top of page

Why You Need An Estate Planning Attorney: A Guide To Protecting Your Assets And Family's Future

Estate planning is a critical way to safeguard your assets and provide for your loved ones, both during your lifetime and after you're gone. However, the legal complexities involved in estate planning can be challenging to navigate on your own. That's where our experienced estate planning attorneys at The Law Offices of Casey D. Conklin, PLC in Okemos, MI, come in. We are a full-service estate planning law firm in Okemos, MI. Our exceptionally talented team has experience in Business Planning, Estate Planning, Employment Law, Tax Law, Civil Litigation, and other areas. We are an expanding firm committed to providing superior legal representation to our clients.


The Law Offices of Casey D. Conklin, PLC understands the importance of estate planning. We provide extensive client counseling and education on how estate plans work and guide you on what to do to ensure that your estate plan delivers what you expect in your absence. As an estate planning attorney, we help you create and manage your estate plan, ensuring that your wishes are carried out and your family is protected. With our expertise in estate planning law, we can guide you through the entire process, providing advice and solutions tailored to your unique situation.


One crucial aspect of estate planning is creating power of attorney documents for your estate plan. These legal documents allow you to designate someone you trust to make decisions about your health care and your finances on your behalf if you're incapacitated or unable to do so on your own. Having a power of attorney's in place can help prevent disputes, save time when decisions need to be made, and ensure your wishes are respected.


Working with an estate planning attorney is essential for many reasons. First and foremost, an attorney can help you avoid costly mistakes and ensure your estate plan is legally sound. Additionally, we can provide valuable advice on tax planning, asset protection, and other issues that may arise during the estate planning process. In this article, The Law Offices of Casey D. Conklin, PLC explains why you need an estate planning attorney to protect your family's future and the legacy you’ve created.



What Is Estate Planning?


Estate planning develops a plan to manage the assets and affairs of an individual. This includes how they should be managed during a person's lifetime, in case of incapacity, and upon death. The term estate refers to all a person's assets, including any property owned, business interests, investments, retirement benefits, insurance, etc. An estate plan is essential to ensure your estate is controlled or distributed according to your wishes or choices rather than by the state plan that would be followed without an estate plan.


Estate planning involves preparing for the management and distribution of an individual's assets that may be done during their lifetime, in case they are incapacitated or upon demise. It may involve setting up a will for you, establishing trusts, or making arrangements to care for dependents if something happens to you. An estate planning attorney can help you create legally binding documents that protect your assets and ensure your wishes are carried out according to plan.


Several tools and strategies can be used for estate planning that The Law Offices of Casey D. Conklin, PLC can help you with. These include wills, revocable living trusts, powers of attorney, health care directives, dynasty trusts, special needs planning, etc.


Having an estate plan ensures that your family and property will be taken care of appropriately when you cannot do so yourself and after you're gone. With the right strategy in place, it can provide peace of mind knowing that all essential matters have been addressed before anything unexpected occurs.


Why Hire An Estate Planning Attorney

An estate planning attorney can provide invaluable guidance and help protect your assets and family's future from potential legal issues or complications. The following are four reasons to hire an estate planning attorney:


1. Expertise in Laws – Estate planning attorneys deeply understand all state and federal laws related to wills, trusts, probate proceedings, guardianship/conservatorships, taxation, and more. This expertise can ensure that your wishes will be honored legally and ethically. At The Law Offices of Casey D. Conklin, PLC, we review and update your estate plan to ensure it’s current and always valid.


2. Protecting Beneficiaries - Estate planning attorneys ensure that your beneficiaries or heirs' interests are always protected according to your wishes and instructions. We can protect their inheritance from other legal claims and creditors.


3 Objectivity – In many cases, emotions may run high when discussing who gets what during the asset distribution process or who is most eligible to run a trust you are setting up in your absence. Having an objective third-party involved removes any possibility of bias from the equation. Additionally, this objectivity helps reduce tensions between family members that often arise during these discussions without outside assistance.


