Peterson Paletta Balice

Do I Need an Estate Plan If I Have Few Assets?

Grand Rapids & Ionia Attorneys

Grand Rapids Ionia MI Estate Plan Attorneys

Regardless of the size of your estate, it’s a good idea to consult with one of our estate attorneys in Grand Rapids and Ionia, MI. With their legal knowledge and expertise, they’ll be able to help you navigate some of the most common challenges when it comes to preparing for the future.

It can be difficult to think about what will happen to your loved ones when you’re no longer alive. But an estate plan will help ensure that your loved ones are provided for in the event of your death.

Here’s what you need to know about creating an estate plan.

Assets to Include in an Estate Plan

One of the most common questions we get is whether or not estate planning is necessary for someone with few assets. The answer is that even if you don’t have very many assets, you will want to make sure you have a customized estate plan in place.

The following are assets that should be included in your estate plan:

  • Life insurance benefits
  • Annuities
  • Retirement plans
  • Real estate
  • Bank accounts

We recommend you consult with one of our estate planning lawyers so that you can avoid having your estate held in probate.

How to Avoid Probate

Probate proceedings are not necessary for assets with surviving joint owners or beneficiaries. For example, a life insurance policy that lists the spouse as the beneficiary would not be considered probate.

When it’s not clear who inherits which assets, the last will and testament is used to honor the wishes of the deceased. For example, probate will be needed if you own a car or other property that’s only in your name. However, if you don’t have a will in place, you won’t be able to control how certain assets are distributed after death. In this scenario, the probate court would appoint an executor to distribute assets on your behalf.

Related: Can Estate Planning Prevent Inheritance Disputes? →

Appointing Guardianship

Even if you don’t have many assets, you will want to create an estate plan to secure your children’s future. If you and your child’s other parent are no longer able to provide care, it’s important that you appoint a guardian.

Since child care is expensive, it’s also a good idea to designate assets so your appointed guardian is able to financially support your children. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you plan for your children’s secure future in the event of your death.

How an Estate Planning Attorney Can Help

A knowledgeable estate planning attorney will be able to help you determine the best course of action for your unique circumstances. For estate planning, we cannot recommend highly enough that you hire an attorney with prior experience in estate planning. While a specialist attorney may be more expensive, you’ll feel more at ease than if you hired someone unfamiliar with estate planning law.

Request a Legal Consultation with Us

Our estate planning attorneys in Grand Rapids and Ionia, MI, are ready to help you prepare for the future. To request a legal consultation, please call Peterson Paletta Balice. You may also fill out our online contact form and someone from our offices will reach out to you soon.

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