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Many families do not take the time to sort out how their estate and property should be handled once they pass on, but even a small amount of estate planning is beneficial. Most people think that estate planning involves simply arranging how assets and property should be disposed of or bequeathed upon the owner's death. However, an experienced Michigan probate attorney knows that proper estate planning also includes provisions to manage healthcare and finances upon the owner's temporary incapacitation.

Each owner and family estate plan should be crafted individually with the help of a knowledgeable attorney, but here are some basic components:


As part of the estate planning, a will is a primary document that lays out the foundation of the plan. The will is the document that allows you as the deceased (the testator) to name the heirs to whom you will bequeath your property upon your death. It can also specify who will care for your minor children and who will be responsible for managing the affairs of the estate (the executor), as well as how you wish your remains to be laid to rest. If a property is passed via a will, probate is an issue.


When you establish a trust, you as the trustor act as the trustee during your lifetime and appoint a successor trustee to fulfill its terms upon your passing. Since there is no transfer of title for any asset or property within the trust, there may not necessarily be probate the property is owned by the trust and does not change hands upon your death. Rather, the trustor, and subsequently the successor trustee, manages the assets in accordance with the terms of the trust.

Advance Health Care Directive

An advance health care directive provides instructions as to the type of health care options that will be administered to the person in the event of his or her incapacitation. You can name a specific person who will be entrusted to make medical decisions on your behalf, and leave instructions as to the nature of treatments you may receive or refuse to receive.

Contact Us

For more information on how Michigan estate planning works, contact a Michigan probate attorney by calling the Law Offices of Christopher Trainor & Associates at 800-961-8477.

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