Brown Borkowski & Morrow


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Estate planning basics

Estate planning is a necessary task for those living in Michigan and around the country. Having your wishes carried out as you desire is complex and challenging.

The focus of estate planning is the distribution of assets. You assign a trusted estate administrator to carry out your instructions regarding care for any minor children, disabled family members, pets or whomever you designate. Your administrator is responsible for ensuring your assets comply with local, state and federal government regulations. The administrator, often called an executor, is meant to be accountable and trustworthy.

Digital and hard copies of your estate planning guide

Before you begin estate planning, it’s essential to create multiple copies in locations that are easily accessible for your executor. Digital storage is the safest method to store important information, and easy to print copies when necessary. Your estate planning includes financial planning and burial preferences, so it’s important to note how taxes and inflation might affect these components.

A comprehensive guide for estate planning

Estate planning establishes the total assets at your death or serious incapacity. If you cannot make decisions, your planning guide is there to help guide your caregivers appropriately. The elements listed add value and clarity to your financial planning guide:

  • Asset Management: Distribution amounts and designations.
  • Guardianship: Minor children and pets placements.
  • Taxes: Investment strategies that protect assets from inflation and depreciation.
  • Probate: Adherence to laws to protect against court-ordered intervention.

A complete accounting of your goals, values and aspirations for your legacy is beneficial to your estate planning. It’s a financial document; however, it can also include gifts and charitable donations. Your planning guide should also contain any religious preferences you desire.