Author: Tom

Wills and Living Trusts


As a general rule, nearly all estate plans include a Will, which is generally a list of instructions for how you want your property distributed at your death.

Simply having a Will does not avoid probate. A Will gives the court instructions on which people should get which assets,View Post

Choosing A Power of Attorney

Who is the Right Person to Manage Your Assets?

When you sign a general power of attorney, you authorize someone to manage financial matters on your behalf either immediately or in the event that you are unable to do so yourself, depending on which you prefer. You know to choose someoneView Post

Choosing A Patient Advocate and Caregiver

Help your doctor, your family, and yourself.

When you need medical care, your doctor or the hospital is required to get your permission before beginning treatment. That permission can be difficult or even impossible to get if you are incapacitated or unconscious. Many times, hospitalsView Post

Step-Family Estate Planning

Double the In-laws, Double the Fun;

An Introduction to the Art of Step-Family Estate Planning

I’ve been the proud patriarch of a step-family for over seven years.  I would not have spent the last 85 months any other way, but it is amazing how fast these 371 weeks have flown by.  MostView Post

Staying Independent As You Grow Older (With an Estate Plan)


A new movement is making headway with seniors today. Record numbers of Baby Boomers are participating in triathlons, traveling the globe, starting their own companies from scratch, creating new social circles and in general being much more active than their own parents and grandparents. But that’s not all these seniors are doing. The Demand Institute surveyed over 4000 Baby Boomer households (50-69 year olds), and found an interesting pattern emerging.View Post

Do You Need a Probate Lawyer?

West Michigan probate lawyers have a pretty complex job to do, and it can be even more difficult because of the fact that many people don’t really even know what the probate process is.  This isn’t all that surprising, as by the time a person needs probate, it’s because he or she has passed away.  That means that someone else needs to be in charge.View Post

Incorporating Intangible Assets into Your West Michigan Estate Planning

Will and estate lawyers in West Michigan are charged with a number of tasks when it comes to wealth management, retirement planning, and setting up wills and trusts.  For the most part, clients are concerned with their money and other assets, which makes sense.  After all, no one really wants to pay more taxes than are necessary, and it’s important to pass on family money and heirlooms.View Post

Bad Estate Planning Decisions Can Be a Royal Pain

It seems that nearly everyone is paying attention to the lives of the British royal family, and now estate planning lawyers have their interest piqued, too.  In September, Prince Harry—Princess Diana’s youngest son—turned 30.  With his birthday came access to the rest of his inheritance from his late mother.  It’s not his birthday that is of such interest, but the fact that Princess Diana had clearly expressed her desire that he receive her assets five years ago.View Post

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