Ferri Law PLLC https://ferrilawpllc.com Estate & Business Planning Attorney Mon, 24 Aug 2020 14:07:07 +0000 en hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 https://ferrilawpllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/cropped-mfa-2-32x32.jpg Ferri Law PLLC https://ferrilawpllc.com 32 32 Before Your Child Moves Back on Campus . . . https://ferrilawpllc.com/before-your-child-moves-back-on-campus/ Mon, 24 Aug 2020 14:07:05 +0000 https://ferrilawpllc.com/?p=749 Schools across the United States are preparing plans on the safest ways to welcome back students for the 2020-21 year. Elementary through High Schools are figuring out whether remote, in-person, or some hybrid makes the most sense for their districts. Meanwhile, some universities have begun to permit their students to move back to campus and for parents all around this can be a nerve-wracking time.

Under “normal” circumstances for those of you who are parents of college students, you would likely worry whether your children are eating properly, focusing on studies, and getting enough sleep. Now, you also have to contend with the unknowns brought by the pandemic – how much learning will be done in person, how many students will be permitted to register for a course, how many students will be living in a dorm room, and what if your child has a medical emergency while away at school.

Now that your child is an adult, the rules change. The medical privacy law, HIPAA, prevents your child’s doctor from discussing their medical conditions with you, even during a life-threatening emergency. And, if your child becomes incapacitated, without the proper documentation you would not be able to act right away on their behalf to make medical or financial decisions for them.

In order to help protect your child, and not lose potentially necessary time getting approval from the courts to act on your child’s, you can make sure they have a few different essential documents in place before they get to campus – a   Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, a HIPAA Release, and a Financial Power of Attorney.

These important documents will let your child designate you as an agent. This means the doctor will be able to talk with you if something happens to your child, and that you would be able to step in and make medical decisions for them or handle their financial matters if he or she is unable.

Once your child fills out the medical documents, it’s important that their doctors can access them during an emergency, so they know they are allowed to talk to you. This is why our Plans can include a membership in DocuBank. This service ensures that the hospital can immediately get a copy of your child’s Health Care Proxy and HIPAA Release, so you can rest easier knowing that these important documents will be quickly accessible.

Other useful features of DocuBank are that the card your child receives will list their allergies and pre-existing medical conditions. Also, it includes an alert when your child’s card is used to retrieve their emergency information. The alert contains the phone number of the facility requesting the information so you can immediately call to follow up.  And, since the hospital will have the HIPAA release form before you call, there should be no obstacle to you receiving the information you need.

It is important to not overlook planning for these young adults, even though we may still think of them as kids.  Taking some minor precautions now can have a potential major impact later, especially in these challenging times. To discuss more about how we can help protect your child before they go back to school, we invite you to contact us, (248) 409-0256, to schedule a complimentary initial consultation. We are currently offering telephone and Zoom meetings, if needed.

Should I “DIY” My Estate Plan? https://ferrilawpllc.com/should-i-diy-my-estate-plan/ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 19:41:12 +0000 https://ferrilawpllc.com/?p=726

With everyone spending significantly more time at home, many people have taken time to work on projects they had previously put off, learn new skills, and organize their living spaces. But, while cleaning your basement, learning how to give your dog a trim, or remodeling a room in your house are all beneficial, there are certain projects you should think twice before you try to “Do It Yourself.”

An estate plan you can try to create for yourself but it may result in higher estate taxes, probate, or worse, which are things we try to avoid in our practice.  It can also lead to fractured family relationships, wishes not being followed, and stress that could have been avoided.

Google tends to be a go to source for many when tackling a DIY project. And if you were to run a Google search on “last will for Michigan resident” your results could include what a last will is – a document that lays out who you would like to receive your belongings; the results may include articles on what you need to know before you make a will; but what will certainly come up are websites offering fill in the blank forms for you to create your own document. These documents tend to be the same generic forms for everyone who visits the site and pays for access to them, which means there is very little personalization in your plan. Also, few of the websites give you tailored instructions on how to properly fill out the forms and if there is a better way to try to accomplish what you want to achieve.

For instance, say someone wants to pass on their cabin up North to their children, free of probate, and searches for one of these basic last will forms. Once filled out they believe they are all set and move on without giving it much more thought. However, property that is given through last wills is still subject to probate, which is added expenses and possible stress for the family members that have to go through the process. Not to mention, the property may not be as protected as it could be if one of the children ever had a creditor problem down the road. So, it is more than likely there is a better solution for this hypothetical family than a generic last will they filled in themselves.

