will additionally help to restrict the amount of tax your successor will owe. Perhaps you may find the following ideas helpful if you are living in Bingham Farms, Michigan, even when you currently have an estate plan set up.

Mention Who Receives What

For those who neglect to prepare a will for themselves, the laws and regulations that govern your residence decide who inherits your properties. This consists of nonmonetary assets that you might give some thought to the disposition significant, like antiques and classic cars you highly value or maybe the piece of precious jewelry your beloved niece constantly admires.

Decide On Exactly How Your Assets Should Be Distributed

If ever you plan to include a few of your assets designated to cover particular expenses, you might need to set up a trust that incorporates such specifications. One example is wanting to earmark certain amounts for college fees and special needs for selected individuals. The trustee of your plan will be lawfully bound to make certain that the amounts designated are utilized to cover these costs.

Reduce Estate and Income Tax Liabilities

You might anticipate that your named beneficiaries will be obligated to pay certain amounts of the estate and income tax on their inheritance, reducing these taxes by employing some strategies is feasible. In particular, you could donate taxable properties to your chosen charities and give your tax-free assets, after tax savings, or life insurance policies to your inheritors.

Also, you may lessen the amount of your taxable estate by gifting an amount $14,000 or less for each beneficiary per year while you are alive, and the gift will be nontaxable.

Planning on the details of your estate and finalizing all pertaining documents will depend on you and your chosen Bingham Farms estate planning attorney. One thing is certain though, being able to prepare for all eventualities will give your loved one’s confidence that you are taking control of their future instead of leaving several factors to chance.

Schedule Your Free Consultation with Our Michigan Experienced Estate Planning Attorney

Einheuser Legal, P.C. is an estate planning law firm in Bingham Farms, Michigan. We help families set up wills and living trusts. Attorney Michael Einheuser is an experienced estate planning lawyer serving residents in Bingham Farms, Troy, Farmington Hills, Rochester Hills, Southfield, West Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Township. Schedule your free consultation today by calling 248-398-4665.

3 Elder Law Tips Everyone in Bingham Farms, Michigan Should Read

Many people are not aware of the laws that are in place to protect those who are advanced in age. If you would like to gain some insight, it would be a good idea to continue reading.

     1. Get A Power Of Attorney

If you are in charge of taking care of someone who is elderly, you need to discuss having them sign a power of attorney. This will give you the authority to make decisions on their behalf. Even if the person is still functional at this time, they can sign the paper and stipulate that it only goes into effect if they are no longer able to function well.

      2. A Will Is Crucial

Telling someone your last wishes may seem like enough, but the reality is that it is not. There is nothing worse than having someone pass away believing that everything will be okay and their loved ones are left fighting over property and other belongings. Even if you think that your family will be fine once you are gone, and everything will be civil, you should have a will drawn up anyway.

      3. Have A Medical Proxy Assigned

Some people think that this is the same as power of attorney, but it isn’t. There are many people whose medical proxy and power of attorney are two different people. This is a separate document that allows people to make medical decisions if you cannot do this on your own. Make sure the person you select is very knowledgeable about the choices you would make if you were able to do so.

If you or a loved one are elderly, it is important to begin getting your legal paperwork with the help of a Bingham Farms elder law attorney in order. Keep all of this information in mind as you move forward.

Schedule Your Free Consultation with Our Michigan Experienced Estate Planning Attorney

Einheuser Legal, P.C. is an estate planning law firm in Bingham Farms, Michigan. We help families set up wills and living trusts. Attorney Michael Einheuser is an experienced estate planning lawyer serving residents in Bingham Farms, Troy, Farmington Hills, Rochester Hills, Southfield, West Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Township. Schedule your free consultation today by calling 248-398-4665.

What to Discuss with Your Estate Planning Attorney Before Hiring Him or Her

No matter your age, creating an estate plan is an essential aspect of financial and family responsibility. For many folks, this is one of the most complex legal matters you will ever handle. It is vital that you find the right attorney to assist with your estate plan.

You will find that many lawyers advertise estate planning services as just one part of the practice. While this “one-stop-shopping” might seem like a good idea, you want to have someone handling your estate who focuses on estate planning. The fact is that setting up your estate involves multiple aspects of the law, including elder law and probate considerations.

Ask any prospective attorney how much of their practice includes elder law and estate planning. You want to hire someone who devotes at least half of their time to estate planning. Any less, and it is likely that they will lack the full scope of knowledge needed to plan your estate in the most equitable manner.

