Skilled Probate & Estate Planning Attorney
Mark Gatesman is an experienced Probate and Estate Planning attorney in Livingston County Michigan with over 25 years of experience.
Contact Mr. Gatesman today for a free, initial consultation if you are in need of any of the following services:
- Trusts and Wills- draft new and evaluate existing documents
- Power of Attorney (financial and health care)
- Guardianship and Conservatorship (includes adults and minors who are developmentally disabled or incapacitated due to dementia, stroke, etc.
- Limited Guardianship for Minors
What is Estate Planning?
It’s unfortunate that many people do not proactively decide in advance how they would like their assets to be dispersed in the event of their death. Many people think they don’t have enough assets to warrant estate planning, but the truth is everyone has an ‘estate’. Your estate is comprised of everything you own- your car, home, other real estate, checking and savings accounts, investments, life insurance, furniture, and personal possessions.
Estate planning ensures you control how these belongings are given to people and organizations you care most about. This planning provides the instructions that tell those you have left behind who will receive certain items and when you want them to receive them. Planning this in advance can also ensure the least amount of taxes, legal fees, and court costs are incurred.
What happens if I don't have a plan in place?
If you should become incapacitated due to a mental or physical ailment, the court will control how your assets are used to care for you through a conservatorship or guardianship.
If you die without an intentional estate plan, your assets will be distributed according to the probate laws in your state.
What is Probate?
Probate is simply the legal process that takes place after someone passes away and includes:
- Proving a deceased person’s will is valid
- Identifying and inventorying the deceased person's property
- Having the property appraised
- Paying debts and taxes
- Distributing the remaining property as the will (or state law, if there's no will) directs.
Please don’t hesitate to contact Mr. Gatesman for a free discussion if you have questions about probate or estate planning.