Estate Planning

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:

  • Wills
  • 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

Why Should I Talk to an Attorney About Estate Planning?

When it comes to estate planning, consulting with an experienced estate attorney in Grand Rapids, MI is crucial. At McShane & Bowie, we thoroughly understand estate planning law and the complexities that can come with it. Our attorneys offer comprehensive solutions that can be customized to fit your needs and wishes.

Here's why you should consider hiring estate planning attorneys:

  • Work with a team that has specialized knowledge and expertise. With an in-depth knowledge of Michigan estate planning laws, we can create strategies that will help you navigate complex legal matters effectively.
  • Receive guidance with a personalized approach. At McShane & Bowie, our estate planning attorney in Grand Rapids will take time to understand the circumstances of your situation, your goals, and address any concerns that you may have.We will work closely with you to develop an estate plan that is aligned with your wishes and your needs.
  • Working with an experienced attorney will help you avoid costly mistakes. Without proper guidance, you could end up with unintended tax liabilities or disputes among family members and beneficiaries. An estate attorney can ensure that your plan avoids potential pitfalls while being legally sound.
  • If you choose to work with an estate attorney in Grand Rapids at our firm, you can be sure that your plan is legally valid -- we stay up to date with the latest laws and regulations in Michigan regarding estate planning.
  • Have guidance and support to handle complex family matters. Estate planning can become more complicated if you have a blended family, minor children, or family members with special needs. A seasoned estate planning attorney in Grand Rapids, MI at McShane & Bowie can help you navigate these situations and ensure that your plan reflects your intentions for all who are involved.
  • Have peace of mind knowing that your plan is being taken care of by a professional backed by years of experience who is dedicated to protecting your interests and ensuring that your wishes are carried out when you are gone.

To benefit from our specialized estate planning services, contact us at (616) 747-7922 to request an appointment for a consultation. Our Grand Rapids estate planning lawyers are ready to answer your questions and help create your estate plan.

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.

Client Testimonials

  • "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.
  • Experienced

    We have the skill & experience needed to protect your rights & vital interests & get the results you need to succeed.

  • Trusted

    Founded in 1952, we have a longstanding and excellent reputation in the community.

  • Devoted

    Your lead attorney is with you, every step of the way, working to achieve your desired results while minimizing unnecessary delays and costs.

  • Resourceful

    Each legal challenge is met head-on with specialized knowledge, a tailored plan, and innovative thinking.

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