The Elder & Disability Law Firm is located in Mount Clemens, Michigan, which is the county seat of Macomb County. We proudly serve people throughout this area, and this gives us a wide reach, because it is one of the largest counties in the state. It is a historic, physically beautiful place with dozens upon dozens of parks spanning thousands of acres. Outdoor recreational opportunities abound, including aquatic activities, because there are miles of shoreline along Anchor Bay.
In addition to Mount Clemens, cities that sit entirely within the Macomb County boundaries include Center Line, Eastpointe, Fraser, New Baltimore, Roseville, St. Clair Shores, Warren, Sterling Heights, and Utica. Parts of Memphis, Richmond, and Grosse Pointe Shores are in Macomb County as well. Armada, New Haven, and Romeo are villages in our county, and there are many unincorporated communities and 11 different townships.
Many extremely talented people have called the county home, including musicians Alice Cooper, Eminem, and Kid Rock. Legendary sportscaster Dick Enberg came from Armada, and retired Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz, who was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015, hails from Warren. Plus, we are proud to be able to say that the highly regarded actor Dean Cain is from right here in Mount Clemens.
Wills and Trusts
We have deep roots in Macomb County along with all of these celebrities, and it is gratifying to be able to protect families that come to us from these fine communities. It is important to discuss your estate planning objectives with a local attorney so you can make fully informed decisions and enjoy life in Macomb County with peace of mind.
Everyone has heard of the last will, but this is not the only option, and in fact, it is not the best choice for many people. When a last will is used, it must be admitted to probate, and the estate must be probated by the court before the assets are distributed to the inheritors. Here in Michigan, it will take about seven months to a year at minimum for probate to run its course.
There are considerable expenses that accumulate during probate, and this is another negative. Every penny that is spent during this interim is money that is coming out of the pockets of the rightful heirs to the estate. Probate is a public proceeding, so prying eyes can obtain probate records to find out how you distributed your resources. It also provides a window of opportunity for anyone that may want to contest the validity of the will.
A revocable living trust can be utilized to bypass all of these pitfalls, because the trustee that is named in the document can distribute assets outside of probate. This is one major advantage, but there are others. In addition to the living trust, there are other types of trusts that can be used to satisfy more advanced estate planning objectives.
A well-constructed estate plan should include an incapacity planning component. With a living will, you can state your wishes regarding the use of life-sustaining measures like feeding tubes, artificial hydration, and artificial respiration. A durable power of attorney can be added to name someone to make other types of medical decisions on your behalf if you become unable to make them on your own. You can also include a durable financial power of attorney to name someone to handle your financial affairs in the event of your incapacitation.
Nursing Home Asset Protection
Long-term care costs can be devastating, because nursing homes and assisted living communities are very expensive. Even in-home care that is provided by a professional home health aide can cost upwards of $40,000 per year. Medicare does not pay for this type of care, so you could potentially spend everything that you have saved throughout your life paying for living assistance.
Fortunately, there is a widely embraced solution in the form of Medicaid. This program will pay for long-term care, but it is only available to people with very limited financial resources. It is possible to divest yourself of assets before you apply, but this takes careful planning, because the divestitures must be completed at least five years before you seek Medicaid eligibility.
We Are Here to Help!
If you reside in Mount Clemens, Warren, Sterling Heights, or any other community in Macomb County, Michigan, we would be glad to help you put a solid estate plan in place. You can schedule a consultation right now if you give us a call at 586-493-7661.