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5 Must-Have Legal Documents in Michigan

Advice on the family law and estate planning fronts

  1. Will: Michigan attorneys usually place a will at the top of their list of essential documents. Anyone with real estate or other property, minor children or assets needs a will.

  2. Living Will/Healthcare Directive: a durable power of attorney for health care allows you to dictate in advance what type of medical treatment you do (and do not) wish to receive should you become incapacitated.

  3. Power of Attorney: This document gives a person you choose the authority to represent you in legal, financial or personal matters.

  4. Babysitter Authorization: Henry Baskin, of The Baskin Law Firm in Birmingham advises parents who regularly leave children with a care provider or family member to have a lawyer prepare an authorization form to give the caretaker the power to authorize emergency care for the child in the parents’ absence. “With the advent of HIPPA and medical malpractice suits,” he says, “doctors and hospitals are reluctant to treat children in the absence of their parents.”

  5. Prenuptial Agreement: According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average age of men in Michigan marrying for the first time is 27.1 years; for women, it’s 25.6, meaning the partners have probably accumulated assets. If so, Baskin advises them to have a lawyer prepare a prenup to minimize acrimony in case of a divorce.

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