Oakland County Estate Planning Lawyer Explains Durable Power of Attorney

Filed under: Estate Planning,Power of Attorney — Christopher J. Berry @ 3:18 pm

As a Oakland County wills, trusts, and estates attorney, I understand the importance of a well drafted durable power of attorney.

A power of attorney is a complex document granting another person to act as, what we call in the legal field, “agent-in-fact.”  In other words, the person you appoint in the power of attorney can make the decisions that you would normally make.  The powers granted may be as broad or as narrow as the principal and the drafting attorney make the document.

The power of attorney is a key and often overlooked document in any type of Michigan estate plan or elder law life care plan.  Handling the affairs when an individual is incapacitated is nearly impossible with out.  If you don’t have a power of attorney in place you may have to trot off to Oakland county probate court, Wayne county probate court, or Macomb county probate court.

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How Do I Create A Michigan Last Will and Testament?

December 29, 2010

Filed under: Do It Yourself Estate Planning Gone Wrong,Estate Administration,Estate Planning — Christopher J. Berry @ 9:38 pm

You don’t need a Michigan estate planning lawyer to create a last will in testament in Michigan. All you have to do is hand write on a napkin what you want to happen if you were to pass away, then sign and date the napkin. Now you have what’s called, in Michigan law, a holographic will, which is legal in Michigan.

Now as a Michigan wills and trusts attorney would I recommend this? Probably not, for one thing a will, including a holographic will, does not avoid the Michigan probate process among other reasons.

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Communication key to Estate Planning

December 31, 2010

Filed under: Estate Planning — Christopher J. Berry @ 8:57 pm

One of the keys to effective estate planning is communication.  Communication between husband and wife.  Communication between clients and estate planning lawyer.  Estate planning is more than just money and real estate, it’s about creating a legacy for a family, dealing with emotional issues, and discussing long-term care concepts.

As a Metro Detroit, Oakland County wills and trusts lawyer, I work with families on a daily basis to help with their estate planning.  One thing I’ve found out is that every family is different.  It takes real communication skills for a family to feel comfortable sharing their goals, experiences, and concerns.  That’s why I think communication is one of the keys to great estate planning.

2011 Time to Revisit Your Estate Planning Documents

Filed under: Estate Planning,Federal Estate Tax — Christopher J. Berry @ 8:02 pm

With 2011 on our doorstep, its time to revisit your estate planning documents.  With much of the uncertainty over the estate tax wrapped up, for two years at least, many people had postponed getting their estate planning done and now that barrier to estate planning is removed.

So, as the boston.com article, Time to revisit your estate planning documents, mentions, why is now the right time?  One of the provisions signed by Obama is setting the estate tax exemption amount for the next two years as well as an increase in the lifetime gift tax exemption, both to $5 million.

So while, this higher exemption amount is good news, and now is a great time to update your estate planning documents, keep in mind that this provision is only for a  period of two years.  The new rules are set to change again in 2013.

Super Wealthy Soon to Get Their Own Networking Group

December 30, 2010

Filed under: Estate Planning — Christopher J. Berry @ 9:55 pm

There was an interesting article that talks about how the wealthy will be getting their own networking group on the www.bivinteractive.com website.  The articles talks about an outfit called Tiger21, that is basically a group that touches on business maximization, but is also about personal wealth stewardship and being a good CEO of your own investment capital.

You can read the article here.  The article has interesting implications from an estate planning perspective as business owners look to pass on their wealth to the next generation.  Is there a similar group in Michigan?


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