With 2017 wrapping up, I wanted to look at the top estate planning and elder law blog posts of 2017 based on the number of views. I opened up the analytics and ranked the top estate planning and elder law blog posts at MichiganEstatePlanning.com. In order of the most views, you'll find the top blog posts below starting off with the most viewed post of 2017.
Looking at the most popular posts, it seems families are interested in avoiding probate (searching about Lady Bird Deeds) and concerned about protecting their assets from the devastating cost of long-term care costs with asset protection strategies/trusts like the Castle Trust.
With the rising cost of long-term care in Michigan and the constant pain of probate, I'm confident that there will be similar themes in 2018 as well when it comes to estate planning and elder law.
A Lady Bird Deed is a type of deed that can avoid probate in Michigan. This blog post goes into more detail about how the Lady Bird Deed is one of our go to warranty deed or quit claim deeds that we do in our office.
In this blog post, we discuss asset protection trusts like the Castle Trust. The Castle Trust is an asset protection trust that can protect against long-term care costs and lawsuits. It is irrevocable, but you can still change trustees, beneficiaries, and can retrieve assets out of the trust.
A common concern is that if your parents are in a nursing home, that you would have to pay their debts. This is called filial responsibility and many states have laws that put a parent's kids on the hook for the nursing home bill.
Many people think that there is a specific amount that you can gift for Medicaid in Michigan and that it will be ok...but it is not like taxes where you can gift $15,000 per year gift tax free. Read this blog post to learn more about how gifts of any amount can be problematic for your family.
This post about Castle Trusts outlines the common reasons this type of asset protection trust may make more sense for a family then you typical basic revocable living trust.
This is a common question clients ask regarding what happens to my parents debts upon death. The key to understanding what happens is to understand whether it is a secured or unsecured debt.
Elder law is about the protection of assets. Families want to ensure that the money lasts as long as possible to make sure the person needing care gets the best care possible.
Estate administration is about getting assets out of a deceased's name at death. One of those ways is with beneficiary designations. PODs/TODs which stand for payable or transfer on death are ways to transfer checking accounts or savings accounts to trusts or beneficiaries upon death.
With our firm taking a more holistic approach to estate planning, one of the items that have come up, time and again this year has been trying to get to the zero percent tax bracket in retirement. This can be achieved through moving money from tax deferred buckets to tax free buckets before claiming social security.
When funding trusts for clients, vehicles are always a question. Michigan allows for a simple process to transfer vehicles at death if valued at less than $60k at Secretary of State with a death certificate.
A living trust is a common estate planning tool that avoids probate and controls the distribution upon death.
As a VA Accredited attorney, we advise veterans on how to make a claim for Aid & Attendance. Often the veteran will own a home, but transitioning into an assisted living. By setting up a VA Asset Protection Trust properly, the proceeds of the sale can be protected.
Want to Learn More?
Attend one of our upcoming workshops at our Brighton, Livonia, Novi or Bloomfield Hills locations. In these fast paced, fun, and informative workshops all of your legal and financial questions will be answered so that you can develop a plan for your family.