Probate & Estate Planning

Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County, Michigan Estate Planning and Probate

The thought of a future in which you're not there to provide for your family is difficult to contemplate; a future in which you haven't done everything possible to protect them is even harder to think about. Lisa J. Peterson, P.L.L.C. offers estate planning and probate services to ease your family's transitions in the future, and give you all peace of mind today.

Ann Arbor Estate Planning Attorney

Estate planning is essential for everyone, no matter their age, family status, or level of wealth. Estate planning is the only way to ensure that your wishes for your medical care, your assets, and your children's future are honored if you are not available to express them. Planning ahead lets you have control over who handles your estate and how, rather than the court dictating this.

Wills and powers of attorney are an essential part of most estate plans. A will dictates how your property is to be distributed when you die, who is to serve as executor of your estate, and, if you have minor children, who will be their guardian if their other parent isn't available. Powers of attorney may be either financial or medical in nature, and give another person the legal authority to make decisions for you if you are incapacitated.

Lisa will sit down with you to evaluate your situation and design an estate plan customized to meet the needs of your family, including:

  • Wills
  • Trusts (revocable, irrevocable or special needs)
  • Guardianship and conservatorship (children and adults)
  • Powers of attorney (financial and medical)
  • Patient advocate designation
  • Health care or medical directives
  • Planning for multi-generational gifts and beneficiaries
  • Probate, estate and trust administration
  • Medicaid planning and application
  • Asset protection

Even if you already have an estate plan, remember that as your life circumstances change, your estate plan will need to be updated, especially in the event of a marriage, birth of a child, or separation or divorce.

Washtenaw County Probate Attorney

Estate Administration

Probate, also called estate administration, is the court-supervised process of distributing a person's assets after death, according to the person's last will and testament, or according to Michigan law if the person died without a will.

A personal representative or executor is appointed by the person or the court to manage the probate estate and report back to the court and interested parties or beneficiaries. Mishandling of these responsibilities can result in personal liability for a personal representative, so it's important to have experienced legal counsel during this process. Trusted, reliable counsel is a benefit to the estate, and legal fees are paid out of estate funds.

Lisa works with personal representatives to ensure that estate business is handled properly, efficiently, and according to probate court rules and deadlines. She also represents interested parties to a probate estate in the event there is a dispute in connection with the estate.

Guardianships and Conservatorships

In Michigan, county probate courts also oversee guardianships (protection for people who are legally incapable of caring for themselves) and conservatorships (protection for people who are legally incapable of managing their finances or property). Lisa is experienced in representing guardians and conservators as well as in protecting the interests of incapacitated persons, known as "wards."

With offices conveniently located in downtown Ann Arbor, Lisa J. Peterson, P.L.L.C. serves clients throughout Washtenaw County, including Chelsea, Ypsilanti, Milan, Manchester, Saline and Dexter, as well as in Oakland, Wayne and other nearby Michigan counties. We welcome you to contact us for a free consultation about your Michigan estate planning or probate matter.

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