1. Don't attach too many strings. According to the article, one of the chief aims of estate planning should be to avoid leaving a legacy of ill will. By attaching too many strings, such as mandating that a grandchild use trust funds only for tuition at a specific university or go into a certain occupation, you are increasing your chances of there being ill will among your heirs.
2. Make special arrangements for beloved properties. Do you have a family cottage on the lake in Northern Michigan? If so, what will happen to it upon your passing? There are many options, such as dictating that it be appraised and listed for sale, kept in the family, create a family LLC to manage and maintain the property (and schedule who gets to use it when), or distributed outright to the heirs and letting them figure it out.
3. Don't tinker with a trust after it's set up. Certainly if there are changes that should be made, make them (such as leaving money for an son-in-law who is no longer your son in law) but avoid constant tinkering.
4. Remember to provide for your pets. We previously blogged on this topic, but if you don't provide for your pets, you run the risk of the pet being euthanized. Set aside a lump sum for your pet's care, choose a trustee, and specify the care that should be provided.
As always, your first step for any planning should be to meet with an experienced Michigan Estate Planning attorney, such as the attorneys at Barsch & Joswick, PLLC. Call today for a free consultation.