4. Help Save Money – In the absence of an attorney, you can make mistakes in the estate planning process that could lead to massive financial losses. Working with an experienced estate planning attorney like those at The Law Offices of Casey D. Conklin, PLC, will avoid such costly mistakes. Our attorneys can help you plan to reduce the financial burden you or your beneficiaries may face as far as possible.


5. Peace of Mind – Ultimately, knowing that your loved ones' futures are secure through proper preparation provides peace of mind throughout life changes such as marriage, divorce, death, or unexpected disability—not only for yourself but also for those closest to you who know they can depend on you financially after you're gone. A qualified estate planning attorney will ensure everything is in order so everyone involved receives their share according to your wishes when the time comes.


Enlisting an experienced professional for all matters relating to estate planning offers substantial advantages over attempting to handle them alone or relying solely on online resources or do-it-yourself kits available online. With an expert by your side every step of the way, protecting your and your family's future has never been simpler!


The Benefits Of Professional Advice

Working with a professional estate planning attorney has numerous advantages. They offer you the expertise and knowledge to properly set up your estate plan, which is critical for protecting your assets and your family’s future. An experienced attorney can help you make sure that there are no loopholes in the documents so your wishes will be carried out according to the law.


An estate planning lawyer also helps clients through difficult decisions, such as selecting guardians for their children or deciding how best to divide their assets among beneficiaries. The attorney can provide objective advice on all decisions while helping ensure they are legally sound. In addition, an experienced lawyer understands the changing laws regarding estates and trusts, something most of us don't have time to keep track of ourselves.


Having knowledgeable professionals like the attorneys at The Law Offices of Casey D. Conklin, PLC, in Okemos, MI, by your side during this process gives you peace of mind knowing that everything is taken care of correctly now and into the future. An expert legal adviser protects yourself and those who will inherit from you. You should never take chances with these important matters, so having someone qualified handle them is essential.


Knowing Your State's Laws And Regulations

Understanding the laws and regulations that apply to estate planning in your state is essential. That's why it's important to consult an experienced attorney who knows these rules and how they might affect your and your family’s future. An experienced estate planning lawyer can guide what types of documents are necessary for asset protection and will ensure all relevant paperwork is properly completed so there are no hiccups down the road.


The most common areas where a knowledgeable attorney can be helpful include setting up trusts, ensuring tax liabilities are considered ahead of time, making sure wills or other legal documents comply with existing state laws, and helping create strategies for avoiding probate court proceedings if needed. A professional also has experience dealing with guardianships and conservatorships when elderly relatives become incapable of caring for themselves financially or medically.


Estate planning can be overwhelming, especially when considering the future of your loved ones and assets. That's why working with an experienced estate planning attorney like those at The Law Offices of Casey D. Conklin, PLC, is crucial to protect your interests. Our team of estate planning attorneys has the expertise and knowledge necessary to guide you through the complexities of estate planning. We can help you create an effective estate plan that addresses your unique needs and concerns. By working closely with us, you can rest assured that your assets will be protected and your loved ones will be provided for.


One critical component of estate planning is creating a durable power of attorney, as well as a healthcare power of attorney. Having these power of attorney documents in place can help prevent disputes and ensure your wishes are fulfilled.


As your estate planning attorney, we can provide you with valuable advice and support to ensure that your estate plan meets your goals and objectives. We'll work closely with you to understand your unique needs and provide customized solutions. At The Law Offices of Casey D. Conklin, PLC, we believe that everyone deserves "peace of mind and not just a piece of paper" when it comes to protecting their assets and loved ones. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney and learn more about how we can help you prepare for the future.


Assessing Your Assets

When it comes to estate planning, one of the most important steps is assessing your assets. This includes determining your property and financial accounts, who owns them, and how they’re titled. It also involves understanding any debts or liabilities associated with those assets. Knowing which assets are subject to probate upon your death can help you create an effective plan for passing on those assets to future generations.


The first step in asset assessment is gathering all relevant documents, such as deeds, titles, mortgages, insurance policies, bank statements, and retirement account records. You should also review any existing wills or trusts that may be related to your estate plan. With this information, you can begin evaluating each asset based on its ownership structure and the type of legal protection available.


