Many people do not realize it, but a will is one of the most important documents you can create. In fact, when someone passes away without creating a valid will, their loved ones can face a slew of legal troubles. Read on to learn more about what happens if someone dies without a will in Michigan.

What is a will?

A will is a legal document that declares how your assets will be distributed upon your death. Some of the assets you may include in your will may be real estate, bank accounts, securities, and items of personality. You can also include gifts for your friends and family members, such as letters or a favorite photograph. If you pass away without creating a will, your assets will be divided by the state of Michigan, rather than according to your wishes. This can cause a lot of stress for your loved ones and may even lead to a long and difficult litigation process, during what should be a time of mourning.

Can I create a will on my own?

Many people wonder whether they can create a will without the help of an estate planning attorney. This can seem like a good option, especially because there are cheap online templates to help. But, this can become very expensive quickly. This is because you need a number of different documents in order to create a comprehensive estate plan. Additionally, your will may be considered invalid if it does not meet certain criteria. In order to be considered valid in the state of Michigan, it will have to meet the following criteria:

  • The testator must either sign the will themselves or another person must sign the testator’s name at their direction and in their presence
  • At least two people must witness the signature and sign their names on the will within 30 days of each other
  • The testator must be at least 18 years old and of “sound mind and memory”
  • At some point during the will’s execution and attestation, the testator must tell each witness that the document is their will

If your will is found invalid, your assets will be divided by the state of Michigan, rather than according to your wishes.

If you are interested in creating a will, our firm is here to help. Reach out today to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney.

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Sometimes, divorce, family, and estate matters are difficult to navigate. Fortunately, they do not have to be with the assistance of a compassionate, knowledgeable attorney who is willing to guide you every step of the way. If you need a seasoned firm to help you with any divorce, family or estate-related matter, please do not hesitate to contact Collis, Griffor & Hendra today to schedule a consultation.

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