Although most attorneys can legally draft such documents, there are nuances to the law that can make a big difference in the price you or your loved ones pay regarding your estate. While you are discussing their experience with estate planning, inquire about other aspects of law relevant to your situation. These often include government benefits, elder law, business, real estate, taxation, and probate.

Another thing you want to know is if the attorney has experience with probating estates or if their focus is on helping clients to avoid probate. Fully-funded trust-based estate plans can save your loved ones a considerable amount of time and money.

In addition to finding out the general practice of the attorney, you should inquire whether they help you properly title your assets, such as your real properties and financial accounts. You need a lawyer capable of helping you to fund your trust, and a willingness to work with you to do so.

Before selecting an estate planning attorney, you should also ask about their continuing education. As with many other professions, it is important to have a professional who engages in learning, even if your state does not require it. Laws change, and the way to handle legal documents along with it. You deserve an attorney who is abreast of the latest in estate planning and elder law.

If you are satisfied with the answers you have received up to this point; you can then ask what type of preparation you need to do for your appointment. A reputable and reliable estate planning attorney will want comprehensive information regarding your properties, beneficiaries and more. Being properly prepared will expedite the process.

You deserve the peace of mind that comes with proper estate planning. Asking these questions will help you to find the right law firm to assist with the drafting and execution of all of your estate related documents, from preparing the documents to ensuring the right beneficiaries receive your estate.

Schedule Your Free Consultation with Our Michigan Experienced Estate Planning Attorney

Einheuser Legal, P.C. is an estate planning law firm in Bingham Farms, Michigan. We help families set up wills and living trusts. Attorney Michael Einheuser is an experienced estate planning lawyer serving residents in Bingham Farms, Troy, Farmington Hills, Rochester Hills, Southfield, West Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Township. Schedule your free consultation today by calling 248-398-4665.

An Introduction to Michigan’s New Asset Protection Trust

Trusts have always been excellent estate planning tools. Your beneficiaries can enjoy all kinds of protections once you are gone, including protection from remarriages, divorce, or creditors. Even though beneficiaries could enjoy access to the trust’s assets for their needs, their creditors or their divorcing or new spouses couldn’t in many cases.

However, these protections weren’t available to you during your lifetime. While you’re still well and alive, you enjoyed complete access to the assets in your trust and by extension so do any creditors.

The situation has however changed since December 5, 2016 with the introduction of Michigan’s new asset protection trust act known as the Qualified Dispositions in Trusts Act. The Act took effect on February 5, 2017. With the introduction of the act, Michigan has joined 16 other states that already allow Domestic Asset Protection Trusts (DAPTs).

Domestic asset protection trusts are irrevocable trusts that can shield assets from the claims of an individual’s creditors, provided that the individual meets the particular legal requirements. Individuals who are worried about potential creditor exposure, notably physicians, executives, and business owners, need to consider using Domestic Asset Protection Trusts (DAPTs).

Before the introduction of Michigan’s new asset protection trust act, people who wanted to use a DAPT had to first transfer their assets to out-of-state trustees in jurisdictions such as Nevada, Alaska, or Delaware. However, the introduction of the new law means that assets can be transferred to a person that resides in Michigan, such as a Michigan professional, corporate trustee, or a family member.

The transferor can never be the trustee since he or she can only be a beneficiary of the trust. However, the transferor may still retain rights to:

– Veto distributions from the trust

– Replace or remove trustees

– Receive income from the trust

– Receive discretionary distributions of the income or principal

– Direct investment decisions of the trust

– Receive unitrust payments or annuity from charitable remainder trusts

– Receive annuity from the trust not exceeding 5 percent of the initial value of the trust

– Receive unitrust payments or annuity from a grantor retained annuity trust

– Direct the distribution of assets upon the death of the transferor provided that there is no transfer of assets to the creditors of the transferor’s estate, the transferor’s estate, the transferor’s creditors, or the transferor.

If adequately funded and established, the Act protects the assets the transferor has relocated to the trust from the transferor’s creditors upon expiration of a 2-year period starting the date the assets were relocated except particular situations involving fraudulent concealment. A longer statute of limitation may apply in the case of bankruptcy.

Final Thoughts

The introduction of the Qualified Dispositions in Trusts Act is good news for Michigan residents since it offers numerous asset protection benefits. If you have any questions regarding the Act or any other information regarding estate planning, you need to find a qualified and experienced estate planning attorney to help you.

