At the Gallagher Law Firm, our Michigan estate planning attorneys help clients of all ages consider early planning options, which can ease the burden placed on loved ones at the time of your passing and can avoid unnecessary conflict and dispute. There are many legal tools that can be used to dispose of your assets either upon death or before. A will is one legal instrument that allows you to maintain possession and ownership of your assets, including real or personal property, during your lifetime and transfer them after your death.

Wills are important estate planning tools for people of all ages, not just the elderly. Parents with minor children will be able to appoint guardians and conservators to care for the children and manage finances. Non-traditional families may not be protected or provided for if an individual passes without a will.

There are certain advantages to passing assets in a will, including tax benefits to the beneficiary. Capital assets that are transferred receive a "stepped-up basis" for tax purposes. Upon transfer, the basis is recalculated to the fair market value of the asset as of the date of death, as opposed to the original basis of the asset in the hands of the decedent. This has obvious advantages for the beneficiary who later sells the asset. The realized capital gain will be the difference between the sale proceeds and the date-of-death value. The appreciation from the original basis to the value at the time of death is disregarded and will never be taxed.

At the Gallagher Law Firm, our estate planning attorneys attorneys possess the knowledge and skill to assist you and your family in managing your estate and planning for the disposition of your property upon death. We can advise you on the full range of legal avenues available to you and the best method for transferring your assets based on your personal circumstances, objectives, and concerns. We have worked with a host of different clients and families, including those with modest assets to those with sizeable estates. We work closely with clients to thoroughly understand their circumstances and how they desire to dispose of their assets upon death. Our goal is to educate clients and ensure that they have the information they need to make the best decision for their situation.

Contact the Gallagher Law Firm today to experience the superior quality of legal services that sets our firm apart.