I just read a great article as to why estate planning is important. Some important points from the article:
1. Estate planning must be done while still competent. If one is not competent, they cannot execute legal documents such as a Last Will and Testament; Trusts; and Powers of Attorney. If an individual is incompetent, then the only way to manage one's legal affairs and make legal decisions is through the Probate Court (Conservator for finances, Guardianship for for health care and custodial decisions, and to handle one's estate at death).;
2. Have a conversation with your mom or dad about estate planning. As them if they have an estate plan. If they do not, suggest making an appointment with an experienced Elder Law attorney.;
Once they meet with an experienced Elder Law attorney, the individual's personal circumstances can be evaluated (financial, family, etc), recommendations can be made, and the appropriate documents (Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorneys, Deeds, etc), can be prepared.
As the article mentions, prior to the documents being executed, it is important to discuss the particulars with your appointed Successor Trustee, Personal Representative, Power of Attorney, etc. Make sure they are aware that you would like to appoint them to act on your behalf when you are unable to do so and that they are up to the task. Better yet, have them discuss with your attorney what their rights and responsibilities are when serving as a Trustee or a Power of Attorney.
If you or someone you love does not have an Estate Plan, contact the experienced Michigan Estate Planning and Elder Law attorney's at Barsch & Joswick, PLLC today for a free consultation.