Michigan’s New Asset Protection Law

18736195 - multi generation family enjoying meal at homeIf you are a real estate investor, physician or other entrepreneur who was interested in protecting your assets and limiting your risk to potential lawsuits, as a Michigan resident, your only option was to look to other states such as Delaware or Alaska for such planning options. This was a legally questionable strategy if you did not reside in one of those states.  Now, Michigan residents will no longer need to look elsewhere.  On December 8, 2016, Governor Snyder signed a new law called the “Qualified Dispositions in Trust Act” which permits Michigan asset protection trusts. On March 8, 2017 – the effective date of the law – Michigan became one of only 17 states that permit these types of trusts.

The new law is a game changer in this state for asset protection planning.  Not only can a Michigan resident now legally create his or her own trust to shield assets from creditors, but he or she can also maintain a beneficial interest in the trust property.  Here are just a few advantages of the new law: [Read more…]

Planning For End of Life

42100086 - health care nurse holding elderly lady's hand with caring attitude.

A recent article – “How to Plan for End of Life Wishes” by Amos Goodall recommends letting your loved ones know your end of life wishes using four Ws as a guide.  The four Ws are:

  1. Who should speak for you when you can’t?
  2. What should they say?
  3. When do you want these issues raised?
  4. Where do you want to spend your final time?

[Read more…]

How Big of an Inheritance Should you Leave Your Children or Grandchildren?

18736195 - multi generation family enjoying meal at homeMost people assume that children with wealthy parents will receive large inheritances. However, as discussed in Forbes, Warren Buffet, with a net worth of over $70 billion, plans to leave his children: “enough money so they would feel they can do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing.” While Buffet’s children will still receive more than most, he brings up an important point – what you leave your children can impact how they live their lives.

There is nothing necessarily wrong with simply leaving children a large lump sum. For responsible adult children, it is likely that they will use their inheritance wisely.  However, if your children or grandchildren are younger or not very responsible with their finances, a large inheritance may do more harm than good. [Read more…]

Good Estate Planning is Not One and Done

29520436_l (2)Most people that I meet with imagine estate planning a something that simply needs to be checked off of their to-do list. Meet with an attorney, get a will, sign it and then done. However, in order for estate planning to be successful, it requires follow through. Consider the following example discussed on MarketWatch, a woman is diagnosed with cancer and has a will created where assets are divided in thirds between her surviving spouse and two children. After her passing, a problem is realized. The beneficiary named on her 401K was her husband and the company was legally required to give the full amount of the 401K to the beneficiary on the account. This complicated could have been easily avoided by changing the beneficiaries on the 401K to reflect the will. [Read more…]