Contact Us Today!

We're here ready to help you with all of your estate planning and elder law needs.
Fields marked with an * are required

Blog

News & Helpful Articles

What Happens to Your Estate Plan If You Move?

Making an estate plan is not a one-time affair. Changes in your life may prompt you to revise your will, trust, power of attorney, or advance directives for health care. Even if you do not think any changes are necessary, it may still be a good idea to periodically speak with a Grand Rapids estate planning attorney about your situation. Avoiding Confusion Over Out-of-State Documents If you have just moved to Michigan from another state, you might...

Continue Reading

The Difference Between Medicaid Pre-Planning and Crisis Planning

Medicaid is designed to help seniors with limited means afford medical care, including long-term nursing home care. Since Michigan's Medicaid program imposes strict limits on an applicant's income and assets, some planning may be necessary to help ensure eligibility. Medicaid estate planning generally falls into two categories: pre-planning and crisis planning. Crisis Planning Crisis planning is the more common occurrence. A crisis in this context means any sudden or catastrophic healthcare event. For example, an elderly man...

Continue Reading

What Is a Sweetheart Trust?

A revocable living trust is an estate planning tool that lets you transfer assets to a trustee. You can serve as your own trustee, allowing you to keep control over the assets during your lifetime. Upon your death, a successor trustee (that you previously named) assumes control of the trust and distributes its assets according to your instructions. Many married couples in Michigan find it useful to create a joint revocable living trust. These are informally...

Continue Reading

Naming Guardians for Your Children

If you have minor children your first estate planning question is probably, “Who will take care of them if I die?” Naming a guardian for your child is a major decision. There are a number of things you need to consider before making your choice. Guardianships and Wills A guardian is someone appointed to care for an unmarried child under the age of 18. Under Michigan law, a custodial parent has the right to appoint a guardian...

Continue Reading

How Much Does a Michigan Will Cost?

A common question every estate planning lawyer gets is, “How much do you charge for a will?” There is no single answer. A will is not a standardized product. Each will has unique characteristics based on a person's financial, family, and legal situation. Estate Planning Is Not Always So Simple Speaking in broad terms, estate planning attorneys generally offer simple wills on a flat-fee basis, usually between $500 and $1500 dollars, depending on circumstances such as marital...

Continue Reading

How Divorce Affects Your Michigan Estate Plan

Divorce is a complicated process of unwinding not just a marriage, but of property and other legal obligations. There are many legal issues to consider. For example, how does a divorce affect your will or other estate planning documents? Divorce (Partially) Revokes Your Will Married couples typically have language in their wills naming the other spouse as executor or beneficiary of their estate. Michigan law assumes divorced couples intend to revoke such language. Therefore, unless the couple's...

Continue Reading

The Role of an Executor in Michigan

An executor, or personal representative, carries out the terms and provisions of a deceased person’s will. Typically, the creator of the will (also known as the testator) will name an executor who is responsible for closing out the testator’s estate, which means taking care of any remaining financial obligations and ensuring that beneficiaries named in the will receive their assets. If the testator does not name an executor, Michigan law specifies, in order of priority, who...

Continue Reading

Making Changes to Your Michigan Will

Once you’ve created an estate plan, it’s important that you maintain it. For example, there might be additional beneficiaries that you want to add to your will or people that you want to take out of it. Remember, if you don’t keep your will up-to-date then your wishes might not be carried out. Different Types of Wills There are several different types of wills that are legal in Michigan. A holographic will is entirely handwritten by the...

Continue Reading

How to Create a Valid Trust

Estate planning is an individual process -- what works for one person might not be the best option for distributing your assets. For example, you don’t have to create a will in order to dispose of your assets after death. Another option is creating a trust (however, you can also include a trust in a will). What Is a Trust? A trust is a legal arrangement in which one person (the trustee) holds legal title to property...

Continue Reading

Being Denied Medicaid in Michigan

Medicaid is a government health insurance program for low-income people. It is jointly funded by the federal government and the states, including Michigan. The Michigan Medicaid plan identifies who is eligible for coverage, what health services plan participants can receive, the state’s reimbursement policy, and other requirements. Who Is Eligible for Medicaid in Michigan? You qualify for Medicaid if your household income is below: 195 percent of the federal poverty level for infants under 1-year-old and pregnant women; 160 percent...

Continue Reading