Qualified estate planning attorneys at The Law Offices of Casey D. Conklin, PLC, can provide invaluable guidance throughout the estate planning process. We can help you understand how various laws might apply to different types of assets and determine whether additional measures need to be taken to ensure their preservation. Our experienced estate planning attorneys will also ensure that all paperwork is properly documented so there are no surprises down the road when it’s time for distribution according to your wishes. We understand that estate planning can be complex, but with our help, you can rest assured knowing that your assets will be properly protected and distributed according to your wishes.


Understanding Tax Implications

Understanding how taxes affect your ability to protect and distribute your assets most efficiently is important. Taxes related to estate planning can be complex and require careful consideration. An experienced attorney works with CPAs and financial advisors to design a strategy for the best tax planning and saving options. Here are a few things to consider:


  • Estate Tax – An estate tax applies when certain thresholds are met based on both federal laws and any applicable state laws;

  • Gift Tax – A gift tax could apply if you give away large amounts of money or other property during your lifetime;

  • Income Tax – Any income generated by investments within the estate must be reported for income tax purposes.


Along with financial experts, estate planning attorneys help ensure that all relevant taxes are accounted for properly to avoid unnecessary financial penalties. All legal and tax considerations resulting from establishing an estate plan need to be looked into by such a team to save you a great deal of stress later.


Drafting A Will

Drafting a will is essential to a proper estate plan, even with a trust-based plan. A will can be used to ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes through the probate process, even if the will distributes your assets a your trust. An estate planning attorney can help you with this important process and advise on any other legal documents that may be needed.


The first step in drafting a will is determining what type of estate plan you want and what types of assets and property should be included. Your estate plan should include all tangible items such as real estate, cars, furniture, jewelry, savings accounts, stocks, and bonds. It should also list intangible things like life insurance policies and retirement plans. Your lawyer can make sure that the provisions for these items are correctly listed in the document so they are properly distributed when it comes time for them to be passed down.


Setting Up A Trust

Your attorney can then guide you through choosing a trustee for managing assets after death if you want a trust based plan. They will explain their duties and responsibilities and ensure everything runs smoothly in your absence. In addition, your lawyers can work with your CPAs based on tax laws related to wills and trusts, so there are no surprises come tax season.


With an experienced estate planning attorney like those at The Law Offices of Casey D. Conklin, PLC, by your side throughout this process, you can rest assured knowing that your loved ones' future is secure – free from potential probate disputes or financial complications.


Naming Beneficiaries

An estate planning attorney can help you determine the best people and organizations to name in your will or trust. When considering who to name as a beneficiary, several factors need to be taken into account. First, you must consider the age of the potential beneficiary. If they are minors, then special care needs to be taken for their protection since they cannot handle money on their own. You also need to consider whether any trusts should be established for these minor beneficiaries so their inheritance remains safe until they reach an appropriate age. Additionally, if one or more of your proposed beneficiaries is disabled or elderly, you may want to include measures in your will or trust that provide extra protections for them.


In addition to determining who should receive assets from your estate when drafting a will or trust, another consideration is how those assets are distributed among the chosen beneficiaries. For example, certain heirs may require more support than others due to financial limitations, medical conditions, disabilities, etc., which could factor into how much each person receives from the estate. Estate planning attorneys understand all aspects of asset distribution and can advise clients accordingly with regard to creating a fair plan for distributing inheritances among family members and other beneficiaries.


Choosing An Executor/Trustee

When planning your estate, it's important to choose an executor or trustee that you trust. An executor is the person responsible for handling the distribution of assets after your death through the probate process. A trustee is responsible for managing and protecting any trusts you may have established during your lifetime. The choice of who will serve in these roles should not be taken lightly; they must be knowledgeable and trustworthy, with enough time and motivation to carry out their duties properly.


