David Carrier Law Portage MI Office Grand Opening
Join us October 13, 2016 between noon and 4 p.m. for the Grand Opening Open House celebration of our new Portage office location! Don’t miss the official ribbon cutting ceremony done by our very own Terri DeBoer at 1 p.m.

Where: 3275 Cooley Drive, Portage MI

When: Noon to 4 p.m., Ribbon cutting at 1 p.m.

R.S.V.P.: Call (800) 317-2812 by October 10th please.

We hope to see you there!

Attempt to break the Guinness World Record for most vow renewals in one place, at one time. Recommit to your sweetie in an outdoor symbolic ceremony.

The event will be held on the Grand Lawn of Heritage Hall at Western Michigan University

  • Saturday, October 8, 2016
  • Guests are encouraged to arrive between 2:30 to 3 p.m. The ceremony begins at 3:30 p.m. sharp.
  • The event will include commemorative photo stations, interactive couple activities, live bands performing romantic hits, wedding cake and desserts, and a Champagne toast

For more details and to register, visit MyWMU.com/vows

Setting Up Your Estate Plan in Michigan

There are few things that are more important than careful estate planning. All adults, no matter how young or old, need a well-crafted estate plan. It is imperative that you consult with an experienced Grand Rapids estate planning lawyer who can help you set up a plan that fully protects your legal rights and the interests of your family. When setting up your estate plan, the following three issues must be addressed:

  1. Protection for yourself: The simple fact is that there may come a day when you will not be able to make decisions for yourself. To protect your legal, financial and medical interests, you should set up a durable power of attorney and an advance healthcare directive. By doing so, you will empower trusted loved ones to make important decisions for you in the event that you are no longer able to do so.
  2. Protection for your family: If you have children, your estate plan needs to fully account for their protection. In fact, your estate plan should provide protection for anyone that relies on you. Whether it is a relative or even a beloved pet, your estate plan should make arrangements that considers their unique needs.
  3. Protection for your assets: Finally, a proper estate plan must account for the full extent of your assets. A will is one effective way to transfer property, though it is not the only way to do so. It is often also not the best way to do so. Many people in Michigan can benefit from other estate planning tools, such as a family trust.

Setting Up a Family Trust

A Michigan family trust is an estate planning tool that will allow you to efficiently distribute your assets to your heirs. The following is a list of four basic steps that are required to set up a trust in Michigan:

  1. Select a trustee: The trustee is the person who is in charge of the assets within the trust. He or she will be responsible for collecting, managing and eventually distributing all of the trust’s assets.
  2. Select the beneficiaries: You also must select the beneficiaries for your trust. These are the people, or perhaps single person, who will eventually be able to claim the assets within the trust. In Michigan, a person does not need to actually be a family member to be selected as a beneficiary of a family trust.
  3. Determine what assets will be included: You will need to select the specific assets that will be included in your trust. A trust is not a ‘catch-all’ asset distribution tool. You must assign assets to the trust. A wide range of assets can be transferred to a trust, such as real estate, vehicles, money, an investment account, and even valuable heirlooms.
  4. Transfer assets into the trust: Finally, Michigan family trusts must be fully funded at the time of creation. This means that assets must be properly titled in the name of the trust or you will lose out on the important benefits that the trust provides. While this can be a complicated process, an experienced Grand Rapids family trust lawyer can help.

Do You Need Legal Assistance?

At The Law Offices Of David L. Carrier P.C., our team has extensive experience helping Michigan families prepare themselves for the future. If you are beginning to think about the estate planning process, please join us at one of our Grand Rapids LifePlan Workshops. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us today to learn more, we look forward to hearing from you!

[vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” text_align=”left” css_animation=”” box_shadow_on_row=”no”][vc_column][vc_column_text]Thank you…thank you…thank you, to all who walked or donated…family, friends, LifePlan members, friends of friends… Carriers Cavalry raised $5299.64 for the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s®

It was a spectacular day with over 1,300 walkers.

Extra special appreciation and heartfelt thanks to my friend, Terri DeBoer, who emceed the Promise Garden ceremony. She generously shared her family’s personal journey with Alzheimer’s. We were blessed to have her there.

Vist our Carrier’s Cavalry team page here[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” up=”20″ up_style=”px” down=”20″ down_style=”px”][vc_masonry_media_grid grid_id=”vc_gid:1476300057094-968c02ed-aa48-0″ include=”58665,58664,58663,58662,58661″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

As we age, we all need to accept the fact that we might need long-term care. You and your family must be prepared to handle the costs of long-term care. More than any other expense, long-term care costs drain the hard-earned life savings of many Michigan families. Did you know that the average cost of a nursing home in Michigan is now approaching $250 per day? Many facilities cost far more than that. The simple fact is that you can do virtually everything else right and you can still be sunk by long-term care costs. The good news is that you can protect yourself by contacting an experienced Grand Rapids Medicare planning lawyer who can help you prepare for long-term care issues.

