If you have been putting off getting your estate in order, you may surprised when you find out how easy it can be to make a plan for your affairs. A lady bird deed is an option outside of a traditional will where you can convey property on the condition of your death, without losing homestead exemptions, and avoiding probate entirely. This can be a good option for someone who is receiving Medicaid benefits to avoid Medicaid making a claim on your property after you death. The name comes from the fact that Lady Bird Johnson was the recipient of property under this scheme. If you think this type of deed may be a good option for you our experienced attorneys can advise you as how best to draft it to protect you, your family, and your property interests.
There are some other unique estate planning options available to you including a Quit Claim Deed (QCD for short). A quit claim deed is a means to transfer ones interest in property to someone else. There is no warranty of title, so quit claim deeds are often used between family members as gifts, in the case of divorces where one spouse must transfer their interest to the other, and in tax sales. If you think a quit claim deed might be a good option for you and your property, you must consult with an experienced attorney to ensure there are no outstanding issues.
Writing your last will and testament is something that always seems to be on the backburner. Everyone knows it SHOULD be done, but few actually are excited about sitting down and getting their affairs in order. However there are several reasons this is very important. First, if you were to suddenly pass away before you have a finalized will, your loved ones will have to essentially file a lawsuit with the probate court to have someone named executor of the estate, get access to your bank and credit accounts, and disperse your assets. This process is very time consuming. If your family does not have the assets to cover all your bills, or even knowledge of the bills that are outstanding any property you have may become delinquent, go into foreclosure, or even be subject to a tax lien. This will end up costing much more in the long run, and will eat into the financial legacy you can leave these loved ones. Additionally, everyone knows at least one horror story of someone who had to handle the disbursement of a parent or relatives estate. Now imagine that person was not even able to access to bank accounts, sign legal documents, or act as this person’s agent. Handling the closure of a person’s estate can be full time job even with the proper documentation of a will and testament, let alone without.
In a different scenario, when your records and will are up to date, your executor can just inform the probate court that they have been appointed your representative, and then begin the process of disbursement without all the hassle and court supervision. The result is much more expedient, and much less expensive. An experienced attorney can write your last will and testament for a low price, protect your assets and family, and give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your affairs are in order. To retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC, for assistance in these matters call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message. We are experienced Michigan attorneys with offices in Troy, MI.