The executor or trustee can be a relative, friend, or professional such as a lawyer or accountant – but regardless of whom you select, discuss the role beforehand so they understand what's expected of them. If multiple people are involved in carrying out the terms of your estate plan (e.g., if both spouses need to sign documents), consider how well all parties work together when choosing who will oversee everything. Remember that these individual(s) may also act as guardians for minor children if necessary.


It's also wise to pick backup executors/trustees; sometimes life intervenes, and those originally selected cannot fulfill their roles. After deciding on the primary appointee(s), document each selection clearly in writing and provide copies to everyone involved—including the executor/trustee—for safekeeping. Doing this ensures that no one questions why certain decisions were made about your estate down the line and provide clarity for future generations about what was intended by you at the time of drafting your plan.


Setting Up A Power Of Attorney

A power of attorney gives another person legal authority to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated or otherwise unable to make decisions. It's important to choose someone reliable and trustworthy so they can handle matters related to managing assets, business interests, health care decisions, and other financial activities as needed. Estate plans include two powers of attorney. A general durable power of attorney authorizes a person to handle your financial or business aspects. A healthcare power of attorney designates a person to make medical decisions on your behalf.


First, decide who should be in charge. This could include family members, close friends, or professional advisors like attorneys or accountants. Ensure this person knows their responsibilities well so there are no misunderstandings.


Once you have decided whom to give power of attorney, drawing up the appropriate paperwork with an experienced estate planning attorney like those at The Law Offices of Casey D. Conklin, PLC in Okemos, MI, is crucial. We can help ensure all documents are properly completed, witnessed, and notarized (if necessary) according to state laws. Our estate planning attorneys can also assist with any questions or concerns about designating powers of attorney or revoking them when necessary. With our help, you can have peace of mind knowing that your power of attorney documents are legally sound and reflect your wishes.


Everyone involved must understand their roles and obligations before signing anything legally binding. That way, your wishes are respected if something happens, and more importantly, your family's future is protected.


Establishing Health Care Documents

Having the right documents related to health care in place is essential to estate planning. These documents make sure that your wishes regarding medical treatments, decisions, and even finances are respected if you become incapacitated or unable to speak for yourself. An experienced attorney can help guide you through this process.


Health care directives are one type of document used to ensure your wishes will be followed. A living will outline what types of life-sustaining treatment you do or don't want if it becomes impossible for you to communicate those choices on your own. It also covers other end-of-life matters, such as organ donation and funeral arrangements. Other key documents include healthcare powers of attorney (also known as an advance directive), which designate someone else to make healthcare decisions on your behalf should something happen, and a HIPAA release form granting permission for certain people to access your medical records.


It's important to carefully consider all these aspects when creating these documents and choose someone trustworthy who thoroughly understands your wishes before signing them into effect. Taking the time now to plan can bring great peace of mind knowing that future circumstances have been considered no matter what happens down the road.


Caring For Minor Children

When it comes to estate planning, the most important thing is ensuring that your children are taken care of if something happens to you. Having an estate planning attorney can help ensure that your wishes for your children's future are carried out according to your desires and intentions.


Your attorney can advise you on who should serve as guardian if both parents pass away while they are still minors. It‘s important to specifically choose guardians for your children to avoid the court choosing instead or the children ending up with CPS. Estate planning attorneys can help you establish a trust fund in children's names. This would incorporate details regarding when money should be distributed, such as college tuition or other major expenses. Your lawyer will work closely with you to ensure everything is set up correctly so there won't be any legal complications later. The Law Offices of Casey D. Conklin, PLC sets up protection for the inheritance for the kids in the trust documents to ensure their inheritance is secure. You can also get protection for your minor children in place at no cost by visiting https://caseydconklin.kidsprotectionplan.com/.


If you have multiple children, it's important to consider how much each child may need financially depending on their age and lifestyle choices. It's also wise to consider what kind of inheritance would benefit them best in terms of career opportunities and further education. An experienced estate planning attorney can help guide you through these decisions so that everyone gets treated fairly and all needs are met accordingly. The Law Offices of Casey D. Conklin, PLC prioritizes this aspect of estate planning and helps you make what they term a "Kids Protection Plan," keeping the best interests of your child or children at heart.


