Attorney Scott Stensaas provides estate planning legal services including the preparation of revocable grantor trusts, simple wills, wills with testamentary trusts, and financial and health care powers of attorney.
As we mature, it becomes clear that future planning will impact others, including spouse, children, grand-children, relatives, friends and community. Your personal values, ideals and aspirations will inevitably reside in those who survive you. My office will assist you with planning and managing your estate, so that you may lay the groundwork of a positive legacy for your loved ones and future beneficiaries.
Preparing a Will gives you and your family and any other beneficiary whom you name in your Will some important rights. If you die without a Will, the State will provide a scheme for distribution of your property through probate. Generally, your legal relatives will stand in line as heirs, with the state as ultimate beneficiary if surviving relatives cannot be located. With your Will, you may direct who is to benefit from your estate and in what amounts or proportions. You may specify a trusted person to serve as personal representative of your estate, rather than the default personal representative. If you have minor children, you may appoint a guardian for them in your Will.
Setting up a Trust gives you maximum control and far greater flexibility in your estate planning. As long as you are alive, you maintain complete control over your Trust and your property. A Revocable Trust affords many options in tailoring your property disposition to the personal and financial needs of your designated beneficiaries. Having your property in Trust completely avoids the probate process. In the event of your disability, your successor trustee will continue management of your Trust in accordance with your plan.
Durable Financial Power of Attorney
Appointing a Power of Attorney can save yourself and your family members from untold hours of work, a great deal of money and much personal stress. Without a Durable Power of Attorney, an unexpected accident or illness resulting in you or a member of your family’s temporary or permanent disability would require a Probate Court proceeding to appoint a Conservator to handle your property and financial business. By designating a trusted person to handle your financial affairs, your business and financial affairs can be kept private.
Health Care Power of Attorney (also known as a Living Will)
A Health Care Power of Attorney is designated for a situation when you are unable to participate in making your own health care decisions. Appointing a Power of Attorney for Health Care allows you to specify your own desires in the event you suffer an unforeseeable accident or serious illness. This allows you to instruct your doctor and medical care providers on the extent and forms of artificial life support technology to be applied towards your care. Also, by Michigan law you may appoint one or more individuals to act as your “Patient Advocate” should the circumstance arise when you are unable to participate in your own medical treatment decisions.
The costs of legal services for estate planning are small in comparison to the costs to your estate and family of doing no planning. Forms downloaded from the internet are no substitute for experienced professional legal services. Your costs will be estimated for you at the first meeting and are based on the level of complexity and the amount of professional time required in order to accomplish your objectives. Please contact attorney Scott Stensaas at 810-444-9178 for more information.