Grand Rapids Estate Planning Attorneys
Sophisticated Estate Planning Guidance in Kalamazoo and Ottawa Counties
At McShane & Bowie, our Kent County estate planning lawyers advise our clients as to the estate planning you need to protect your assets and your family now and in the future. Our accomplished team is widely respected and has the experience, knowledge, and skill to provide comprehensive planning services for a wide array of estates – traditional to nontraditional, vast to modest. We represent clients with varied income levels and professions, including, business owners, physicians, farmers, and retirees. No matter the scope or complexity of your estate, we are always focused on achieving your financial, business, and personal goals.
Schedule an initial consultation with our Grand Rapids estate planning attorneys to start exploring your estate planning options. Call (616) 747-7922 or contact us online today.
Wills, Trusts, and Other Estate Planning Documents
What is Estate Planning?
One of the most important goals of estate planning is to create enforceable instructions for how your assets will be distributed. No matter your age or health, it is in your best interest to plan for and consider possible incapacity. Various estate planning tools can be tailored to achieve your specific objectives and provide peace of mind.
Our Grand Rapids estate planning attorneys are prepared to help you draft and execute many types of estate planning documents, including:
- Testamentary trusts
- Revocable trusts
- Irrevocable trusts
- Special needs trusts
- Durable powers of attorney for medical and financial purposes
- Family limited partnerships (FLPs) and limited liability companies (LLCs)
- Advance directives
- Asset protection trusts
Probate and Trust Administration
Probate is the costly, time-consuming process through which a deceased person’s estate is settled, so our goal is to avoid probate whenever possible. This can be accomplished through the strategic use of trusts and other estate planning instruments.
Our firm can help you avoid probate by:
- Titling assets to pass to heirs automatically
- Utilizing trusts to facilitate asset distribution
Should probate become unavoidable, we can assist you with all aspects of estate administration regardless of size of the estate or type. Our firm also represents parents and minors in guardianships and conservatorships and can obtain protection orders from the probate court to address specific problems involving minors or incapacitated individuals.
Our estate planning lawyer can also represent you in probate litigation involving:
- Will contests
- Probate disputes
- Disputes between heirs
- Disputes between trustees, guardians, conservators, or other fiduciaries or beneficiaries
Trustees are appointed to manage and administer trusts. It is sometimes appropriate for a legal professional to serve as your trustee and in that regard, we also oversee trusts of all varieties and purposes. We can also advise existing trustees on fulfilling their fiduciary obligations and represent them in trust litigation.
Gift Tax Planning
Strategic charitable giving is especially important for our high-net-worth clients. Gift planning allows you to provide assets and resources to the people and organizations you value while minimizing the impact of federal estate taxes. It can also allow you to transfer assets to loved ones tax-free. We will work closely with you to structure an optimal plan.
Our Grand Rapids estate planning attorneys can help you leverage many types of lifetime and post-death charitable giving, including:
- Charitable gift annuities
- Charitable unitrusts and annuity trusts
- Outright bequests
- 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charities
- Charitable trusts
- Other tax-exempt organizations
Asset Protection Planning
Our team at McShane & Bowie can help you guard your wealth and assets against creditors, litigation, seizure, and overly burdensome taxes. Asset protection involves legally separating you from the property you wish to safeguard. This will typically involve placing applicable assets in a protected form of legal ownership.
Our firm can assist you with numerous asset protection strategies, including those involving:
- Asset protection trusts
- Tenancy by the entirety (TBE)
- Family limited partnerships (FLPs)
Medicaid Planning and Elder Law
You and your family members may face unique challenges that warrant focused attention as you grow older. You or a loved one may even require long-term care, and those exorbitant expenses may not be covered by private insurance. Our firm provides comprehensive assistance to navigate these issues and other matters of elder law.
Our Grand Rapids estate planning lawyers can help you or a family member:
- Use estate planning tools to become eligible for Medicaid benefits
- Proactively facilitate long-term care planning before immediate care is required
- Discuss investment or transfer of asset strategies
- File for a guardianship or conservatorship
- Address elder abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation
- Annually review assets
Tax Planning and Reporting
We know how estate planning can influence your tax obligations. Our firm coordinates estate planning and income tax planning efforts with an eye on reducing liability and delivering an optimal financial outcome. In addition to ensuring you meet reporting requirements, we can advise regarding your personal and business tax returns.
Our legal professionals are ready to help you:
- Minimize estate and gift taxes
- Avoid generation-skipping transfers
- Reduce tax burdens on survivors and beneficiaries
Whatever your estate planning needs, we aim to be your go-to counselors and legal partners. Contact us online or call (616) 747-7922 today to speak with a Grand Rapids estate planning attorney.
"I've been with McShane & Bowie for almost 20 years, and wouldn't consider going elsewhere. The team has taken excellent care of me."Karen S.
"McShane & Bowie is patient, compassionate, super-smart, and well-prepared and chooses cases carefully to make sure they are able to give each client their full attention. Details do not slip past ..."Avvo User
"I highly recommend McShane & Bowie, very impressive knowledge and work ethic."Blake H.
We have the skill & experience needed to protect your rights & vital interests & get the results you need to succeed.
Founded in 1952, we have a longstanding and excellent reputation in the community.
Your lead attorney is with you, every step of the way, working to achieve your desired results while minimizing unnecessary delays and costs.
Each legal challenge is met head-on with specialized knowledge, a tailored plan, and innovative thinking.