Experienced Ann Arbor Estate Planning Lawyers Help You Protect Your Assets

Michigan law firm assists you in having your final wishes carried out

When a loved one passes, a difficult time can be made even harder by concerns about what should happen with the estate. Since 1996, Gardner & Associates, P.C. in Ann Arbor, Michigan has been helping clients plan for the future to make the hard times a little bit easier on everyone. We serve individuals and families throughout Washtenaw and Livingston County, Michigan.

Capable lawyers draft wills for all types of people and estates

A will is a signed document that directs how you want your estate distributed after your death and specifies other arrangements you wish to make, such as naming who will serve as your executor in the probate of your estate. Under Michigan law, a will can be revised by a codicil or by making a new will that explicitly revokes the earlier one. Our firm can review your existing will or help you create a new one to ensure that your interests are protected.

Using living trusts as estate planning and tax planning methods

There are a number of reasons you might prefer to avoid having your estate go through probate. This legal process may take months to be completed, creates a public record of all property passed down and is subject to challenge by potential heirs and others with interest in your estate. A living trust is a legal arrangement by which you or an appointed trustee can hold and manage certain property during your lifetime and specify that upon your death it will pass to a successor trustee, either for continued management and/or for distribution to beneficiaries.

Although Michigan has no estate tax, there other federal and state tax implications for property distributions. An irrevocable living trust can serve as a tax shelter during your lifetime, while a revocable one cannot. We assist our clients in using living trusts as estate planning and tax planning tools.

Enforceable advance medical directives

Making medical decisions for a loved one who is permanently incapacitated and unable to communicate is one of the hardest experiences to endure. The best thing you can do to assist your family in such an eventuality is to make an advance directive known as a living will, a document laying out what type of life-sustaining procedures you wish to be given or withheld. Another form of advance directive is a durable power of attorney, by which you can appoint a “patient advocate” to make medical treatment and personal care decisions when you cannot. We can help you work through these alternatives and prepare the one best suited to your wishes.

Contact a Michigan estate planning attorney for a consultation

At Gardner & Associates, P.C. in Ann Arbor, Michigan, we have decades of experience helping clients with estate planning matters. Call us at 734-794-7680 or contact us online to schedule your consultation today.

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