Estate Planning - An Overview

We so often hear that hard work is the path to achieving the American dream. But retaining as much of our earnings and assets as legally allowable shortens that path. An experienced estate planning attorney can work with you to assure that your hard work results in the accumulation of assets that are protected from potential liabilities. In addition, asset protection planning can insure that tax liabilities are minimized for you and for your family after you have gone. Contact an estate planning attorney today to get started.

Wayne County Estate Planning Attorneys - Michigan Will and Trust Lawyers

Mall Malisow & Cooney, P.C.

At Mall Malisow & Cooney, P.C., our attorneys are committed to providing peace of mind for clients and families through holistic ElderCare and Estate Planning services. Only by getting to know you and your family well can we provide you with a carefully tailored estate plan, plan for ElderCare, care advocacy, or special needs planning that will provide the best possible quality of life for you and your family.

During the initial consultation you will be able to ask questions and learn about your planning options. In our experience, before you hire a lawyer it is critical for you to feel comfortable with the lawyer's expertise, office environment, and added support you will receive from the law firm's professional staff. Our commitment during your initial consultation is to provide you value and help you make informed decisions about having us become part of your team as well as to help you identify your needs and planning alternatives.

The following is intended to provide you with a general overview of estate planning issues. Contact our office to discuss your unique needs.

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Estate Planning - An Overview

Estate planning allows an individual to plan for his or her lifetime objectives and to provide direction about the disposition of his or her assets after death. Estate planning can include wills and trusts as well as powers of attorney and healthcare directives. Estate planning is impacted by state and federal law, and any individual may find that more elaborate or creative legal means are necessary for his or her situation. Some of these more complex techniques include trusts, family limited partnerships (FLPs) and limited liability companies (LLCs).

An estate planning lawyer from Mall Malisow & Cooney, P.C. in Farmington Hills, MI, can be an essential ally in assuring that your estate planning goals are understood and carried out. If you have estate planning-related legal questions, call Mall Malisow & Cooney, P.C. today to schedule a consultation.

Estate Planning Basic Documents

Because estate planning allows an individual to ensure that his or her property will go to the people he or she wants, in the way he or she wants and when he or she wants, it is important for everyone, even if an estate is likely to be small, to have an estate plan. An estate plan can help to reduce tax liabilities, court costs and attorneys fees, and it can also make it easier for families to cope with the administrative and financial issues that arise after the loss of family members.

Estate plans should typically include at least two important estate planning instruments: a durable power of attorney and a will. A durable power of attorney is a document that authorizes a person to make decisions for a person who has become incapacitated, including decisions about the incapacitated person's property. A will is a document that sets out the plan to distribute a person's property after her or his death.

Documents relating to medical care can also be part of an estate plan. Documents to consider include a medical directive (also called an advance directive, a physician's directive, a written directive or a durable power of attorney for healthcare) to designate a person to make healthcare decisions for a person who has become incapacitated; a healthcare proxy (also called a proxy directive) to designate a person to make healthcare decisions regardless of a person's incapacity; and a living will to express a person's desire regarding the use of extraordinary measures to extend her or his life when there is no reasonable expectation of recovery.

Estate Planning and Financial Goals

Estate planning can help to identify and plan for financial needs during life and after death. Financial needs to consider include retirement income, college funding, replacement income following an unforeseen illness or disability and the needs of surviving family members. To meet these financial goals and to ensure appropriate utilization of assets during life and orderly and efficient distribution of assets after death, an estate plan may include making gifts to individuals and charities during life, purchasing life insurance, using revocable and irrevocable trusts, purchasing annuities and rearranging personal and business interests. In addition to federal gift and estate taxes, state inheritance taxes, which vary from state to state, must also be considered to meet financial objectives.

Contact an Estate Planning Lawyer

Asset protection strategies, healthcare directives, powers of attorney and other estate planning devices are an integral part of the services that an estate planning attorney can provide. If you have questions about estate planning, contact an estate planning attorney at Mall Malisow & Cooney, P.C. in Farmington Hills, MI, to schedule a consultation.

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