Do you find yourself asking if you need a will? Creating this legal document is not mandatory, but it’s always a smart idea to plan for the division and dispersal of your assets after death.
Reasons for Writing a Will
Making a will gives you control over how your money and property are handled and distributed when you die. Take note that a will can be modified throughout your life every time you change your mind on how to distribute your bequest. At any rate, here are the most common reasons for creating a will.
- A last will and testament allows you to ensure that your finances, personal property, and real property go to your intended recipients. It also allows you to disinherit an heir in case there is anybody you wish to prevent from receiving any part of your estate.
- A will is especially ideal if you have minor children. It allows you to make decisions for their care when you’re gone, like setting up guardianship or conservatorship in case they’re still minors when they lose you.
- With a will to refer to, your surviving heirs can also avoid the probate court and suffering through a long and complicated probate process with regard to your assets.
- You can avoid estate taxes if you create a will. Whatever you bequeath to your heirs or beneficiaries won’t be included in your final estate tax accounting.
The key to efficiently distributing and closing your estate is in choosing the right person to administer it. When you make a will, appoint an executor you can trust in settling your affairs as efficiently as possible.
The Disadvantage of Dying Intestate
A deceased person without a will is referred to as intestate. Intestacy laws vary from state to state, so intestate procedures that may apply to intestate individuals also vary. Nonetheless, the general standard procedure according to different state laws is to list the next of kin of the decedent, its order based on how the inheritance is to be portioned out. In Michigan, it’s important to look at the intestacy rules that apply to the status of the decedent and the relevant survivorship. Typically, the intestate succession does designate preferential status to the surviving spouse, followed by surviving descendants or parents. If there are no surviving descendants or parents, the surviving spouse is the sole beneficiary who inherits, according to state law.
Do you really want the state to decide on how to dispose of your estate? An important loved one may not inherit anything.
Assistance from Estate Planning Attorneys
While it’s true that you may draft a will without approaching a law firm, it’s much better and safer to do so with legal assistance from an estate planning lawyer. Usually, people feel the need to prepare wills in order to pass on personal or real property to their loved ones, but it is a legal process after all, and there are procedural requirements to be met and formalities to go through. For instance, you should make sure to have witnesses on hand when you sign the legal documents. If your estate is simple enough, you can draft a valid will that can easily be followed at the time of death. If you want to ensure that your wishes regarding the disposition of your assets are carried out correctly and if you want to be particular about succession planning, it’s best to hire the services of an estate planning attorney.
For legal advice and help in drafting wills and trusts or any other estate planning documents, call us at Entrusted Estate to speak with an experienced attorney specializing in Michigan estate law.