On the other hand, if the family had visited an experienced estate planning attorney, they would have received more guidance through the various tools and documents that would better suit their needs. An estate planning attorney can consider the financial situation, personal relationships, and goals of the family as well as any concerns they may have to draft a plan that actually works. The attorney can also raise points the family did not think to include. Points like:

  • Who will take care of your minor children should anything happen to you?
  • What does it mean to be disabled and who is going to step in and make sure your plan is being administered should disability occur?
  • Do you really need Powers of Attorney? And what should you look for in an agent?
  • What advanced directives include, and why it is helpful to include them in your plan?
  • How can you protect a spendthrift child from quickly using up the inheritance it took you years to build up? Or protect a beneficiary with special needs and make sure they are taken care of?
  • What tax planning strategies are available to you and best work in your situation?

Our office recognizes the importance of creating a comprehensive plan that is tailored to your specific situation. We strive to provide our clients the peace of mind that their estate plan will work how they intended, their goals will be met, and their loved ones will be protected. To discuss estate planning tools and how they can benefit you, please contact our office at (248) 409-0256. We offer a free initial consultation to learn more about our process.

Protections to Have in Place Amidst the Current Health Crisis https://ferrilawpllc.com/protections-to-have-in-place-amidst-the-current-health-crisis/ Wed, 22 Apr 2020 20:24:41 +0000 https://ferrilawpllc.com/?p=720 We hope you are all staying safe in these challenging times. We want to assure you that we are open, working remotely, and can help.

We believe estate planning involves more than choosing who inherits under your will or trust.  With a proactive and comprehensive plan, you are able to take advantage of protections you may not have otherwise thought or knew about.  During the ongoing health care crisis, you should have the following documents to help you and your loved ones.

Essential Documents to Have

Powers of Attorney

Both healthcare and financial powers of attorney designate agents who will act for you if you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself.

It is critical these are in place *before* a medical emergency. If something were to happen without an agent being named, then some institutions may require guardianship, conservatorship, or court order before another person can step in and act on your behalf. In order to open a guardianship or conservatorship you have to go through your local probate court, many of which are only accepting emergency cases right now.

HIPAA Authorizations

These authorizations enable your loved ones to obtain information from medical professionals and are necessary if they have to make a medical decision for you.

If you would like to create or update your powers of attorney and HIPAA authorizations, please do not hesitate to contact us, (248) 409-0256. We are currently hosting phone and video conferences so you may remain at home and stay safe.

Other Documents and Services to Consider

Advanced Directives

Advanced directives, also called living wills, are used to help individuals document their health care wishes under various scenarios. They outline what type of treatment you would like, and when. We understand it may be daunting to think about some of the situations – for instance, if you were in a vegetative state with minimal chance of recovery – but thinking about these beforehand can give you the opportunity to discuss your wishes with your loved ones and make it more likely they are followed.

Funeral Representative

This is an individual you designate to have the right and power to make decisions about your funeral arrangements. This includes, but is not limited to the decision of whether you are cremated or not.

DocuBank Membership

DocuBank helps make sure your healthcare directives and documents are immediately available to family members and the hospital in an emergency. The service provides a wallet card so you may access your healthcare power of attorney, HIPPAA authorizations, and any advanced directives; it also allows you to upload medication lists and will alert designated emergency contacts if you are in a hospital. With hospitals currently limiting outside contact, DocuBank can help provide critical medical information around the clock simply by handing over your card.

If you would like to learn more about any of these documents or services, or estate planning in general we invite you to contact us, (248) 409-0256.  Having these protections in place can help create a plan that provides peace of mind for you and your loved ones.  We offer complementary consultations and reviews of existing plans.

Relief Under the CARES Act https://ferrilawpllc.com/relief-under-the-cares-act/ Mon, 06 Apr 2020 20:42:52 +0000 https://ferrilawpllc.com/?p=708 We hope everyone is healthy and staying safe.  During this State of Emergency, we will continue to work, and with a few exceptions, everything will be business as usual. We wanted to help keep you informed on some of the ongoing responses to this current crisis, starting with the CARES Act. The Act was signed into law to provide $2 trillion in relief for individuals and businesses in response to the coronavirus outbreak and some of the provisions may impact you or someone you know.  

