Regardless of your age or financial status, estate planning is an essential step for anyone with either family or business concerns. There is no substitute for experienced legal counsel when creating a strategy for the distribution of assets and care of family members. Kevin P. Cummings, PLC are prepared and qualified to give you the estate plan that your unique circumstances demand.
Key Questions in Estate Planning
If you are unsure whether you need an estate plan, there are a few key questions that can help you evaluate your circumstances:
- Do you have significant assets such as real estate or investments?
- Do you have an ownership interest in a business?
- Are there minor children in your family that require care and support?
- Do you or your spouse have a major illness or disability?
- Are you planning on leaving a portion of your estate to charity?
- Do you have children from more than one marriage?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you should consider creating an estate plan that could accommodate these specific needs and requirements.
Areas of Estate Planning Practice
Drafting of Wills and Trusts:
A will or trust is the primary document that will detail exactly how your assets will be distributed to your heirs. The goal of a will is to distribute these assets through the probate court. The goal of a trust is to distribute assets outside of probate.
Kevin P. Cummings PLC has the background in both wills and trusts to design a plan of distribution that reflects your wishes and goals. Trusts offer more flexibility than a traditional will, and may be well-suited to families who need to provide for care of minor children, those in second marriages or individuals in non-traditional relationships, those with significant assets or who have business succession aspirations, or simply those who wish to keep as many of their assets as possible away from the jurisdiction of the probate courts.
Whether a will or a trust is appropriate for a particular individual is fact-sensitive and there is no “right” answer. The right plan simply depends on the needs and desires of a particular client. We can be a great partner in establishing and implementing the right plan that best reflects your wishes.
Probate is a process in which certain assets will pass through the probate court and into the hands of those beneficiaries identified in a will or by the probate code. The process itself can be confusing and time consuming. We stand ready to help explain and simplify the probate process, as well as help you successfully navigate these tricky waters.
Living Wills and Durable Powers of Attorney:
For those who are concerned about health care decisions in case of incapacity, a living will is the best solution to affirm your wishes for care. This may include appointing a trusted family member with a durable power of attorney who will carry out your directives as specified in the living will. A living will can cover many situations, including types of nutritional support that you want, life saving measures and disease management guidelines. Without this document, medical professionals will have little leeway for making difficult decisions regarding your care.
Durable Powers of Attorney and Medical Powers of Attorney are also very important tools to curtail the need for a conservatorship or guardianship. In fact, these powers of attorney are some of the most cost-effective and important estate planning tools you can implement into your respective estate plan. The old saying is that, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” These powers of attorney certainly reflect the spirit of that adage.
Kevin P. Cummings PLC: Brighton and Ann Arbor Estate Planning Attorney
As one of our clients, you will receive the personalized attention that you deserve regarding your estate. Estate planning is deeply personal and sometimes involves making difficult decisions. Kevin P. Cummings PLC has both the experience and years of professional know-how to make the process both worthwhile and personally satisfying. You are invited for a complimentary initial consultation at any time, where we can share with you some of the core strategies available to address your concerns and develop an estate plan that best protects your family and loved-ones. If you are looking for an accomplished estate planning attorney, Kevin P. Cummings PLC has the experience to make your planning a unique and even enjoyable process.