It seems that many families are motivated to do estate planning only when they think a lot of their estate will be lost to taxes.  Sadly, this leaves many families without an estate plan when it’s needed most.  And unfortunately, many times their family is left with a mess due to lack of planning . . . no matter how “small” their “estate” may be.  I can’t overemphasize how important it is to remember that an “estate” is not what you think it is  – read this post and this post to find out what an estate really is.

The great news is that this fact is become more of a “known” than an “unknown.”  Proof is in this Yahoo! Finance article I came across last week.  It’s a short read and certainly worth your time.  The article points out that, even if estate taxes don’t go up at the beginning of 2013 as they are scheduled to, “I’d still take the threat of higher estate taxes as a wake-up call.”  The article goes on to 5 estate critical estate planning tasks that you should absolutely not put off.  Although there are many more, I generally agree with the 5 they list.  And, as can be seen from this previous blog post, the #1 item on the list can cause some real headaches (and heartaches).

So “take the bull by the horns” and call us at 616-827-7596 to schedule your Peace of Mind Planning Session to make sure you have all these items handled in a way that is a true reflection of your family – who you are and what is important to you.

Michael Lichterman is an estate planning and charitable planning attorney who helps families and business owners create a lasting legacy by planning for their Whole Family Wealth™.  This goes beyond merely planning for “stuff” – it’s about who your are and what’s important to you.  He focuses on estate, charitable, and asset protection planning for all generations (“young” and “experienced”), the “sandwich generation” (caring for parents and children), doctors/physicians, nurses, lawyers, dentists, professionals with minor children, family owned businesses, and pet planning.  He enjoys creating life long relationships with his clients centered on their family’s values, insights, stories and experiences.