Is There Any Way to Keep My Estate Plan Private?

Is There Any Way to Keep…

Many people think that they have a sufficient estate plan if they simply make a will. However, they do not always understand all of the implications of using a will as their sole estate planning tool. When an individual with a will passes away, the personal representative or executor appointed to handle the estate must admit his or her will to the probate court in order to distribute assets according to its terms. This makes your will a public record, which means that any member of the public can view the details of your will and see a complete list of all of your assets and debts. Members of the public can even get copies of your will and other documents related to your estate plan, if they choose. For many people, airing all of their financial information to the public is not desirable. Fortunately, a will is not the only estate planning mechanism that you can use to effectively distribute your property following death.

For instance, a trust is a legal document that allows you to distribute your assets to beneficiaries as you choose. A trustee whom you designate to handle the trust assets will distribute your property as outlined in your trust document. Aside from avoiding the often lengthy and expensive probate process, a trust document remains private. In other words, no one other than the trustee and beneficiaries you have chosen will have knowledge of your assets. This keeps your financial matters within your family – or close friends – and prevents your nosy neighbors from learning the value of your estate and how you have chosen to distribute your assets.

Legacy Law Center handles all facets of estate planning for clients on a daily basis. Whether you are interested in a simple will or a more complex trust, we are here to present all of your options for estate planning and help you make the decisions that are best for you and your family. Take the first step today and contact us to schedule a meeting with one of our Michigan estate planning attorneys.

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