Incentivized Estate Planning

Planning for Your Peace of Mind

The Citizen Asset Management (CAM) Department now offers Estate Planning Services for Tribal Citizens. The Tribe has partnered with a Michigan based Native Attorney to offer these services at no out of pocket cost to you. The goal of this program is to provide the opportunity for Citizens to receive the following five Estate Planning documents:  Will, Trust, Quitclaim Deed, Patient Advocate Designation and Financial Power of Attorney. 

Below is a brief definition of the services offered:

A Will or testament is a legal document by which a person, the testator, expresses their wishes as to how their property is to be distributed at death and names one or more persons, the executor, to manage the estate until its final distribution.

A Trust is a vehicle to pass assets to a trustee, who in turn holds those assets — in a trust fund — for a third party, such as a beneficiary. Trusts can be an appealing option if your aim is to minimize taxes, protect assets and avoid the probate process. If you create a trust, you also can control how and to whom those assets will be disbursed. A trust can save your beneficiaries from paying estate taxes and court fees, and can protect your assets from beneficiaries’ creditors or from loss through divorce settlements. It also lets you specify where remaining assets should go in the event of a beneficiary’s death. Trusts also allow you to pass on assets quickly and privately by avoiding the public probate process.

A Quitclaim Deed is a legal instrument that is used to transfer interest in real property. The entity transferring its interest is called the grantor, and when the quitclaim deed is properly completed and executed, it transfers any interest the grantor has in the property to a recipient, called the grantee.

A Patient Advocate helps patients communicate with their healthcare providers so they get the information they need to make decisions about their health care. Patient advocates may also help patients set up appointments for doctor visits and medical tests and get financial, legal, and social support. 

The durable Financial Power of Attorney is simply a way to allow someone else to manage your finances in the event that you become incapacitated and are unable to make those decisions yourself. More precisely, it grants someone legal authority to act on your behalf for financial issues.

Estate planning is very complex and is of vital importance. Estate Planning allows Tribal Citizens an effective way to distribute their assets to provide for their loved ones after death. Estate planning often avoids the time and cost of probate, avoids bitter family inheritance fights, names guardians for one’s children, avoids conservatorship upon incapacitation and directs one’s family and physician about healthcare decisions if one becomes unable to do so. This program is open to all Tribal Citizens beginning October 1, 2019. If you are interested in Estate Planning or have any additional questions, please contact Rachel Jacko at 269.397.1780 ext, 1226.