Probate attorney Alan A. May has continued to develop methods to ensure that the intent of an Estate Plan is carried out without interruption.
Recently the Oakland County Probate Court entered an Order, during the lifetime of a client finding and determining that his Trust was valid and that he was competent and not subject to undue influence. The facts were simple. The client had 12 children and did not care for 10 of them. He favored two. We wrote a Trust and petitioned the court to declare it valid. We served the 12 children, not only with a copy of our petition, but with the Trust itself. Our theory was it is easy to speak about your parent after his death, but difficult to look him in the eye while he is still alive. The court agreed, and we got our Order.
Some people may prefer to keep their Estate Plan secret, and also to minimize conflict during their lifetime. These, of course, are valid considerations to weigh against the above approach.
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