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Wills And Trusts

From basic to advanced estate planning, attorney Danielle Streed uses a combination of wills, trusts and advanced estate planning strategies to help individuals in Kalamazoo and the surrounding Southwest Michigan area make sure their intended heirs and beneficiaries are taken care of according to their wishes after they are gone.

Basic Estate Planning

 – If you die intestate (without a will), the State of Michigan will liquidate your estate and divide it up among your relatives according to law, with the rest going to the state. With a will, on the other hand, you get to direct who gets your assets and property and in what amount, including gifts of property like real estate, cars and jewelry, without having to liquidate them to cash. You can also use a will to appoint a guardian for your minor children should it be necessary, thus avoiding having a guardianship imposed upon them by the court.

Revocable Living Trusts – Through a revocable living trust, you can transfer title to property during your lifetime, which becomes the property of your named beneficiaries after your death. By placing the property in trust, you remove that asset from the probate process, saving time and expense for the beneficiaries of your estate. A revocable living trust can be amended by you at any time and allows you to control and manage your assets during your lifetime.

Advanced Estate Planning

Individuals with a high net worth or special needs for themselves or family members require advanced estate planning tools to meet their particular needs and goals and provide for their heirs and beneficiaries with minimum tax burden or complications. Two significant areas of advanced estate planning including charitable giving and special needs trusts.

Charitable Giving – Charitable donations are an excellent way to recognize important principles and leave a legacy of good works for future generations. Charitable planning enables you to make the most of your gifts and realize the tax benefits these gifts can provide. We advise clients on the different vehicles for charitable giving available and prepare the appropriate instruments, including charitable lead trusts, charitable remainder trusts, community foundations, charitable gift annuities, and more.

Special Needs Trusts
 – For persons with disabilities and their families, considering those special needs is an essential aspect of estate planning to make sure the person is cared for and is able to access all government programs, services and benefits available. Without adequate planning, individuals with special needs may find themselves unable to achieve or maintain eligibility for needs-based public assistance such as Social Security or Medicaid. We help individuals and families by advising and creating simple Trusts with special needs provisions to protect these benefits.

Wills, Trusts & Estates Attorney

In the Kalamazoo and Southwest Michigan area, contact attorney Danielle Streed of Danielle Streed & Associates, PLLC to create or update a comprehensive estate plan addressing wills, trusts, special needs planning, charitable giving and more.