The Rhoades McKee Estate Planning and Administration Team assists clients in preserving, administering, and transferring wealth for future generations. We begin with a discussion to understand your family and long-term goals to identify the best vehicles to secure the future you intend.
Trusts are often of long-term benefit to a family, and proper administration of a Trust over time helps prevent problems. As trust administrators, we understand each client’s unique family situation and keep the big picture in mind as we advise trustees and beneficiaries about their duties and rights. We also prepare federal estate tax returns and assist in the tactical decisions to divide and distribute assets upon a client’s death.
Even with proper planning, there are instances when families seek court intervention. When that happens, we represent clients in the administration of probate estates, guardianships, conservatorships, and trust actions.
Estate Planning Documents
Last Will and Testament
Your Last Will and Testament are your written instructions to the Probate Court appointing a personal representative to administer your probate assets, designating beneficiaries of your assets subject to probate court administration, and nominating a guardian to care for your minor children (if any).
If you do not have a valid Will at the time of your death, the State of Michigan will “write one for you” by applying the sometimes unexpected and complicated rules of intestacy.
Revocable Living Trust
A Revocable Living Trust is a written contract that governs the management and distribution of the assets
transferred to it. So long as you are alive and competent, you are the Trustee of your Trust and you maintain the ability to amend or revoke the terms of your Trust Agreement at any time.
Upon your disability or death, the successor Trustee(s) of your choosing will hold, manage, and distribute the assets by the Trust Agreement. By the terms of your Trust Agreement, you can exercise “control from the grave” – i.e., you can specify the manner and time of distribution to your beneficiaries. Assets that are titled to your Trust when you die are not subject to probate court administration.
Durable Power of Attorney
A Durable Power of Attorney names another person (the “Agent”) to handle your financial matters for you. Typically, the powers granted to the Agent are broad and include the ability to sign checks, purchase and sell property, execute contracts, and handle any financial matters that you would be able to handle if you were competent in doing so.
You can provide that your Durable Power of Attorney is effective immediately or only upon a date or an event in the future. The powers delegated to your Agent can be terminated at any time; otherwise, they will automatically be terminated upon your death.
Patient Advocate Designation
A Patient Advocate Designation appoints an individual to make your medical and mental health treatment decisions for you. Your Patient Advocate only has the authority to act if you cannot make such decisions for yourself. The Designation also provides guidance to your Patient Advocate about the types of treatment you may or may not want.More Publications