A Will Is Not Enough: 

Go directly to Probate Court,
Do not pass Go, Do not collect $200

A will is a set of instructions to a Probate Judge stating how you want your assets to be distributed following your death. Dying with a will means that your assets will have to be processed through Probate Court in order to be distributed to your heirs. The same is true for dying without a will. All assets of the decedent titled in the decedent’s name alone will then be inventoried, taxed and distributed using the Probate process.

For a description of the Probate process please reveiw our Probate Administration page.

We recommend completing our Probate Planning Questionnaire (.pdf) for a more thorough consultation.

Call (248) 643-9530 or email info@zeiglerlaw.com for a consultation.


How to Avoid Probate and Taxes

The best way to avoid Probate is to adopt and fund a revocable living trust. A trust is also the best method to reduce and possibly eliminate federal estate taxes.  We save our clients’ money while  providing peace of mind to our clients and their families. 

The Probate Court System is a very public proceeding.  All personal and financial information of the decedent is fully disclosed for anyone to obtain.  So, having a will alone is simply not private.

To avoid Probate, many clients try to use joint ownership with the right of survivorship. However, joint ownership can result in unintended income tax, capital gains tax and federal estate tax consequences, and even the unexpected loss of the entire asset. Our planning strategies can reduce expensive Probate issues and avoid tax consequences.

The best way to avoid Probate is to prepare and fund a revocable living trust.

Call  (248) 643-9530 or email info@zeiglerlaw.com and complete our Estate Planning Questionnaire (.pdf) for a consultation.


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