Category Archives: Power of Attorney

Which Type of Power of Attorney Fits Your Needs?

Depending on the type of power of attorney you have, are are looking into having granted can differ from case to case. Not all power of attorneys are the same, and hardly ever does one match another. For instance, some people will get a power of attorney if they are going to be away for a long time, others may get a power of attorney if they are mentally incompetent of making important decisions that must be made.

Common options when finding the best type of power of attorney are:

  • General or durable power of attorney: loan-applicationOften a more broad power of attorney, a general power of attorney can grant another individual to perform nearly every decision or sign any document as if the principal was present. General or durable power of attorney will remain in effect even after the principal party is mentally incompetent of making decisions for their self.
  • Specific or limited power of attorney: A more limited, or specific power of attorney limits the terms of the person acting as power of attorney. It may limit the powers to a specific occasion or transaction. Once that action or transaction has been performed, the power of attorney is terminated. A limited power of attorney may also be used if your child or other in which you have full guardianship over will be under another party’s care for a specified amount of time. For example if your child goes on vacation with a friend, you may grant the parents of that friend power of attorney for certain actions, such as signing medical documents if they need emergency medical care while away.

To determine which power of attorney is best for your need, be sure to contact Attorney Michael Colton for guidance. Contact Colton Probate Law for your free consultation.



Getting Affairs In Order Before Death and Probate Law

Before your done skydiving, traveling Europe and swimming with sharks, consider getting the more important things together before your time passes. No one wants to think about their death or what will happen after they die but it will give your loved ones and friends more understanding about your personal things so there is less to handle after your death and with in probate law, allowing you to leave with peace of mind.

 A few things you want to do to get your affairs in order before Probate Law:

1. Up to date Will: Make sure you have a will and it is up to date. If someone dies without a will, Michigan law has rules for what will happen with that persons property. This is called a person dies intestate, Probate courts in Michigan establish a probate estate where the probate court determines who will acts at the deceased representative and who will receive any assets that were left.

2. You want to appoint someone to manage your affairs, Power of Attorney: If you become sick and unable to take care of yourself or if something were you happen to you someone has to be responsible to pay your bills, deposit your money and manage your financial affairs.

3. Name a guardian: If you have children that are dependent you need to appoint a guardian to take care of them if you are not able to or pass away. Note: If you have a disabled child, find a specialist who knows the laws and benefits under Medicare and Medicaid and can coordinate asset planning. If everything is left to a disabled child they will not be able eligible for aid. Also known as special-needs planning.

Some people write a will to avoid probate laws but probate court has been simplified and Micheal Colton Probate Law attorneys in Farmington MI cater to Oakland County residents and are here to help you and your family with their probate planning. Contact Our Law Office today to talk to our probate planning attorneys and specialists to receive a no-obligation consultation about: Estate Planning, Probate Court, Probate Law, Wills and Trusts, Living Wills, Michigan law, Power of Attorneys.

Testamentary Capacity- Oakland County, MI

Most commonly brought about with minors or the elderly who are preparing a will, testamentary capacity is the legal way of discussing the metal state of the person who is preparing the will.

When charges of testamentary capacity are brought about, it usually means that the person who has prepared a will is being considered mentally unfit to do so. Whether it is that they are not capable of understanding what it is that they are signing, or they do not understand the value of the property or assets of their will. Either way Attorney Michael Colton will help resolve testamentary capacity issues in Oakland County, Michigan.

In order to prove that a person writing their will is loved-onecapable of making decisions, they must:

  1. Know the extent and value of their property stated in the will.
  2. Know the persons who are the natural beneficiaries
  3. Understand the disposition he or she is making
  4. Understand how these elements relate, and be able to form an orderly plan of distribution of their property.

If you are concerned that a loved one is incapable of making the decisions needed to execute a proper will, contact Michael Colton in regards to obtaining a power of attorney to assist with the will preparation process.

What is a Will?

Many people in Oak Park or Madison Heights, MI have a rough idea of what a will is, but not everyone knows precisely how it works. A will is a written document, sometimes referred to as a “last will and testament,” which serves as a letter of instruction to advise a county court who should receive certain assets once a person has died. The court sees to it that the testator’s (the person who makes up the will) final wishes are carried out.

You probably know that a will leaves instructions such as how property should be distributed, or who will be in charge of caring for minor children, but did you know that when you write out a will in Madison Heights or Oak Park, Michigan it can be designated to take care of a multitude of other matters? Some other uses for a will include:

  • Deciding how debts or taxes should be paid
  • Naming an executor
  • Naming guardians for young children or property
  • Providing for pets
  • Serving as a backup for a living trust

By making up a will, you make yourself solely responsible for how your assets get distributed. A will can crossover to cover business matters as well. If you own a small business or have investments, your assets can be smoothly transitioned to others throughto-sign-a-contract-1-1221950-m a succession plan.

The traditional type of will in which many people are likely familiar with is known as a testamentary will. This is also referred to as a self proving will. Once it is formally prepared, this document gets signed with witnesses present. There are also holographic wills, which don’t need witnesses present at the time of the signing, oral wills, which are spoken testaments, and living wills. Living wills deal with your wishes in accordance to medical care (life support in particular) if you become incapacitated. A probate lawyer in Oak Park or Madison Heights, MI can help residents who are unsure of which type of will they are best suited for.

Wondering what happens if you don’t have a will? In this case, you die intestate. The state then oversees how your assets are distributed. Many people believe the state does not inherit your assets but instead distributes them in accordance to a predetermined formula. Half of your estate goes to your spouse and the other half gets distributed to your kids with this formula. In such an instance, the sale of your family home or other assets can have a negative impact on the surviving spouse. Financial difficulties can arise if your spouse was dependent on the bulk of your assets to maintain the previous standard of living. It can become even more complicated if you have minor children because the court typically appoints a representative to look after the children’s interests.

Colton Probate Law is located in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Michael Colton’s team of estate planning attorneys in Oak Park, Madison Heights or surrounding Michigan cities can help residents with questions or concerns they may have about their will, or lack thereof. Call us today to schedule your free consultation. 248-324-0800.

Power of Attorney- Assets of the Living

For residents in Farmington Hills or Southfield, Michigan, it can be a bit confusing to understand the ins and outs of the power of attorney document. You may be thinking that since a person cannot use the power of attorney to take a person’s assets after they have died, that they may be able to take their assets while they are still alive through the document. But that is actually not the case.

A power of attorney can give another person the right to sell property in the place of the principal, sign a contract for the principal, or make financial transactions or decisions regarding health care. The principal can give someone the right to take any legal action that they would take themselves under the power of attorney document.

But when it comes to the way your assets are managed while you are still living, people who are disabled or anticipate being incapacitated in the future will often become the grantor of their own living trust. Your assets are overseen at your benefit through a living trust, and at this point, a durable power of attorney should be considered for management of your property. In this case, you appoint someone to be your “attorney-in-fact” and make property management or estate planning decisions in Southfield or Farmington Hills, Michigan, but only on your behalf. The attorney-in-fact’s ability to manage your assets expires once you pass away, so they never are able to seize your assets unless you grant them the ability to do so under the power of attorney.

If you, the principal, has dementia for example, the power of attorney does not give the appointed person the authority to overrule any decision that you make, even if those around you don’t believe them to be reasonable decisions. The person appointed under the power of attorney can manage your assets or finances but must make decisions according to the instructions of you, the principal, at all times.

Contact us for a free consultation if you think you or a family member might be dealing with these sort of issues in the near future. Michael Colton has been a probate or estate planning attorney in Southfield or Farmington Hills, Michigan since 1979 and is more than willing to help you do what’s best for your family during trying times. Call Colton Probate Law today. 248-324-0800.