Estate planning is a vital consideration for Michigan residents. When you pass, your assets may enter probate, a legal procedure that helps in asset distribution. Although having a will is a good basic form of planning, a will does not avoid probate. Instead, a will simply lets you inform the probate court of your wishes—your loved ones still have to go through the probate process to make those wishes legal. Given its complexities, many opt to avoid probate. Here are three primary reasons for Michigan residents to consider.
- It is all public record.
Once your assets go through probate in Michigan, they become public records. This entails:
- Exposure of the value of your assets.
- The names and details of beneficiaries.
- Any family conflicts related to your estate.
Although Michigan courts protect data like account numbers, considerable information becomes accessible. Keeping your family's financial affairs confidential is pivotal; avoiding probate ensures this.
- It can be expensive.
For Michigan residents, probate can be an expensive affair due to:
- Court fees.
- Legal charges.
- Executor fees.
- Potential disputes which can elevate costs.
While estate planning has upfront costs, it's a proactive approach. Remember Benjamin Franklin's words: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Planning now helps you control future expenses, ensuring more assets remain for your loved ones and fewer for legalities.
- It can take a long time.
Probate typically isn't a swift process, especially in Michigan. It can extend:
- From six months to over a year for even basic probates.
- Longer for more complex estates or if assets span multiple states.
Such delays can burden beneficiaries, especially those facing financial challenges. Non-probate methods, like trust administration, offer quicker asset distributions, providing beneficiaries faster relief.
If you possess assets in multiple states, the complexity multiplies, consuming more time and resources. But with a trust-centered estate plan, Michigan residents can bypass multi-state probates, ensuring efficient asset transfer, tax savings, and asset protection for heirs.
Looking Ahead: Secure Your Legacy in Michigan
Probate is intricate. With strategic estate planning tailored to Michigan's legal landscape, you can shield your family from its challenges. To delve deeper into estate planning tailored to meet your circumstances, reach out to our seasoned Grand Rapids, Michigan legal team at Inhulsen Law. We're here to guide and strategize for your future.
About Inhulsen Law
Inhulsen Law is a Grand Rapids, Michigan law firm serving individuals, families, and businesses in the areas of business law and estate planning. To learn more call us at (616) 747-0000, or visit our website.
Disclaimer: This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice.