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News & Helpful Articles

New David L. Carrier workshop explains Medicaid program’s role in estate planning

When it comes to estate planning and elder law, you could say the Law Offices of David L. Carrier sets the pace. Or, rather, they set the PACE. The Grand Rapids-based firm, which helps families navigate through complicated issues and laws surrounding estate planning, is making PACE the topic of its latest free workshop. PACE is an acronym for Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly. It’s a comprehensive health program that helps seniors remain at...

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Join Us for Our Classic Car Cruise-In

Wash up your Ride and Come on out and enjoy some classic cars, good food and 50's music. It will be fun for the whole family!   Hosted by the Law Offices of David L. Carrier When: Friday, August 11, 2017 4-7 PM Where: 4965 East Beltline Avenue, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525 RSVP: Let us know you're coming (so we have enough Yesterdogs). Register Here or call (616) 361-8400...

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What Happens to Your Estate Plan If You Move?

Making an estate plan is not a one-time affair. Changes in your life may prompt you to revise your will, trust, power of attorney, or advance directives for health care. Even if you do not think any changes are necessary, it may still be a good idea to periodically speak with a Grand Rapids estate planning attorney about your situation. Avoiding Confusion Over Out-of-State Documents If you have just moved to Michigan from another state, you might...

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The Difference Between Medicaid Pre-Planning and Crisis Planning

Medicaid is designed to help seniors with limited means afford medical care, including long-term nursing home care. Since Michigan's Medicaid program imposes strict limits on an applicant's income and assets, some planning may be necessary to help ensure eligibility. Medicaid estate planning generally falls into two categories: pre-planning and crisis planning. Crisis Planning Crisis planning is the more common occurrence. A crisis in this context means any sudden or catastrophic healthcare event. For example, an elderly man...

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What Is a Sweetheart Trust?

A revocable living trust is an estate planning tool that lets you transfer assets to a trustee. You can serve as your own trustee, allowing you to keep control over the assets during your lifetime. Upon your death, a successor trustee (that you previously named) assumes control of the trust and distributes its assets according to your instructions. Many married couples in Michigan find it useful to create a joint revocable living trust. These are informally...

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Naming Guardians for Your Children

If you have minor children your first estate planning question is probably, “Who will take care of them if I die?” Naming a guardian for your child is a major decision. There are a number of things you need to consider before making your choice. Guardianships and Wills A guardian is someone appointed to care for an unmarried child under the age of 18. Under Michigan law, a custodial parent has the right to appoint a guardian...

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How Much Does a Michigan Will Cost?

A common question every estate planning lawyer gets is, “How much do you charge for a will?” There is no single answer. A will is not a standardized product. Each will has unique characteristics based on a person's financial, family, and legal situation. Estate Planning Is Not Always So Simple Speaking in broad terms, estate planning attorneys generally offer simple wills on a flat-fee basis, usually between $500 and $1500 dollars, depending on circumstances such as marital...

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How Divorce Affects Your Michigan Estate Plan

Divorce is a complicated process of unwinding not just a marriage, but of property and other legal obligations. There are many legal issues to consider. For example, how does a divorce affect your will or other estate planning documents? Divorce (Partially) Revokes Your Will Married couples typically have language in their wills naming the other spouse as executor or beneficiary of their estate. Michigan law assumes divorced couples intend to revoke such language. Therefore, unless the couple's...

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The Role of an Executor in Michigan

An executor, or personal representative, carries out the terms and provisions of a deceased person’s will. Typically, the creator of the will (also known as the testator) will name an executor who is responsible for closing out the testator’s estate, which means taking care of any remaining financial obligations and ensuring that beneficiaries named in the will receive their assets. If the testator does not name an executor, Michigan law specifies, in order of priority, who...

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Making Changes to Your Michigan Will

Once you’ve created an estate plan, it’s important that you maintain it. For example, there might be additional beneficiaries that you want to add to your will or people that you want to take out of it. Remember, if you don’t keep your will up-to-date then your wishes might not be carried out. Different Types of Wills There are several different types of wills that are legal in Michigan. A holographic will is entirely handwritten by the...

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