Estate Planning

Although a majority of Michigan residents would agree that it’s important to have an estate plan, most people put off creating one for various reasons: discomfort with the prospect of mortality, concern about the expense or about the complexity of the process, or simply pressing day-to-day concerns that make planning for a distant future seem like a low priority.

As an estate planning and administration firm, we have experienced the peace of mind that occurs when our clients finally have a plan in place that provides for the needs of their loved ones. Unfortunately, we’ve also witnessed the grief and confusion of families who are dealing with a loved one’s death or incapacity without a reliable guide as to what that person would have wanted.

At Heritier Nance & Smothers, P.C., our objective is to make the estate planning process more comfortable and transparent. We educate our clients in a clear, straightforward way, help them identify their needs and goals, and work with them to create a customized estate plan designed to meet those needs.

Understanding the Estate Planning Process

We begin the estate planning process by having clients complete a simple form to provide information about their assets and circumstances. We then take the time to review this data with our clients, review their goals and objectives, and answer any questions they may have. Based on the goals identified, we will make a preliminary recommendation and draft appropriate documents. Once our clients have had a chance to review their documents, ask questions, and are satisfied that the estate plan meets their needs, we prepare final documents for their signature.

A comprehensive estate plan may include some or all of the following:

  • Last Will and Testament
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Designation of Patient Advocate (Health Care Power of Attorney)
  • Revocable Trusts
  • Irrevocable Trusts
  • Charitable Trusts
  • Deeds, Gift Lists, and Beneficiary Designations
  • IRA Trusts
  • QPRTs
  • GRATs
  • Life Insurance Trusts

To learn more about many of these estate planning tools, we invite you to review our list of estate planning basics.

Heritier Nance & Smothers, P.C. believes that estate plans are most effective when coordinated with our clients’ other professional advisors, such as CPAs and financial advisors. We assist our clients in coordinating and sharing information so that they can be confident that their wishes will be understood and honored.

Advanced Estate Planning and Tax Planning

Families with significant assets are concerned not only with the successful transfer of assets to the next generation, but with minimizing the tax burden on their estates. Heritier Nance & Smothers, P.C. helps clients with the complex planning required to preserve as much wealth as possible for their intended beneficiaries. Our services include:

  • Generation Skipping Transfer (GST) Tax Planning
  • Estate Tax Planning
  • Gift Tax Planning
  • Tax Apportionment Issues
  • Income Tax Planning
  • Preparation of Estate and Gift Tax Returns

Troy, Michigan Estate Planning Attorneys

Located in Troy, Michigan since 1985, Heritier Nance & Smothers, P.C. has helped generations of families increase, preserve, and transfer their wealth. We take pride in helping our clients achieve the peace of mind that comes from knowing they have provided for their own future and that of their loved ones.

If you do not have an estate plan, or if your existing plan is more than three years old or no longer meets your needs, we invite you to call us at (248) 828-4020 or contact Heritier Nance & Smothers, P.C. online to schedule a consultation. We look forward to working with you.