African American Family

A proper estate plan must include at least these five documents. 

  • Will—A will explains how you want your property to be distributed at the time of your passing and who should handle that distribution. In Michigan (and other states), a will must be filed with the local Probate Court at death and distribution of assets are subject to state law.
  • Funeral representative designation—Specifies who will be in charge of making final arrangements.
  • Durable power of attorney for financial matters—Allows you to specify one or more persons to handle your financial affairs with your permission and at your direction.
  • Durable power of attorney for health care—Allows you to specify one or more persons to make health care decisions for you when you are unable to do so yourself.
  • Advance medical care directive—Allows you to specify the level of medical care you wish to receive.

In addition to these five essential documents, a comprehensive estate plan may also include: 

  • Letter of instruction and personal care plan—To allow you to provide instructions for final arrangements, as well as for your personal care.
  • Revocable living trust—To allow you to assert more control over the distribution of assets and, more importantly, avoid having to deal with Probate Court.
  • Education trust—To allow you to set aside funds to provide for your kids education expense.
  • Medicaid asset protection trust—To allow you to preserve assets while receiving Medicaid benefits.
  • Special needs trust—To allow you to provide assets to disabled children without jeopardizing their state or Federal disability benefits.

Remember that an estate plan is not simply a “piece of paper.” It’s peace of mind. There is no better time than today to help secure your family’s financial future with a comprehensive estate plan.

For more information or to get started on this important life project, visit or contact me at or 734-827-9450. I’ll help you plan ahead.




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