Schedule Your Free Consultation with Our Michigan Experienced Estate Planning Attorney

Einheuser Legal, P.C. is an estate planning law firm in Bingham Farms, Michigan. We help families set up wills and living trusts. Attorney Michael Einheuser is an experienced estate planning lawyer serving residents in Bingham Farms, Troy, Farmington Hills, Rochester Hills, Southfield, West Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Township. Schedule your free consultation today by calling 248-398-4665.

How to Leave Large Sums of Money to Charity in Your Estate Plan

Giving money to charity through your estate plan is a great way to leave a positive legacy while also minimizing your potential estate tax burden. Estate planning can be a challenging process, but with the assistance of a skilled attorney you will be able to provide some significant funds to charitable organizations and make a positive difference in the world.

The following are some tips from our estate planning attorneys to make this happen:

  • Keep in mind the tax benefits: Your estate’s value does not include any money you leave to charity through your estate plan. Specifically, this money is tax-deductible up to 50 percent of adjusted gross income when the money goes to qualified organizations. You may use this to your benefit to significantly decrease your tax burden.
  • Donate throughout your lifetime to maximize tax benefits: If you regularly give money to charities throughout your life, it will both reduce the value of your estate and give you the added benefit of taking advantage of income tax deductions. By benefitting from these savings in your income taxes, you can actually leave behind more to charity after your passing, which is beneficial for both the organizations and your loved ones.
  • Give beneficiaries the option to disclaim: You may put certain provisions in your estate plan to allow your children the opportunity to disclaim at least a portion of their inheritance and give it to charity instead. You may choose from a variety of qualified charities to donate these disclaimed portions of inheritance to, and those disclaimed portions are not subject to taxation from the Internal Revenue Service.  
  • Create a charitable lead trust: A charitable lead trust can help you maximize the benefits of charitable donations in your estate planning process. A charitable lead trust must donate a certain amount of money to charity each year during your life for a specific time period, which you choose. The remainder of the money will then go to your children. A maximum, zeroed-out charitable lead trust would see no estate or gift taxes applied to that remainder. Upon your death, the issue simply becomes how old your children must be once they receive the remainder funds.
  • Create a charitable remainder trust: Another valuable estate planning tool for charitable donations is a charitable remainder trust. You may put low-tax basis assets into this trust and sell them off, which defers estate taxes and provides additional income. Charities must receive a minimum of 10 percent of the present value of the charitable remainder trust upon your passing. You also get an upfront income tax deduction by simply setting up this type of trust.

If you are looking for additional ways to donate to charity through your estate plan, meet with a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer to discuss the various options available.

Schedule Your Free Consultation with Our Michigan Experienced Estate Planning Attorney

Einheuser Legal, P.C. is an estate planning law firm in Bingham Farms, Michigan. We help families set up wills and living trusts. Attorney Michael Einheuser is an experienced estate planning lawyer serving residents in Bingham Farms, Troy, Farmington Hills, Rochester Hills, Southfield, West Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Township. Schedule your free consultation today by calling 248-398-4665.

4 Safeguards to Prevent Your Will from Being Contested

As you work to create your estate plan, one of your goals should be to leave no doubts as to the validity of your will. In some circumstances, beneficiaries who feel they got spurned in the will might attempt to challenge its validity in hopes of ultimately receiving more of an inheritance.

By working with a skilled estate planning attorney, you can remove this risk. Experienced legal professionals understand how to craft key documents that eliminate potential loopholes or vulnerabilities that could leave a will open challenges.

The following are some safeguards you can put in place to prevent your will from challenges:

  • Get your will done early: Try not to procrastinate when it comes to writing up a will. The best time to start your estate planning process is while you are still healthy—not when there is any question at all about your mental capacity.

Will contests become significantly more common if an individual creates or alters it after beginning to experience symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, for example. It becomes easier for a challenger to the will to prove the testator was not of sound mind when he or she created the document. Thus, you should create your will as early as possible and make regular updates as needed.