Individual “Rebates”:

  • Amount: Certain taxpayers may be eligible to receive a one-time direct deposit payment of up to $1,200 for single filers and $2,400 for joint, with an additional $500 for each dependent child.  
  • Eligibility: To be eligible for the full amount single filers need an adjusted gross income under $75,000 and those who are married and file jointly need an AGI under $150,000. If your income is over your respective “limit” you can still qualify for a lower rebate up to a certain extent. For every $1,000 of income you earned above the limit your rebate will be lessened by $50. The calculator below can help you find out what kind of rebate to expect, but please note if you haven’t filed for 2019 yet the IRS will be using 2018 tax return information, so use that information in the calculator. 
  • Payment: Rebates will be provided either by direct deposit if that information was provided for tax return purposes, or by a paper check in the mail to the last address on file. For those receiving Social Security or Veterans’ benefits, your rebate should be deposited into the bank account associated with those benefits. 

Delayed and Deferred Filing and Payment Dates: The income tax filing date has been delayed from April 15, 2020 until July 15, 2020.  This applies to all individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers. Also, federal income tax payments can be deferred until July 15, 2020 without incurring penalties or interest. 

Retirement Plan Changes

  • The 10% penalty for taking early withdrawals from retirement plans has been waived for distributions that are under $100,000 and related to coronavirus purposes. This does not eliminate the tax owed on withdrawals, just the additional penalty for withdrawing early. 
  • The limit for 401(k) loans taken between March 27 and December 31, 2020 has been increased to $100,000 or 100% of the vested account balance, whichever is lower.
  • Required Minimum Distributions for IRAs and 401(k)s have been suspended for the remainder of 2020.

Unemployment Relief: The Act expands unemployment eligibility to include Pandemic Unemployment Insurance.  Now, those who are no longer able to work due to the COVID-19 public health emergency may be eligible for temporary unemployment benefits. Compensation for unemployment is determined by individual state programs but the Act is providing workers an additional $600 weekly as “Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation.”   

Student Loans: Until September 30, 2020 no federal student loan payments are required; no interest will accrue; and there will be no garnishment of wages or tax refunds for debt collection.

New Charitable Tax Incentives: Starting in 2020 individuals will be able to take a $300 above-the-line deduction for cash donations to charities. The Act also expands the limitations on charitable contributions by individuals who itemize, from 60% of adjusted gross income to 100%.

Health Care:A large portion of the Act is aimed at aiding the U.S. health system. Relief will go directly to hospitals, protective equipment, test supplies, increased workforce and training, among other care necessities. For individuals, all testing and potential vaccines for COVID-19 will be covered at no cost to patients.

While we navigate the changes to our everyday lives, please feel free to reach out if you have questions, concerns, or want to begin creating your estate plan. We are currently conducting both our Initial Client Meetings and our Design Meetings on-line via video conference.  All you need is a computer with access to email, we will set up everything at our end.  This way, you can follow safety guidelines and remain at home. We are also available by phone, (248) 409-0256, for those who are not able to meet over computer/tablet/smartphone.  

What Are you Doing with the Extra Day this Leap Year? https://ferrilawpllc.com/what-are-you-doing-with-the-extra-day-this-leap-year/ Wed, 26 Feb 2020 15:31:59 +0000 https://ferrilawpllc.com/?p=692 Leap years occur almost every 4 years, so our calendars remain in sync with astronomical time. It takes the Earth 365.242 days to rotate around the sun and without leap years we would lose an average of 6 hours each year.[1] So, the extra day exists to keep our seasons aligned, but it can also be beneficial for you in other ways as well.

The extra day can be time you spend catching up with loved ones you haven’t seen in a while. It can be used to relax and rejuvenate before heading into March. You can take time to work on tasks you’ve put off so far this year. Or you can use the day to get organized and start planning for your future.

Part of the extra day could be spent thinking about your personal health. Having a plan in place *before* an actual medical emergency is critical. This helps ensure your wishes are followed, and you receive the kinds of treatment you want. Some things to consider include:

  • Who you would name as a healthcare agent – this is a role designated in a healthcare power of attorney, given to a person you trust to make medical decisions for you if you become unable to make them for yourself;
  • Who you would grant HIPAA authorizations to – these authorizations enable your loved ones to obtain information from medical professionals, which is necessary if they have to make a medical decision for you; and,
  • What types of treatment you would like in different scenarios – whether you would like to receive life support, artificial feeding, or be resuscitated are all personal decisions and decisions that may change depending on what situation you are in. These are included in advanced directives or living wills and provide information to your loved ones in the event they have to make choices for you.

