Estate Planning Basics - Michigan, Illinois, Arizona

April 26, 2016 - Categories: Legal Articles

Most people feel overwhelmed when they think about creating an estate plan. Not to mention, it isn’t very fun to think about your own mortality. However, if you consider how important it is to take this step in order to protect your family, it is worth the effort.

Below are a few basics on estate planning:



  • Do you need more than just a Will? Having a Last Will and Testament is the first step in creating an estate plan. However, you should confer with legal counsel to determine whether you should also create a Trust. A trust can provide numerous protections for people of all different levels of wealth. A comprehensive estate plan should also include the appointment of a power of attorney, appointing a guardian for your minor children, and taking advantage of other tools to safeguard your wealth. An estate plan can help you lower tax liability, ensure that your property will be distributed the way you want, and help you avoid probate.
  • One of the most important factors to consider in creating an estate plan is what assets you own. Your inventory should consider your real property, investments, retirement accounts, business interests, artwork, vehicles, and other types of assets.
  • When you create your estate plan, you must be prepared to make difficult decisions. Be prepared to answer questions such as who you will name as your beneficiaries, who you will appoint to handle your financial affairs if you cannot, or who will raise your minor children if both you and your spouse die?
  • If you are concerned with tax liability, you should consider making tax-free gifts in order to reduce the amount of your taxable estate.
  • You may also want to consider making donations to a charitable fund or community foundation where your investments can grow tax-free. You can donate to charitable entities while you are alive and after you die.


Access Legal Care provides a free legal consultation and affordable legal help for people who want to create, revise, or add codicils to their Trust, Will, Durable Power of Attorney, Health Power of Attorney, Living Will, or Deed.

If you would like us to help you with legal advice or drafting your estate planning documents in Illinois, Arizona, and Michigan, please schedule a free phone appointment with an attorney at

We hope to be able to help you!