Everyone should have an estate plan

Michigan residents and others may feel as if thinking about their mortality will actually lead to their demise. However, as everyone will die at some point, it is a good idea to get around to creating an estate plan. At a minimum, an individual should have a will regardless of their economic standing.

This is because a will allows a person to transfer family heirlooms and other assets to another person of his or her choosing. Many assets such as money in a bank account or retirement account will be transferred through a beneficiary designation. A beneficiary designation trumps whatever is written in a will, so it is important to review these legal documents on a regular basis.

Furthermore, it is a good idea to review other components of an estate plan regularly. This may help to ensure that it still meets a person's needs in the event of changes to the tax code. An estate plan should also be reviewed after the birth of a child, grandchild or other family member for whom an individual wants to provide. Finally, an estate plan review can help a person determine whether a parent or spouse is still the right choice to be a trustee or executor.

Individuals may benefit from speaking with an estate planning professional as soon as they become adults. Doing so may enable them to create powers of attorney, determine guardianship of their children and take other steps to prepare for the future. This may include creating a trust to hold assets now and transfer them after a person passes. A will or beneficiary designation may also be helpful in transferring most assets to beneficiaries after passing on.

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