  • Add a “no contest” clause: You may include a provision that essentially blocks people from contesting the will for selfish reasons. Under such a clause, anyone who attempts to challenge the will would receive nothing from the estate. This does not prevent anyone from challenging the will at all, but if a person is acting purely out of self-interest, it could act as a powerful deterrent.
  • Share your estate plan with your loved ones: The people close to you will be much less likely to challenge the validity of your will if they know what it contains before you pass away. Sit down with your loved ones and explain your decisions. This gives you the opportunity to avoid your loved ones receiving nasty surprises after their death, while also allowing you to smooth over any potential arguments or points of contention from the start.
  • Regularly update your estate plan: Whenever the circumstances of your life have significantly changed, such as a new marriage, the birth of a new child, a new job or retirement, you should update your will to ensure it reflects your current situation. A will that appears to be outdated is more likely to see challenges, as someone could argue it did not reflect the true wishes of the testator.

These are just a few of the steps you may take to prevent will contests from becoming an issue after your passing. For more information and guidance on how to create legally binding estate planning documents, contact a trusted estate planning lawyer.

Schedule Your Free Consultation with Our Michigan Experienced Estate Planning Attorney

Einheuser Legal, P.C. is an estate planning law firm in Bingham Farms, Michigan. We help families set up wills and living trusts. Attorney Michael Einheuser is an experienced estate planning lawyer serving residents in Bingham Farms, Troy, Farmington Hills, Rochester Hills, Southfield, West Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Township. Schedule your free consultation today by calling 248-398-4665.

How to Place Conditions on Assets Your Beneficiaries Receive

Many parents have legitimate concerns that their children, grandchildren or other heirs might not be responsible with their inheritance. If you are worried your beneficiaries will make poor financial decisions, spend the money on vices or engage in some form of manipulation, you can work with an estate planning attorney to attach conditions to your will or trust.

There are two basic options you have in this situation: you may disinherit the individual or place certain conditions on the assets you leave behind to that person.

Disinheriting a child

Although you may not disinherit a spouse, the law does allow you to leave nothing to your adult children. If you decide that this is the best course of action, you must expressly state this desire in your will. If you simply do not include your child in a will, he or she could challenge the will’s validity in court, with the hope of receiving an inheritance anyway.

You do not have to explain your reasoning for disinheriting a child in your will, although you may leave behind separate letters or estate planning documents attached to your will that give you the ability to provide further context into your decision.  

Adding conditions for beneficiaries

If you would like to leave your child with money or assets, but are worried about his or her maturity, you may use several strategies in your estate plan to safeguard against potential irresponsible actions. The following are a few examples:

  • Leave money in a trust: Your child’s inheritance would go to a trust, and you would appoint a trustee to distribute and invest that money. The trustee should able to say “no” if your child has not met certain conditions and should be a generally reliable, trustworthy and organized person with at least some connection to your family. You may choose a friend, relative or your estate planning lawyer.
  • Establish conditions: You may add strings to an inheritance, requiring your child to meet certain conditions before the money gets distributed. For example, you may state that the child must reach a certain age, must complete a certain level of schooling or must become sober (if applicable).
  • Pay out in installments: Rather than leaving a lump sum of money to a child who has a reputation for spending quickly and recklessly, you may have that money pay out over a certain period of time. For example, your child could receive some money at ages 25, 30 and 35. You may set up this schedule as you see fit.

Again, you do not need to leave any explanation for why you decided to add these conditions to your will. You do have the option of including an explanatory letter with all your other documents, but you are under no legal requirement to do so. It may be a good idea to include some context to avoid hurt feelings and unnecessary challenges to your will, however.

Consult a skilled estate planning lawyer if you have further questions about this process or believe it may be a feasible option for you.

Schedule Your Free Consultation with Our Michigan Experienced Estate Planning Attorney

Einheuser Legal, P.C. is an estate planning law firm in Bingham Farms, Michigan. We help families set up wills and living trusts. Attorney Michael Einheuser is an experienced estate planning lawyer serving residents in Bingham Farms, Troy, Farmington Hills, Rochester Hills, Southfield, West Bloomfield Township, and Bloomfield Township.

Schedule your free consultation today: (248) 398-4665.

Proper Planning Can Offset the Costs of Long-Term Care

As you grow older, one of your fears may be that you will need to enter a nursing home facility at some point in the future.

Although nursing homes often provide exceptional care to patients, they come at a significant cost — sometimes $100,000 or more per year. This can wipe out your life savings in a matter of months or few short years. Adding to the problem is the fact that the cost of most forms of long-term care are not covered by typical health insurance policies, Social Security Disability or Medicare benefits.

Using an Irrevocable Trust

Fortunately, there are options an experienced estate planning attorney will recommend to plan for the possibility of long-term care. One of the most highly used tools is an irrevocable trust, in which you place a large amount of your assets and property so that they will not be counted as resources when it comes to paying for nursing home care.

