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Rochester Law Blog

Living trusts and avoiding probate

When it comes to creating an effective estate plan, there are many important strategies to keep in mind. First, it is absolutely essential for you to find the type of estate plan that will suit the needs of your estate and those you love best. Some people find that a will is in their best interests, while others make the decision to create a trust. There are many different types of trusts to choose from and trusts can offer a variety of advantages. For example, if you set up a revocable living trust your estate can avoid the probate process altogether.

Avoiding probate comes with a number of benefits and your loved ones are likely to appreciate the simplicity your estate plan affords, especially during a time of mourning and potential upheaval in the family. For example, some estate plans can lead to a lengthy probate process and even disputes which lead to conflict within the whole family. By avoiding probate with a living trust, you can not only prevent hard feelings and save a significant amount of your loved ones' time, but you can also increase your estate's privacy.

Going on vacation after your divorce

The process of bringing marriage to an end can be difficult, in some instances, or relatively straightforward and uncomplicated. Ending a marriage can cause some people to feel very stressed out and those who feel like this after a divorce may look for ways to relieve some of their anxiety. For some people, this could mean going on a vacation, while others may pick up a new hobby or devote more of their free time to friends and loved ones. If you plan on going on a trip after your divorce, this could be very beneficial, but there are a number of things you may need to take into consideration.

First, divorce can bring up various unexpected issues. For example, someone may think that their divorce will be relatively amicable and that serious problems will not surface, only to find themselves in the midst of a heated dispute over how custody will be divided. Or, someone may not expect to be financially impacted by divorce to such an extent. Moreover, the divorce process can be more time-consuming and draining than some people realize, and every case is different.

4 signs you need to revisit your estate plan

Like most folks in the Rochester area, you work hard for the things you have in life. As such, you want to be certain your loved ones receive your property after you die. While drafting an estate plan is easy to delay, you finally accomplished the task. 

Without a current estate plan, you must trust New York's inheritance laws to effectively divide your assets after you die. While having an estate plan is a good idea for virtually everyone, estate plans typically have a shelf life. If you have not thought about your plan in a while, you may not be certain it continues to reflect your final wishes. Alternatively, life events may require a modification of your estate plan. Here are four signs you need to revisit your plan. 

Custody and high-asset divorce

When it comes to family law, custody and other issues that involve kids can be particularly hard for people to deal with, especially from an emotional angle. Moreover, some people have especially hard divorces in general, such as those with a high net worth and many assets. If you are working through a high-asset divorce and you have kids, it is very important to be aware of relevant custody matters and do what you can to secure the best interests of your children. 

As with other divorces, there are a number of ways in which the custody process may unfold. Sometimes, parents are able to cooperate and work through an amicable divorce, achieving an outcome that leaves both parties satisfied. Other divorces are incredibly contentious and result in bitter disputes in court and hard feelings. Either way, be aware of your legal options and make sure that you approach custody from the right angle. The way in which you handle these circumstances could significantly affect your future relationship with your kids and their well-being.

When siblings fight over an estate plan

Estate plans can give rise to all sorts of difficulties, not only for those who set one up but for their loved ones also. For example, disagreements may surface for a variety of reasons and it is crucial to handle disputes properly. Unfortunately, some people are unable to successfully resolve a dispute when one arises, and this can have a detrimental impact on their relationships with family members and their emotions and finances. Moreover, these disputes sometimes involve siblings, which can be especially difficult due to sibling rivalry, lasting disagreements and other issues.

If you are in the middle of a dispute with your brother or your sister over your loved one's estate plan, it is vital to try to handle this situation correctly. You should be aware of the different hardships you may encounter during the dispute and realize that the way in which this disagreement is handled could have a huge impact on your future relationship with your sibling. Sadly, some siblings have fought over an estate plan to such an extent that their relationship is never the same and they may be estranged for years or even the rest of their lives.

High-asset divorce and unwanted attention

We have covered various facets of the divorce process, but some people have a particularly hard time when they end their marriage. For example, a couple with children may find that their divorce is stressful due to child support or custody matters. Moreover, someone with a lot of assets may have a difficult time due to property division. Furthermore, some high-asset divorces involve celebrities and politicians, which can also create stress due to the widespread attention that a couple receives (including negative and unwanted attention).

If you are struggling with unwanted attention firsthand, it is important to try to block out the negativity and do your best to focus on your divorce case. We understand how distracting all of this attention can be, whether you read a negative article that misconstrues certain aspects of your divorce or you hear a television host say something unfavorable about your decisions. However, this should not get in the way of your divorce case. Moreover, there may be certain steps you can take to give yourself more privacy, especially if you have not filed for a divorce yet.

Is it a good idea to write your own will?

If you're currently estate planning in Michigan, you may have considered writing your own will. While there is a wide range of resources out there that allow you to do just that, you may want to think twice before setting out on your own. The Balance explains a few of the drawbacks associated with creating your own will.

Maybe you consider your situation to be fairly simple. While DIY wills can accommodate basic estates, chances are your estate is more complex than you think. For instance, if you own real estate outside of the state in which you currently live, you'll need to take additional steps to include it within your will. There are other considerations to be made, such as what to do with financial accounts, how to arrange guardianship for a minor, and paying creditors. A DIY will could be unhelpful in these areas.

How to avoid a bitter divorce battle

When it comes to divorce, the most common stories people seem to share are those that have to do with dramatic court battles. These long and drawn-out conflicts create trauma for the whole family, especially when there are children. 

However, not every divorce has to be one in which the couple stages a lengthy and contentious fight. There are several ways to achieve a satisfying balance and compromise for everyone, all while walking away from a divorce agreement without acrimony. 

Divorcing from a workaholic

A marriage may be brought to an end for any number of reasons, some of which are completely unexpected (an affair, a domestic violence incident and so on). In other instances, a couple may have been able to see their marriage crumbling over a period of many years and divorce may not come as a surprise. For example, some people are unhappy in their marriage because their spouse is a workaholic and they do not want to live with their partner any longer. For some, counseling may be able to help a couple patch things together, while other marriages cannot be salvaged.

If your spouse has a tendency to work too long on a regular basis, you may feel ignored or alone. It may seem like your partner places his or her job above you and you might be determined to bring the marriage to an end. If you are experiencing these challenges, it is essential to carefully begin the process of divorce. You should try to be understanding and think about how this decision could not only affect your life but the lives of your kids (if you are a parent) and your spouse as well.

Attending a holiday party with your ex

During the holiday season, people face many stressors, including dealing with others who they would rather avoid. Some people have it especially tough during this time of year, such as people who run into their ex at a celebration (or even attend the celebration with someone even though they have already broken up). There are various other reasons why this can happen. For example, a married couple may work for the same employer and see each other at an office party during the holidays. If you are facing this situation during the holidays and expect to run into your spouse, it is important to be prepared.

Some couples may live apart but decide to attend a holiday celebration together even though they have already broken up. These situations may be especially likely to take place when children are involved. Some family members may not even realize that your relationship has ended, so you may have to prepare yourself for questions and discuss your circumstances. Moreover, you may run into a number of problems when it comes to communicating with your former partner. For example, they may be hostile, attempt to humiliate you at some point, say things that upset you or ask you questions that make you feel uncomfortable.

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Rochester, MI 48307

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