Another thing you could on the extra day is set aside time to start making financial plans. Some things you could do in this time include:

  • Consider who you would name as a financial agent – this role is granted in a financial power of attorney to someone you trust to make financial or legal decisions for you if you were no longer able to make them for yourself;
  • Gather information – having an idea of the different bank, investment and retirement accounts you (or your spouse) have, whose name the house and any vehicles are titled in, and what kinds of insurance you have can make it easier to plan and easier on your love ones if they ever have to take control; and,
  • Consider who you would like to inherit, when you would like them to inherit and how – for some this may be an easy decision, you’d want everything to go to your spouse or equally to your children. For others, more thought may have to go into it. Would you want your children to receive equal shares? Would any of your potential beneficiaries need financial advice before receiving a lump sum of money? If they are younger beneficiaries, would you even want them to receive a lump sum or would you rather any inheritance be held in trust until they are at a point where they are fiscally responsible to handle it. 

Our firm has always stressed the value of proactively planning. Having a personalized plan in place can help prevent unnecessary stress, expenses, and disputes. It can also make sure your wishes are carried out and make it easier on your family should the need for them to step in arise.

We hope everyone enjoys one extra day to learn something new, spend time with friends and family, or seek new opportunities. For those who want to learn more about estate planning, please contact us, (248) 409-0256, to schedule the next step. We offer a complimentary initial consultation where we’ll discuss our process, the strategies and tools we use in our practice, and how it all can benefit you.

[1] https://www.timeanddate.com/date/leap-day.html

2020 Resolutions https://ferrilawpllc.com/2020-resolutions/ Mon, 06 Jan 2020 21:32:33 +0000 https://ferrilawpllc.com/?p=643 Many people wait until February to start their “new year’s” resolutions and use January to develop a concrete plan instead. This includes gathering information and resources ahead of time, breaking up larger goals into smaller achievements, and mapping out different ways for everything to work together. Forming a plan for your goals can help you stick with them and with 80% of people stopping their resolutions by February, getting organized and ready may just lead to a greater likelihood of success.[i]

One major goal you could work towards this year is to take the time to plan for your future. Making sure you have an up to date estate plan in place can save you and your loved one’s time, money, and frustration down the road.

In getting organized, we recommend you start with the basics. Think about who would be involved in your plan, what roles you would want them to perform, if any, or what you may like to give them.  Your beginning considerations may include –

Who – The people in your plan who will:

  • Help manage your finances and health care decisions if you cannot
  • Inherit
  • Take care of minor children
  • Act as your professionals – CPA/Accountant, Financial Advisor, Attorney

What – The possessions in your plan

  • Take an inventory of what you own – from bank accounts to valuables
  • Beneficiary designations on accounts

How – The documents that contain the details of your plan

  • Trusts, wills, powers of attorney, deeds
  • Instructions to loved ones on health care 
  • Instructions to financial institutions on beneficiaries

Where – The place to find this information

  • Is this stored in a safe deposit box?
  • Is this organized at home?
  • Do you have a list of your current assets?

When – Make a resolution in 2020 to create or update your plan

  • Has there been a change in your health?
  • Have there been changes in kids, grandkids, relatives, anyone listed in your estate plan, etc.?
  • Is your estate plan (trust) fully funded?

Why – Unique to the individual

  • To have a plan in place so loved ones know your wishes
  • To avoid probate or save on taxes
  • To protect minor children

An estate plan starts with sound education and planning. Looking at the list above may be overwhelming, but its more than likely you already know most of the answers and just need the right resources to implement them. We offer a free initial consultation to learn more about our process, how it can help you, and how it can protect your loved ones.

If you want to start your planning, you can reach us at (248) 409-0256.

[i] https://www.businessinsider.com/how-long-to-keep-a-new-years-resolution-2018-12

Year End Gifting https://ferrilawpllc.com/year-end-gifting/ Fri, 20 Dec 2019 14:34:52 +0000 https://ferrilawpllc.com/?p=641 With the holidays fast approaching, giving is a topic on many minds, including considering what to gift to loved ones or finding a charity to donate to. Each year the IRS recognizes a gift tax exclusion. This is the amount an individual can gift to someone else or an entity without using any of their $11.4 million lifetime exemption amount, and without the necessity of filing a Form 709 Gift Tax Return.

The annual gift tax exclusion amount for 2019 is $15,000. A spouse may join in this gift by selecting to “gift split” with their spouse and thus gift double this amount to a $30,000 gift to any individual or entity.

