An educational approach to help you plan ahead for the inevitable…death & taxes.
Each family's situation is unique, and we will help customize the necessary documents to fit your specific needs. Please call to schedule a meeting to learn more about Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney and Patient Advocate Designation, and other planning options.
Estate planning paperwork includes designating individuals to help provide for daily needs upon incapacity, disability, and death. It may be helpful to have a backup plan for trusted individuals to help manage financials or property when traveling or residing in other states during the cold winter months in Michigan. We will help simplify the process to timely resolve financial matters when needed most. We provide guidance with methods to help avoid or limit the probate court process, especially if you prefer privacy. Probate avoidance includes powers of attorney, patient advocate forms, beneficiary planning, agent acceptance forms, and may consist of trust agreements based on your specific situation. A trust agreement may be beneficial when you have minor children, prefer a long term arrangement with asset protection from creditors, or prefer to customize how funds are distributed to various beneficiaries. Whether you are interested in managing your own assets or helping your loved ones, Innovative Law Services will help you evaluate the best legal options for estate planning.
Power of Attorney: A Power of Attorney is a notarized document extending legal authorities to another individual to act on your behalf to help manage your financials and other responsibilities. A power of attorney is also known as your attorney-in-fact or agent. A power of attorney may include limited duties such as selling property or an extensive broad list of controls. A durable power of attorney may eliminate the need for a court-appointed conservatorship to manage financial affairs. A power of attorney is not filed with the court and terminates upon death.
Patient Advocate Designation: A Patient Advocate Designation allows a person to make medical decisions on behalf of another person due to incapacity, injury, or mental disability. It is also known as a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. It is helpful to select a person that will respect your wishes and make difficult decisions even if different from personal opinions or the opinion of family members.
Personal Representative: A personal representative is typically named in a will to help settle an estate that requires probate court. This role was previously known as an executor. The extensive duties include collecting and securing assets, managing property, preparing an inventory, paying debts, determining creditors, attending court hearings, filing taxes, settling claims, selling assets, distributing property and funds to beneficiaries.
Trust & Trustee: A trust is a legal agreement to privately transfer assets to beneficiaries and avoids or minimize the probate court process. The person that creates the trust is known as the settlor, initial trustee, and grantor. After the initial trustee's disability or death, a successor trustee takes over to manage the trust agreement provisions. It may be helpful to select the same person as power of attorney and successor trustee to transfer the role during lifetime to after death.
Other helpful documents include:
Funeral Representative Designations
Durable Power of Attorney Delegating Parental Authority
Business Succession Planning
Cottage Law & Cabin Operating Agreements
Managing Health Care Choices
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Authorization (HIPAA)
Ladybird Deeds or Life Estate Deeds
Property Transfer Affidavits
Certificate of Trust
Distribution of Tangible Personal Property
Power of Appointment
Authorization for Anatomical Gift
Acceptance of Agent Designation
Transfer on Death Designation