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Estate Planning – Family Protection Planning

Heirs | Generational Estate Planning | Trustee Selection

Estate Planning – Family Protection Planning

At Legacy Architects, PLLC, we believe that proper estate planning is really “family protection planning”. Estate Planning should include much more than simply deciding who gets your stuff when you are gone.  Our comprehensive estate planning provides protection for you and your family now (while you are alive and well).  It also provides protection when you become disabled, protection for your children when you are gone (including divorce protection for them), and even protection for your grandchildren and great grandchildren.  Our estate planning services are available from Grand Rapids south to Kalamazoo, and north to St. Ignace and Traverse City, and everywhere in between.

Disability and Long-Term Care Planning

Since we are all living longer, it becomes more important to plan for our potential disability and long-term care.  Without proper estate planning your mental competency, legal guardianship, and control of your assets will be left to the discretion of a probate judge you have never met before.  We will walk you step by step through the process of creating your own disability plan, including: creation of a disability panel, disability trustees, healthcare powers of attorney, end of life directives, financial controls, and more.  You will take control of this process away from the government and keep it private and with your family.  You will reduce the burden on your loved ones when you become unable to live alone.

Estate Planning - Family Protection Planning

Sadly, most attorneys use living trusts to simply divide your assets and avoid probate and nothing more.  A properly designed trust-based estate plan can be used for so much more, including:  (i) creditor and predator protection, (ii) remarriage protection, (iii) divorce protection for your children and grandchildren, (iv) spendthrift protection, (v) special needs planning for children and grandchildren, (vi) multigenerational estate planning, (vii) income tax, estate tax, capital gains tax, and property tax planning, and much more.  A Legacy Architects’ Estate Plan will provide you with peace of mind, and more control over, your future and the future for your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. You cannot prevent life’s ups and downs, but with a Legacy Protection Plan, you will have a plan for dealing with them.

Estate Plan Maintenance/Updating and Education

Most people, attorneys and non-attorneys alike, think of an estate plan as a static product, something that you buy and throw in a draw until the day you die.  Nothing is further from the truth.  The number one reason that any estate plan fails to work the way you want it to, is that it is not kept up to date. The second reason is that the heirs have no idea what to do with it.  In order to solve these problems Legacy Architects has a Formal Maintenance Program.  Even the best estate plan will not make sense 5, 10 or 15 years later.  Life happens, your family and finances change, and of course the law definitely changes.  Your plan needs to be kept up to date. Most law firms offer the typical news letter and an annual reminder (anniversary/happy birthday letters).  Don’t be fooled, a news letter and a reminder letter is NOT a Formal Maintenance Program.  With the Legacy Architects’ Formal Maintenance Program, we don’t just remind you that you have an estate plan once a year.  We actually update your plan and educate your family on how to use the plan every year.  We put your assets into your trust the correct way, and make sure they are in there every year. If you are gong to spend the time and money to design an estate plan, why would you let it become obsolete?

Customized Legacy Architects’ Estate Planning Includes:
  • Disability Planning and Health Care Planning 
  • Control Over Who Determines Your Competency
  • Long-term Care Planning
  • Protection from Financial Mismanagement During Your Disability
  • Remarriage for you and your children
  • Divorce, and In-law protections, for You and Your Children
  • Financial and Estate Planning for Your Children and Grandchildren
  • Protection of Your Legacy From Your Heir’s Creditors
  • Multigenerational Estate Planning
  • Tax Planning Tools
  • Optional Medicaid Planning
  • Personal Planning (Family Heirlooms, Funeral Plans, Living Will, etc.)
  • A Formal Maintenance Program for Your Estate Plan
  • and more. . .

Peace of Mind

More than anything else, the thing you get most with a Legacy Architects’ Estate Plan is Peace of Mind.  We all have fears and concerns about the future, for ourselves and for our children and grandchildren.  Nothing can eliminate life’s hurdles and surprises. But with a Legacy Architects’ Estate Plan, you and your family will have a plan and the necessary tools to deal with what life throws at you.  And once you are part of our estate planning family, we are always just a phone call away. Can’t make it to our offices? Don’t worry, we will come to you.  We meet clients in their homes or at their financial advisor’s offices from Grand Rapids and Grandville, to Cheboygan.

Contact us to set up a complimentary initial meeting and learn more.

Matthew V. Piwowar is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, the National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys and the Michigan Forum of Estate Planners.