When considering gifts and donations, it is a great time to explore personal values as well as uncover the values held by children and grandchildren individually and by the family as a whole. By modeling philanthropic behavior at home for their children and grandchildren, parents can influence them to have a sense of social responsibility toward those who need our help. This behavior encompasses not only writing checks to causes we care about, but also volunteerism – taking the kids along on the midnight run, cleaning up parks and other public areas, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or whatever the family cause happens to be.

Part of the work we do, is help guide families to define and develop these goals. We ask clients to think about what values and messages they want to leave for their kids, grandkids, and other relatives.  These messages can add greater meaning to what we are leaving behind.

As always please contact us, (248) 409-0256, with any questions you may have.

As You Travel this Holiday Season . . . https://ferrilawpllc.com/as-you-travel-this-holiday-season/ Fri, 22 Nov 2019 21:28:01 +0000 https://ferrilawpllc.com/?p=636 It is estimated that over 55 million Americans will kick off the holiday season by traveling to a family member’s or on a getaway this Thanksgiving.[1]  Holidays are a great time to see loved ones and learn about what everyone has been doing. And, with the hecticness it may seem easier to put off topics like estate planning until the new year, but the holidays are actually a great time to consider the matter.

Traveling can prompt discussions to ensure you have a plan in place in case of an accident. Topics to consider before setting off include:

  • Creating a power of attorney for finances that identifies who you would want to make financial and legal decisions for you if you were no longer able to;
  • Naming a health care representative who would make medical decisions for you if you were no longer able to;
  • Selecting individuals to have HIPAA authorizations so they can receive necessary medical information;
  • Documenting what your health care wishes would be under various circumstances with advanced directives; and,
  • Naming guardians for minor children.

While the conversations may be daunting, discussing these topics with family ahead of time can help loved ones take over should they need to. Our firm recognizes the value of planning proactively. We use estate planning tools that allow individuals to create personalized plans that keep them in control while they can be, select who would take over control when they are no longer able to handle everything, dictate how they want their belongings to be distributed, and protect loved ones. A proactive discussion keeps family members informed about the planning you’ve already done, your wishes, and where they can find any important documents in case of emergency. 

The holidays also provide an excellent opportunity to discuss other family matters as everyone is gathered together.  While you are together you could consider what your goals are for now and into the future, what you would want your great-grandkids to remember about you and your family, and what memories or traditions you would like to share with future generations. Discussing these topics and sharing your ideas, values, and life’s legacies with your family now may help them after you’re gone. It can help strengthen family connections and enrich your children’s and grandchildren’s lives, adding to their perspective of how you wish to see them grow and prosper. 

For more information about planning techniques, please contact our office at (248) 409-0256. We offer a free initial consultation to learn more about our process.

[1] https://newsroom.aaa.com/tag/thanksgiving-travel-forecast/

Proactively Planning for Dementia https://ferrilawpllc.com/proactively-planning-for-dementia/ Wed, 06 Nov 2019 15:05:06 +0000 https://ferrilawpllc.com/?p=632 As loved ones age, their physical and mental abilities change. They may not be as quick or sharp as they once were, they may have mood swings, and they may need more help taking care of themselves. But there is a difference between the general decline individuals can experience as they age and the decline someone can experience if living with dementia. The following are signs of dementia provided by the Alzheimer’s Association that caretakers may encounter:

  • Memory loss – the kind that goes beyond occasionally forgetting a name or appointment and then recalling it later. Instead, it’s forgetting recently learned information, important dates, or repeatedly asking for or relaying the same information;
  • Challenges with planning and problem-solving – having difficulty organizing get-togethers with loved ones, balancing a checkbook, or keeping track of monthly bills;
  • Problems with words – not being able to follow a conversation, or having difficulty in coming up with the right word for an object;
  • Uncertainty regarding time or place – getting lost driving to familiar places, or not knowing where they are even in their own home;
  • Declining judgement – buying unnecessary items, or taking actions they wouldn’t otherwise do like wiring money overseas as a result of a scam;
  • Decline in executive function – having difficulty with organizational skills, and skills that regulate cognitive ability and behavior;
  • Mood changes – this could include regularly becoming upset or fearful when they cannot recognize their loved ones or surroundings, it may also lead to paranoia or accusations that loved ones are stealing things that have been misplaced;
  • Visual impairment – having problems with spatial awareness, they might see darker colors in carpet patterns as holes, and might trip and fall on curbs or rugs;
  • Withdrawal from social activities – no longer wanting to be involved in social settings or hobbies they previously enjoyed or ignoring someone who is trying to talk to them.

