Wills Attorney in Ypsilanti, Michigan
Planning for the future is one of the most important steps you can take to protect what you’ve earned. The best way to ensure your estate is taken care of is to draft a legal document known as a will. This task can seem daunting for those who aren’t ready to think about life after they pass away. At Collis, Griffor & Hendra, our attorneys can help guide you through this process. We can help make sure your estate is set up properly so your family and loved ones are provided for after you pass. With so much to protect, it is important to have a legal team you can count on. Contact Collis, Griffor & Hendra today to discuss your situation.
Why Do I Need a Will?
Creating a will is essential for planning how your assets will be distributed upon your death. Without a will, your assets will pass through intestacy — in other words, by the rules of the state rather than by the decedent’s desires. This is an especially important task if you own any property and/or have any children. Your will allows you to determine exactly who gets what if anything at all. This process can bring a family great peace of mind knowing that they can focus on cherishing your memory instead of battling it out over assets. With so much at stake, you need a legal team you can trust.
Who Can Create a Will?
In the state of Michigan, any adult (18 years or older) can create a will as long as they have sufficient mental capacity. “Sufficient mental capacity” requires that the person creating the will meets the following criteria:
- They understand that a will determines how their assets will be distributed upon their death.
- They know what property they own.
- They know who their close relatives are. This includes their spouse and children, if applicable.
- They have a general understanding of what they are signing.
The state of Michigan offers an option for estate planning known as a statutory will. This type of will is only permitted to be used by Michigan residents. This method of preparation aims to streamline the will preparation process with a fill-in-the-blanks format. A statutory will is only valid once it has been signed by yourself and two witnesses. A statutory will is not for everyone. This is beneficial for people who do not have very many assets or a complicated family situation. People with a lot of valuable property and/or a complex family situation should have their will created by an experienced legal team. Even if you do choose to use a statutory will, an attorney should look it over.
What Does a Statutory Will Allow?
While a statutory will does make creating a will somewhat easier, it does limit how some of your property can be distributed. A statutory will allows you to name a personal representative to act as your estate administrator, name a guardian for any minor children, make cash gifts to one or two people or charities, distribute your assets to anyone you choose, and distribute the rest of your property to your spouse or children. With that said, here are a few things that a statutory will does not permit you to do:
- Make cash gifts to more than two people or charities
- After cash gifts and personal items have been distributed, you may not leave the remainder of your property to a non-relative
- Make changes to the way the remainder of your property is distributed to your family
- Transfer the title of any of your joint assets
Contact a Michigan Estate Planning Attorney
If you need legal assistance planning for the future of your estate, you can count on the compassionate, knowledgeable attorneys at Collis, Griffor & Hendra. Our legal team has provided assistance to clients throughout Washtenaw County for 30 years. We understand that this process may be emotional to think about and are here to make it as easy as possible. Contact Collis, Griffor & Hendra today to learn how we can help.