If done right, you can qualify for Medicaid benefits to cover most or all of your long-term care costs, while still distributing your wealth to your loved ones based on your wishes. You may also be able to keep your home, even though you will no longer own it.

To that end, one of the downsides to setting up an irrevocable trust is that once you place assets or property into it, you forfeit most control over them. You would name an executor to oversee the assets within the trust while you are still alive, and that person would also be responsible for ensuring the assets are properly distributed to your beneficiaries. This can make some people uncomfortable.

On the other hand, you may continue to draw income from the trust on a regular basis, giving you ample resources to continue your standard of living for the foreseeable future. Irrevocable trusts can be complex entities, so be sure to consult an experienced living trust attorney to learn about your options and if it’s the right tool for you.

Long-Term Care Insurance

An alternative to Medicaid planning is to purchase long-term care insurance, which essentially covers the cost of a nursing home if it becomes necessary for you to seek this type of care in the future.

Long-term care insurance can be expensive, and the costs may vary widely depending on the insurance company and your age. Nevertheless, it’s recommended that you look at a variety of options before settling on a policy. Providers may also deny coverage for those who are in poor health, so you should try to find a policy as early on as possible.

It’s worth noting that the decision to purchase long-term care insurance coverage should not be taken lightly. The choice you make will impact you well into the future, so you should work with a knowledgeable wills and trusts attorney to look at all of your options and determine the best course of action for your situation.

Schedule Your Free Consultation with Our Experienced Estate Planning Attorney

Einheuser Legal, P.C. is an estate planning law firm in Bingham Farms, Michigan. We help families set up wills and living trusts. Attorney Michael Einheuser is an experienced estate planning lawyer serving residents in Bingham FarmsTroy, Farmington HillsRochester HillsSouthfieldWest Bloomfield Township, and Bloomfield Township.

Schedule your Free Consultation today: (248) 398-4665.

How to Give Gifts Through Your Will

As you establish your estate plan, one of your goals may be to provide certain gifts to your family members and friends. While there are some tax benefits to doing this while you are still alive, you may also pass on “testamentary gifts” through your will. Doing so can help your beneficiaries avoid many of the headaches associated with probate.

There are three different categories of testamentary gifts that a Farmington Hills estate planning attorney can help you arrange in your will. The following is a brief overview of each:

  • Specific gift: A specific gift is explicit about which assets or property go to which beneficiaries. You might, for example, specify that a loved one receives a certain collection or a specific piece of furniture you own. You may also use specific gifts to forgive debts others owe to you.
  • General gift: A general gift is not as easy to interpret as a specific gift, which is why individuals usually try to be as specific as possible when creating their wills. An example would be leaving behind “a motor vehicle” for a loved one. If you have more than one vehicle, that instruction might be too vague. Your executor may need to interpret and analyze the will to determine the likely intent behind a general gift.
  • Residuary gift: This is a gift of property left over after the executor has administered the rest of the assets and property. For example, after your loved ones receive all of the specific gifts outlined in your will, the rest of your property goes to a specific person or organization.

How should you leave behind these gifts?

You should discuss with your Rochester Hills estate planning lawyer exactly what gifts you want to leave behind to your beneficiaries, along with the strategies you will use to leave those gifts.

There are a few ways you can leave gifts, including:

  • Making gifts in an exact amount: If you are leaving behind money, you may specify an exact amount of cash — whether it’s for general use or a special purpose.
  • Designate a percentage of your estate to go to charity: You may choose to leave money or property to a charity or cause of your choice. Typically, you will designate the percentage of your estate’s value that will go to the organization in question.
  • Create special types of trusts: Trusts allow you to bypass the probate process and can shield your assets from estate taxes. This can be an important benefit if the value of your estate is hovering around the estate tax exemption limit.

You have the power to decide what will happen to your assets and property after you pass away. Meet with a professional at a Southfield estate planning law firm to guide you through the process.

Schedule Your Free Consultation with Our Experienced Estate Planning Attorney

Einheuser Legal, P.C. is an estate planning law firm in Bingham Farms, Michigan. We help families set up wills and living trusts. Attorney Michael Einheuser is an experienced estate planning lawyer serving residents in Bingham Farms, Troy, Farmington Hills, Rochester Hills, Southfield, West Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Township.

Schedule your free consultation today by calling (248) 398-4665.