Rochester, MI Estate Planning

Otlewski And Maloney, P.C.

Serving clients in Rochester, Rochester Hills, Troy and Auburn Hills, MI Otlewski And Maloney, P.C. has been offering legal advice in the area of estate planning since 1979. A good estate plan should include directions to carry out your wishes regarding health care matters, so that if you ever are unable to give the directions yourself, someone you know and trust would do that for you. Call for a personal one on one consultation today!

Planning An Estate: One Size Does Not Fit Everyone
Estate planning services are generally requested by individuals for two main reasons: to avoid probate and to save paying additional taxes. A good estate plan can reduce the likelihood of the estate being divested in Probate Court as well as reduce the amount of taxes incurred during the transfer of valuable assets. In addition to these benefits, estate plans allow individuals to distribute their wealth in accordance with their personal wishes.
There is no "one size fits all" solution to establishing an estate plan and many variables factor into the equation. Realistically, an estate plan may involve several of the following objectives:

  • avoid probate or other administrative costs
  • minimize current and future transfer and income taxes
  • provide financial security for loved ones
  • transfer ownership of a business or other assets to loved ones, partners or employees with a minimum amount of transfer tax
  • provide adequate liquidity and ongoing cash flow for those responsible for administering the estate
  • provide for a favorite charity
  • provide for a college education for children or grandchildren
  • provide an adequate safety net for lifetime contingencies such as disability or death of a spouse
  • avoid legal hassles with third parties, including the Internal Revenue Service
  • maintain flexibility in the overall estate plan to be able to adjust to a changing environment
  • maintain control over or ensure qualified administration of assets
  • minimize exposure to liabilities that could exhaust assets
  • ensure that assets ultimately pass to intended parties
  • avoid disputes among family members or business owners
  • avoid complexity in the overall estate plan and in the specific techniques used to implement the plan

Estate planning requires a team of professionals. The accountant, attorney, bank trust officer, life underwriter and investment advisor each have an important role in the estate planning process.

The accountant is familiar with the client's financial condition, income and spending habits. The attorney drafts the legal documents, such as the will, trust agreements, buy/sell agreements, and retirement plan. The bank trusts officer is involved in the implementation of the plan. The life underwriter is knowledgeable of various products and their applications to particular situations. The investment advisor assists with asset allocation and risk management.
Each member of this team plays a crucial role in the estate plan. The approach includes gathering information, writing a report, and continuously monitoring and updating the information. The amount of data to collect varies depending upon the lifestyle of the client.
Typical information necessary to develop an estate plan includes individual expectations and concerns; personal and financial data; assets and liabilities; annual cash flow analysis; continuing living expenses; life insurance policies; and personal and business documents.
The report, based on data collection, summarizes the client's current financial situation, restates the client's financial goals and objectives, recommends actions and decisions to improve the client's financial circumstances, provides an implementation plan, and documents analyses and conclusions. This written report should be clear, concise and personalized. Educational materials may be appropriate, but should be kept separate from the formal plan.

Once created, estate plans require periodic review. Changes in personal, business or financial conditions, or tax laws, are reasons to re-evaluate estate plans and consider redefining goals and objectives.

When it comes to estate plans, one size does not fit all. Customized estate plans allow clients to distribute their wealth in accordance with their wishes.

-Michigan Lawyers Weekly: October 19, 1998

Otlewski And Maloney, P.C. is here to help you. If you want to be sure your estate is protected with a Trust or a Will, or if you need to update your legal documents to reflect your current wishes, call us for a consultation. We also specialize in planning for families with developmentally disabled children or grandchildren, and work daily with the Oakland County Probate Court and Rochester District Court.

Contact Otlewski And Maloney, P.C. today at 888-239-6990, or browse the website for more information about trusts or wills.

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