Protecting Your Digital Assets

When it comes to estate planning, protecting your digital assets is just as important as safeguarding physical property and documents. Nowadays, most of our lives are online, from bank accounts and investments to social media profiles and email addresses. You must arrange for a loved one to manage these assets after you're gone.


Your attorney will help create an effective plan that outlines how your digital assets should be managed upon death or incapacitation. This includes anything with a financial value, such as cryptocurrency, prepaid cards, e-commerce sites, loyalty programs with points or miles, PayPal accounts, etc. You'll also want to provide instructions on what to do with non-financial items like music libraries, photo albums, online subscriptions, computer hardware/software licenses, domain names, social media accounts, and more.


The best way to make sure all of these details are accounted for is by having conversations about them with family members while you're still alive so they know exactly where everything is and how it should be handled when the time comes. An experienced estate planning attorney can guide you through each step of the process so there's no confusion about how your wishes should be carried out.


Avoiding Probate Court Processes

An experienced and knowledgeable estate-planning attorney can help you avoid probate court processes. Here are a few ways they can assist you:


  • Create a trust

  • Ensure your assets have beneficiaries named clearly

  • Joint ownership of assets will help pass property outside of probate

  • Have a pay-on-death account for designated beneficiaries.


Our estate planning attorneys at The Law Offices of Casey D. Conklin, PLC, work to provide you with peace of mind when it comes to protecting your assets and planning for your family's future. We have the expertise and knowledge to ensure your estate plans are properly executed and your wishes are honored according to your state's regulations so that your plan wo.


As estate planning attorneys, we stay up-to-date with the latest laws and regulations surrounding asset protection and succession. This allows us to provide expert guidance on protecting your assets and ensuring your loved ones are provided for. With our expert guidance and support, you can create an estate plan that addresses your unique needs and concerns. We'll work closely with you to understand your goals and objectives and provide customized solutions.




Preparing For Long-Term Care

Many of us don't plan for the possibility of needing long-term care, but it's a reality that must be considered. It's essential to take steps to ensure you and your loved ones are prepared in case such an event arises. An estate planning attorney can guide you through the process of setting up a long-term care plan tailored to your specific needs.


Your attorney can explain how Medicaid works with Medicare or supplemental policies, so you know exactly what kind of protection you have should you ever require extended medical treatment.


Your estate planning attorney will also help determine whether trusts or other legal vehicles could provide additional financial protections. This includes educating yourself on what assets would be protected from creditors if necessary and discussing tax implications associated with various options. Ultimately, having an experienced attorney who understands both the legal aspects and the human element involved in estate planning makes all the difference when preparing for potential future needs.


Conclusion

The Law Offices of Casey D. Conklin, PLC has experienced estate planning attorneys who can help you navigate the complexities of estate law and ensure that your wishes are carried out to meet both legal requirements and personal objectives. One crucial aspect of estate planning is creating a power of attorney. This legal document grants someone you trust the authority to make important decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated or unable to do so. With our help, you can create a power of attorney that reflects your wishes and protects your interests.


By working with an estate planning attorney, you can rest assured that your loved ones will have what they need when the time comes. We all want peace of mind, especially about the future of our families. Hiring an estate planning attorney is one of the best ways to achieve it. If you are looking for an estate planning attorney, you can trust in Okemos, MI, The Law Offices of Casey D. Conklin, PLC is precisely that. We provide quality estate planning after an experienced counseling-oriented attorney carefully listens to your needs, goals, and concerns. We do not use common plans but design an estate plan according to your family's needs. With our help, you'll have the assurance that you've done all you can to protect your family and assets today and plan for tomorrow. Contact The Law Offices of Casey D. Conklin, PLC in Okemos, MI, at (517) 522-2550 to schedule a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney and learn more about how our "Life and Legacy Planning" can help you plan for the future. You can rely on us as a trusted advisor and counselor who will help you protect the people you love and everything you care about.

bottom of page