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Wills & Trusts

Knowledgeable Attorneys Assist with Wills and Trusts in Kalamazoo

Personalized service leading to comprehensive estate plans

Wills and trusts are the most efficient ways to leave a legacy to your heirs. However, these are very different instruments used to achieve different purposes. To get the most out of your estate planning, you can rely on the knowledgeable attorneys of Brueggemann & Sharma, P.C. We draw on more than 55 years of combined experience to craft your will and trust documents to meet your specific goals. We provide the information you need to make informed choices, and we draft clear, concise documents so your wishes can be effectively implemented.

Reliable will drafting in Kalamazoo, MI

Every adult should have a professionally drafted will. Unfortunately, too many people either put off consulting a lawyer about a will or create their own by relying on will templates available online. Either scenario can create problems for your loved ones when they try to settle your estate. If you die intestate (without a will), your assets pass to your heirs according to Michigan’s laws of inheritance. This could mean that some of your loved ones are entirely left out. Additionally, an intestate estate can be very difficult to settle, especially when family members quarrel over what they want or what they think the deceased would have wanted.

A poorly drafted or improperly executed will can also cause problems for a number of reasons:

  • It can be voided for vagueness — A will can be partially or fully invalid if its terms are indefinite and open to various interpretations.
  • It can include partial intestacy — If you don’t include all of your property in your will, whatever you leave out passes to your heirs by law, not according to your intentions.
  • It can be open to will challenges — If your heirs don’t have confidence that your will accurately reflects your wishes, they can challenge the will in court.

To spare your family additional heartache after you pass, and to help ensure they receive an inheritance in a timely manner, you must consult an experienced attorney capable of drafting a will that stands up to court scrutiny.

Trusts for asset protection and transfer of assets

Trusts are also used to transfer wealth to beneficiaries, but they have many benefits over and above an ordinary will, such as:

  • Asset protection during your lifetime — Since the trust technically owns the asset you place in it, that wealth is protected from liability claimants and creditors.
  • Avoidance of probate — Trust assets pass to beneficiaries automatically without having to go through probate, so your heirs receive their legacy immediately.
  • Avoidance of estate tax — If your estate is large enough to trigger the federal estate tax, placing the assets in trust can reduce the overall value of your estate to avoid taxation.
  • Conditional gifts — If a beneficiary lacks the capacity to manage a large lump sum, you can create a trust to disperse funds over time. You can also condition receipt of payment on certain performance, such as finishing college or staying sober.

Trusts are very flexible instruments, so we can craft one or more trusts as part of your estate plan to meet all of your retirement and legacy needs.

Contact our Kalamazoo estate planning lawyers for will and trust services

Brueggemann & Sharma, P.C. has helped clients throughout Kalamazoo County implement comprehensive estate plans since 1988. For personalized will and trust services to address your retirement and legacy needs, call us at 269-220-7300 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Our office is conveniently located at 4021 W. Main Street, Suite 400, Kalamazoo, MI 49006.

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