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Legacy Law of Ann Arbor
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A personal representative is a fiduciary, or a person or entity who has the duty to preserve and protect an estate for the benefit of its heirs. The court appoints the personal representative, whom the decedent usually has designated in his or her will. Otherwise, the court will appoint another... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2018 at Ann Arbor Elder Law & Estate Planning
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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation recently published the results of a comprehensive study on American attitudes toward end-of-life care. The findings of this study are important, as the over-65 population is growing rapidly, with a full 24% of the population being 65 years of age or older by the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2018 at Ann Arbor Elder Law & Estate Planning
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Many retirement assets are pre-tax accounts; taxes are owed on the contents of those accounts only when there are distributions from those accounts. These types of accounts include defined benefit pensions, IRA distributions, and most payments from defined contribution plans. If the owner of those accounts passes away, then the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2018 at Ann Arbor Elder Law & Estate Planning
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The Michigan state legislature enacted a new law about funeral representatives in 2016. This law allows you to designate a person whom you trust to make your funeral arrangements. Prior to this law, your next of kin was placed in charge of your funeral, with the priority of these relatives... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2018 at Ann Arbor Elder Law & Estate Planning
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The Michigan Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act gives legal permission for people falling within certain categories to access your digital assets, which include any digital record that belongs to you, or any account that you have online that requires a password. Digital assets include things like bank accounts, social... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2018 at Ann Arbor Elder Law & Estate Planning
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A recent New York Times article discussed the ethics of Medicaid planning, which is the process of arranging your financial assets so as to ensure that you don’t spend your life savings on long-term care expenses. You will change your financial situation in order to qualify for Medicaid, which then... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2018 at Ann Arbor Elder Law & Estate Planning
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A power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to designate another person to manage your financial affairs. The person whom you designate for this role is your agent. Under a power of attorney, your agent can manage your financial affairs so long as you remain competent. If... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2018 at Ann Arbor Elder Law & Estate Planning
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Michigan’s Estates and Protected Individuals Code (EPIC) provides that a will is valid if it is in writing, witnessed, and signed by at least two other individuals. However, there are some exceptions to these general rules, in which a will can be legally valid even if not all of these... Continue reading
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According to Genworth’s annual cost of long-term care survey, annual nursing home charges have only continued to increase, due in large part to higher labor costs. The monthly charge for a private skilled nursing home room rose about 5.5% to $8,121 per month, or a cost of $97,450 per year.... Continue reading
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Many individuals use trusts as a key part of their comprehensive estate plans. In the process of creating a trust, one step is to identify the person whom you would like to appoint as trustee. You also must choose a second person to act as successor trustee, in case the... Continue reading
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When engaging in estate planning, you always should take the opportunity to review beneficiary designations on life insurance policies, pensions, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and 401(k) plans. It is absolutely essential that your beneficiary designations and the provisions of your will are consistent. Otherwise, you can end up having significant... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2017 at Ann Arbor Elder Law & Estate Planning
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Probate is the legal process for the administration of your estate following your death, whether you have a will or not. If you have a will when you die, your property will be distributed as directed in your will. If you do not have a will when you die, then... Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2017 at Ann Arbor Elder Law & Estate Planning
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Long-term care is an issue that has come to the forefront in recent years, as the costs of long-term care have continued to increase drastically. While some seniors qualify for Medicaid, others only qualify for Medicare, which does not pay for long-term care on a permanent basis. Medicare may pay... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2017 at Ann Arbor Elder Law & Estate Planning
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In general, in order to be eligible for disability-related benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), you must have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable from active military service. Specific veterans disability benefits programs have additional eligibility requirements that differ. Service-connected disability compensation is a cash benefit paid... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2017 at Ann Arbor Elder Law & Estate Planning
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There is a common misconception that once you reach age or 65, or have been disabled for a certain period of time, you will qualify for Medicare, which will pay for all of your long-term care needs. Medicare, however, only pays for a very small portion of your long-term care... Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2017 at Ann Arbor Elder Law & Estate Planning
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When a person dies without a will in the state of Michigan, certain laws, called intestacy laws, dictate how that person’s assets are distributed. Intestacy laws determine who inherits assets from the individual, the order of inheritance rights among family members, how the probate process works when there is no... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2017 at Ann Arbor Elder Law & Estate Planning
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There are a number of different legal documents that you may wish to execute during the estate planning process. Since so many options are available, you need to consult with an experienced Michigan estate planning attorney who can guide you through the decisions necessary to create the comprehensive estate plan... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2017 at Ann Arbor Elder Law & Estate Planning
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As our population rapidly ages, long-term care becomes an increasingly important issue. There are several different options available for long-term care. Each option has different services that are available and different costs. When making choices about long-term care, whether it is for you or a loved one, it is essential... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2017 at Ann Arbor Elder Law & Estate Planning
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While the choice to disinherit a child brings thoughts of family discord and estrangement, that is not always the case. In some situations, a parent has made gifts to the child during his or her lifetime and wants to leave the remainder of his or her estate to other family... Continue reading
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A living will is a legal document that sets forth an individual’s wishes in terms of medical care in certain situations. If an emergency occurs and he or she is unable to effectively communicate his or her wishes or make medical decisions, a living will goes into effect. Michigan is... Continue reading
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Many people think of trusts as estate planning tools for the very rich, but the fact is that a trust can serve many different purposes for people at all income levels. Depending on your individual circumstances, a trust may be an essential part of your comprehensive estate plan. The most... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2017 at Ann Arbor Elder Law & Estate Planning
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Recent changes at the federal level now make planning for the financial future of your special needs child easier than ever. A special needs trust is designed to protect property and income belonging to your child and provide that child with income as needed to pay for housing, food, clothing,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2017 at Ann Arbor Elder Law & Estate Planning
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When an aging parent or loved one no longer can safely remain at home without assistance, the need for decisions about long-term care becomes apparent. With so many options for long-term care, it can be extremely difficult to determine the best solution for your needs. If your parent is in... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2017 at Ann Arbor Elder Law & Estate Planning
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Under Michigan law, any interested person can challenge the legal validity of another person’s will, either before or after it is admitted to probate. Interested persons include spouses, children, heirs, and anyone who has a property right in or a claim against the deceased person’s estate. As a general rule,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2017 at Ann Arbor Elder Law & Estate Planning
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Long-term care insurance (LTC) provides you with the financial means of getting the assistance that you need when you become unable to perform one or more of the activities of daily living on your own. Activities of daily living are activities like eating, getting dressed, walking, or bathing. LTC pays... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2017 at Ann Arbor Elder Law & Estate Planning