The Cost of Long-term Care Sinks Many Michigan Families: What Can Be Done?

Self-paying for long-term care sinks far too many seniors in western Michigan. While Medicare pays for many of the much needed health costs of seniors, it falls far short when it comes to long-term care. Fortunately, Medicaid does offer some potential assistance. Many Michigan seniors assume that they will not qualify for Medicaid, and therefore, they never take advantage of this option. This means that they are stuck self-paying for care, as a result, they will quickly burn up their life-savings. Something needs to be set straight: as a Michigan senior, you have spent decades paying into the Medicaid system and you deserve your full and fair long-term care benefits. Do not simply assume that you will not qualify. If you are facing crushing long-term care costs, our team will help by:

  • Assessing your Medicaid eligibility: There are strict financial requirements for qualification, though many more seniors qualify than most people realize. Medicaid uses financial means tests that are extremely complicated. An attorney can help ensure that your assets are fairly calculated under these tests.
  • Setting up protection for your hard earned assets: It is also important that your estate, and assets, are properly structured. This must be done correctly, otherwise assets that are entitled to be protected may be exposed to long-term care bills.
  • Assisting you through the complex application process: As with many other government applications, the process for applying for Medicaid long-term care benefits can be confusing. A small mistake during the process could result in your application being denied or substantially delayed. As was mentioned previously, with nursing home costs averaging over $250 per day, a delayed application could quickly become financially devastating.

Ultimately, you need to ensure that you and your family are financially protected. If you have any questions about the cost of long-term care, or estate planning in general, please contact an experienced Grand Rapids elder lawyer for immediate legal assistance.

Contact Our Office Today

At The Law Offices Of David L. Carrier P.C., our team handles a wide variety of elder law and estate planning issues. This includes Medicaid crisis planning, probate, family trusts and much more. If you are in the Grand Rapids area and have estate planning concerns, we highly encourage you to join us at one of our upcoming LifePlan Workshops. Our friendly and experienced team will teach you what you need to know about estate planning. Please do not hesitate reserve your seat today.

Most people in Michigan have at least a vague understanding of how wills operate. This is certainly a good thing, as wills are extremely important and are an essential estate planning tool. However, they are far from the only asset distribution tool available. For many individuals in Michigan, a family trust is actually the best way to set up the distribution of their assets. If you want to know if a family trust is right for you, or if you have any questions about setting up a Michigan family trust, please do not hesitate contact an experienced estate planning attorney today to learn more about your legal options.

Family Trusts: Understanding the Basics

Wills and family trusts can both be used to pass on assets to heirs. For this purpose, a family trust often provides key advantages over a will. Family trusts are also cost-effective and relatively easy to set up. Even though a trust is a simple tool, it is an extremely powerful one. The basic process for establishing a trust is as follows:

  • You must determine who will be the beneficiaries of the trust;
  • You must select the specific assets that will be included in the trust; and
  • You need to consult with a qualified attorney who will be able to draft the trust document and who will ensure that your assets are properly transferred and titled so that they are fully protected by the trust.

Is the Right Time to Set-up a Trust Now? Four Questions to Ask Yourself

  • Do you want to keep full control over your assets?
  • Do you want a flexible estate plan that can be altered at any time?
  • Do you want to avoid the costly and time-consuming process of probate?
  • Do you want to reduce the risk that a dispute will arise over your assets?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of those questions, you should consider setting up a trust today. In fact, for many people, the right time to set up a trust is now. Far too many people are not taking advantage of the full range of estate planning options that are currently available to them. In the unfortunate event that you pass away, your family trust will ensure that your assets are distributed as efficiently and painlessly as possible. Additionally, during your lifetime, you will always have full control over the assets that are in the trust. At any moment, you can make changes to your trust so that it is always updated to your current wishes. Further, you could even revoke your trust entirely. The bottom line is that with a family trust, you will never lose control of your assets or any flexibility to make changes.

Contact Our Office Today

At The Law Offices Of David L. Carrier P.C., our team has helped many families find the estate planning solution that best fits their needs. If you have any questions about family trusts, or estate planning in general, please do not hesitate to contact us today. Our firm has offices in Grand Rapids, Norton Shores, Holland and Portage and we proudly serve families throughout western Michigan.