At Biddinger, Bitzer & Estelle, PLLC, we strive to provide the residents of Sanilac County with quality elder law and estate planning services. Our commitment to meeting their planning needs enables us to help our neighbors in the area to develop the strategies they need to properly manage asset protection, long-term care planning, incapacity concerns, and the full range of legacy-related issues. We can also help you protect your interests with incapacity planning to guard against unexpected illness and injury. If you’re a resident of the county or just thinking about moving here, it can be comforting to know that Biddinger, Bitzer & Estelle, PLLC is here to help you make sense of your elder law and estate planning needs.
The Experienced Representation You Need in Sanilac County
Sanilac County, Michigan is located in the state’s Thumb region, and has a population of approximately 41,587, which is a decrease in population from the 44,547 reported in 2000. Sandusky serves as the county seat. The county is largely a rural area, with 90% of the population living in the countryside or along the Lake Huron shoreline, outside the city and village limits. That’s natural, since the land is mainly flat, fertile farmland with a full 33 miles of beautiful lakefront property.
Sanilac County’s rich history began nearly two centuries ago, when it was created from a portion of St. Clair territory under the control of Oakland County. Since then, the size of the county has fluctuated as new counties have been formed. Today, the county is one of those iconic Michigan areas that holds fast to its history and traditions even as it embraces the reality of the modern world.
Family farmers own the vast majority of land in Sanilac County, and this land has been passed down through the generations since the Great Fires of 1871 and 1881 cleared the majority of the trees from this fertile land basin. Sanilac County farmers grow sugar beets, corn, wheat, and soybeans, as well as fruits like apples, blueberries, grapes, and a wide variety of fresh produce for farmers markets. These farms, and the small businesses that support them, are mainly family owned, and benefit from the Succession Planning, Asset Protection, Living Trust and other business legal services we offer. Keeping the family business in the family, instead of it being seized by estate taxes or Medicaid estate recovery, is a prime example of what we do to help our local farmers and small business owners.
The County’s median household income is $40,279, which is roughly 10% more than the median of $36,870 in 1999. That median is about 20% lower than the statewide median, however, and is classified a HUB Zone by the Small Business Administration. Throughout Michigan, median household income stands at $48,273. Industries in the area include health care services, which account for 22% of the area’s industry activity, retail (16%), manufacturing (12%), and education (7%). Production jobs account for 19% of all employment, with management and construction jobs making up another 23%. This diversity provides opportunities for wealth creation and a need to protect it with solid estate planning. Biddinger, Bitzer & Estelle, PLLC is always here to provide that planning.
Seniors in Sanilac County
The median age of the county’s residents was 44 years old in 2014. That’s higher than the statewide median, which is just 38 years old. 23.6% of those residents are 18 years or younger, while 17.6% are at least 65 years of age or older. The poverty rate for the area is higher than in many other parts of the country, and seniors are no exception.11.4% of area seniors live at or below the poverty line.
Sanilac County seniors often remain in their own homes well into their twilight years. For those whose health care requirements mandate more care than can be provided at home, however, other options often need to be explored. These include relying on family and friends, in-home care, and even nursing home care. Caring.com’s website has a listing of the care facilities in the county.
Choosing a care facility is always one of the most important decisions that any senior can make when long-term health care concerns need to be addressed. That’s why it is critical for older residents in Sanilac County to ensure that they have properly researched their options so that the choice they make is the right one for their needs. Location and facility amenities are important, but funding matters as well. At Biddinger, Bitzer & Estelle, PLLC, our elder law experts can help seniors to evaluate their options, and provide valuable planning to ensure that they have the funding they need to pay for the high costs of that care.
Sanilac County Demographics for Housing and Labor
People who are moving into the area often have a need for demographic information related to things like housing and the labor market. Data collected in 2013 can provide useful insight into those important areas of concern.
The median value of area condos and houses was $93,170 in 2013, a slight increase above the 2000 median value of $91,000. Those values are significantly lower than the statewide median value of $117,500. For renters, the median contract monthly cost is $457, That too is significantly lower than what renters are paying elsewhere in the state. Michigan’s statewide median rental cost is $629.
For business owners who want to launch an operation in the county, educational demographics can be extremely helpful. 79.7% of residents 25 years of age or older have completed at least a high school education. 10% have achieved a bachelor’s degree, doctorate, or other higher level of education. The poverty rate in the area is roughly 14.7%.
Sanilac County Courts of Note
All probate and guardianship matters are handled in the county seat of Sandusky. That courthouse is located at Courthouse, Room 213, 60 West Sanilac 2nd Floor, Sandusky, MI 48471. The courthouse is open for business Monday through Friday, and normal business hours are between 8 AM and 4:30 PM. The court closes from 12 PM to 1 PM every day for lunch. Persons with questions for the court can contact personnel by dialing (810) 648-3221.
Probate court manages many important concerns for residents in the county, including guardianship related matters for incapacitated adults and minor children, as well as estate settlement. When you have questions related to those issues, the probate court can often provide basic answers. For more complex concerns, Biddinger, Bitzer & Estelle, PLLC is here to help. We can provide assistance for estate executors, representation in guardianship proceedings, and ensure that you have the estate planning and elder law help you need to avoid complications.
Sanilac County Residents: Get the Estate Planning Help You Need
Biddinger, Bitzer & Estelle PLLC has an office at 2046 Black River Street, Suite 1, in Deckerville, conveniently located in the heart of Sanilac County. This office is open by appointment, and you can schedule a convenient time by calling (989) 872-5601. This location offers residents of Port Sanilac, Minden City, Forester, Croswell, Lexington, Sandusky, Snover and Deckerville a meeting place with 15 minutes of home.
At Biddinger, Bitzer & Estelle, PLLC, our experts are always available to help our neighbors in Sanilac County with the estate planning and elder law strategies they need to achieve their legacy goals. When you need to protect assets, secure your personal interests, and provide for potential long-term care needs, you can rely on us to get the job done right. For more information, call (989) 872-5601 today.