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Wills & Trusts Archives

The definition and benefits of a holographic will

Regardless of a person's age, financial status or obligation to dependents, the decision to organize and articulate a will is one of the best decisions that anyone can make. A person's decision to invest in his or her future and create a meaningful plan for his or her heirs to follow in distributing property, assets and wealth is an excellent way to avoid tension following death. People in Michigan who are interested in finalizing a will may be faced with the task of deciding which method is going to work best for them. 

Numerous fiduciaries are involved in estate administration

For those in Michigan with little experience in matters of estate planning, the terminology associated with it may be intimidating enough to repel some from investigating the benefits. Nevertheless, because planning one's estate is important, it is worth gaining an understanding of some of the most common terms involved. For example, a fiduciary is someone entrusted with interests of another person, such as someone's stockbroker or attorney. In estate planning, there may be numerous fiduciaries.

Wills and trusts carry legal protections

Aaron Hernandez died under a cloud of dishonor, committing suicide after one court convicted him of murder and leaving his estate in debt to the tune of at least $1 million. However, there is evidence that some of his final acts may have been to protect his 5-year-old daughter. As many Michigan parents use wills and trusts to establish a secure future for their children, it seems Hernandez may have attempted the same, although his motives are in question.

The varied and flexible uses of a trust

A trust is one element a Michigan resident can include in an estate plan. A trust essentially owns the assets funded to it, and the person who creates a trust assigns a trustee to manage the assets according to instructions provided. When people consider adding a trust to their estate plans, it is often because they are looking for a way to avoid probate or reduce the tax burdens of the estate. However, there are a number of other benefits to this estate planning tool.

Jerry Lewis disinherits his children in his will

Jerry Lewis was known for many things. Generations of people in Michigan and across the world appreciated his brilliant comedy in movies and stand-up routines. Each year at summer's end, Lewis's telethon raised millions of dollars to find a cure for children afflicted with muscular dystrophy. While other children benefitted from Lewis's charitable acts, the comedian's own children did not. The wills and trusts of many celebrities have recently raised eyebrows, and Jerry Lewis may have done the same with his estate plan.

Cause of death may trigger disputes over wills and trusts

The mysterious and suspicious circumstances under which a man in another state died are at the heart of a family battle over the man's estate. The man's four daughters expected to inherit his $29 million estate after he was shot three times in his bed in Dec. 2013. Apparently, the man's grandson had been disputing the estate plan of the elderly man the night before the murder. While no charges have yet been filed, Michigan residents may be interested in how the case affects the wills and trusts in their own families.

Couple loses child custody when DHS says their IQs are too low

Being a parent requires many important qualities. Parenting involves patience, selflessness, devotion and other strengths, many of which Michigan mothers and fathers learn along the way. However, the parents of two boys in another state are fighting for child custody because the Department of Human Services apparently believes they do not have IQs sufficient for raising children. Both parents have IQs in the 70s, below the average of 90 to 110.

Wills and trusts offer different benefits

People may put off estate planning for a number of reasons. Some in Michigan may think such a plan is unimportant, while others feel they don't have sufficient assets to make it worthwhile. For some, the thought of creating wills and trusts is overwhelming, and others may be unsure which option will work best for their situation.

Wills and trusts must be signed in moments of mental clarity

It may be difficult to keep track of the number of times a person signs on the dotted line in his or her lifetime. Buying a house, renewing a driver's license, getting married or using a credit card all require a signature. In most cases, a person's soundness of mind is assumed as he or she signs. However, when it comes to estate planning documents like health care directives, powers of attorney, wills and trusts, there are definite guidelines in place for determining someone's mental clarity.

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