Being able to identify these possible warning signs can help protect your loved ones. It can lead to conversations with healthcare providers about what kinds of treatments are available and what kinds of obstacles your loved ones and you might face in dealing with the diagnosis.

Making plans before a diagnosis of dementia can aid in the transition period. Our firm recognizes the value of being able to plan proactively, rather than trying to play catch up after a diagnosis. We use estate planning tools that allow individuals to create personalized plans where they are in control of their assets until they are no longer able to be; that allow them to select who will make the determination that they are no longer able to be in control; and, that allow them to select who is then put in control over their assets. We also use tools, like advanced directives, that enable individuals to document their health care wishes. So, before anything happens or any deterioration occurs, they have thought about and discussed with their healthcare agents what types of treatments they would like to receive under various conditions. Having a personalized plan in place beforehand can help ensure you are getting the type of treatment you want and that your wishes will be followed.

For more information about planning proactively and to learn about the tools we use, please contact our office at (248) 409-0256. We offer a free initial consultation to learn more about our process.

Estate Planning Awareness Week 2019 https://ferrilawpllc.com/estate-planning-awareness-week-2019/ Mon, 21 Oct 2019 20:41:48 +0000 https://ferrilawpllc.com/?p=628 In September of 2008, Congressional leaders passed House Resolution 1499 declaring the third week in October as “National Estate Planning Awareness Week.” Resolution 1499 estimated over 120,000,000 Americans did not have up-to-date estate plans to protect themselves or their families in the event of sickness, accidents, or untimely death.

More recently a 2019 survey, carried out by Caring.com, found 57% of adults in the United States have not prepared any estate planning documents such as a will or trust, despite the fact that 76% of the surveyed adults viewed them as important.[1]  Many said this was due to procrastination, but others mistakenly believed that it was not necessary because they did not have many assets. Either way, Estate Planning Awareness Week provides an opportunity to think of where your current plan is at, if you have one, and how making or updating your plan could benefit you or more accurately reflect your wishes.

Why should you have an estate plan?

An estate plan can provide significant peace of mind by ensuring your assets are protected, plans are in place in the event you become ill, and your property is passed down according to your wishes.

What key topics should you consider?

  • Do you have a trust or a will? If you do not have these documents, state law will determine who will inherit your property—and therefore, it may not occur in the way you would have chosen. Also, someone appointed by the court, instead of a trusted person of your choosing, will oversee caring for any children or pets. Spelling out your wishes in a will or trust will help prevent unnecessary confusion, anxiety, and expense for family members when you are gone.
  • Have the proper powers of attorney been prepared? A financial power of attorney will allow you to designate an individual to make financial and property decisions for you should you become unable to handle your own affairs. A medical power of attorney enables you to designate a person you trust to make medical decisions for you when you are otherwise unable to speak for yourself. You should also ensure HIPAA authorizations are in place with medical professionals to enable your family members to obtain needed information.
  • Make sure that you have an advanced directive, also called a living will, which memorializes your wishes concerning your end of life care, such as whether you would like to receive life support if you are in a vegetative state or terminal condition.
  • Compile a list of all of your accounts and other important information, including bank and investment accounts, titles to vehicles and homes, insurance information, credit card accounts or loans, digital accounts (such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter) and passwords, Social Security cards, passports and birth certificates, which may be needed to manage your property when you are incapacitated or settle your estate once you are gone. This information should be kept in a safe place and shared only with trusted family members or loved ones.

Consult an estate planning attorney. Resolution 1499 recognized “the implementation of an estate plan starts with sound education and planning,” and then drafting of legal documents.  Our office couldn’t agree more, and we encourage you to educate yourself about estate planning. We can help you and your family members create an estate plan tailored to meet your unique needs and carry out your wishes—or help you update a pre-existing estate plan. We can provide family members with guidance and information about the options available to them. And, we can help you put a plan in place that will prevent unnecessary stress, legal expenses and taxes, uneven inheritances, disputes between family members, and delays in passing life savings on to loved ones. In addition, it will provide you and your family members with the peace of mind that comes with knowing there are plans in place for your care if any of you become ill and that your wishes will be honored once you pass away.

For information about estate planning and how it can benefit you, please contact our office, (248) 409-0256. We offer a free initial consultation to learn more about our process.

[1] https://www.caring.com/caregivers/estate-planning/wills-survey/