Do you have a Living Trust?

Only 42% of US adults have a will or estate-planning document , such as a living trust?  The percentage is lower among people with children under age 18 – only 36%!  In a sense, that is what brought my wife and me to MI.  My father passed away and my mother required care.  My siblings each lived out of state also but both had children living at home.

Returning to MI from AZ represented quite a financial sticker shock however as the cost of living, especially for such government mandated obligations as auto insurance*, property taxes, water bills, etc, all doubled or tripled over what we had previously been paying.  Of course, the roads and weather aren’t as pleasant but that was to be expected.

Within a year my mother’s health deteriorated and we eventually placed her into an assisted living facility and sold her home and disposed of most of her assets through family members and private sales.  [Fortunately, my wife and I had been involved with estate liquidations and appraisals and had done extensive work with the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Bankruptcy Court, various branches of law enforcement along with various legal firms, financial planners and insurance companies].

Settling estates can often be a delicate matter.  Family members sometimes harbor ill will and it falls to the legal representatives/executors and estate liquidators and sometimes even the courts to settle matters in an equitable fashion.

Thankfully, my sister and brother and I harbored no ill-will and easily settle the estate of our parent’s.  My sister, in particular, proved adept at arranging for hospice care for my mother and other end-of-life matters.  Keep in mind not everyone is so fortunate to be as prepared as we were.  It is advisable to get advance-care wishes in order.  This year, National Health Care Decisions Day [NHDD] will be a weeklong event from April 16 to April 22.  See for information on making wishes known through health-care proxies, living wills and other documents.

April is also National Donate Life Month [I’ve donated my entire body]…one useful resource is:  or you can always choose to donate via your drivers permit in most states.

If you live in the Thumb area of MI you’ll find our list of area professionals useful in assisting you in such areas of taxes, creating a will or is storing or disposing of estates and more.  Contact me them directly or drop me an email or phone me – please let these folks know you heard about them from this site when you contact them.

*Your auto insurance premium is likely to rise after an accident EVEN if you were not at fault say consultants.  MI, which already has the highest premiums in the nation, even if you have just one accident in which another driver is at fault, Allstate, Farmers, Geico and Progressive raised annual premiums by an average of $176 [10%].  Among the five major auto insurers studied in 10 big cities, only State Farm did not penalize innocent drivers.

Unlimited medical payouts account for high premiums in MI and when Obamacare was forced onto ALL citizens of the nation I wrote our governor to find out when the state planned to phase out this duplication of coverage.  His reply [this was nearly three years ago] was that premiums would be lowered by $125 per year each year…we’re still waiting.  Obviously, someone is double-dipping!