If you do not have a will, your property will be distributed upon your death according to Michigan statutes. These statutes are referred to as the laws of intestacy. The people who receive your property under the statutes and what they receive, may or may not comport with your wishes. A will allows you to specify how your property is to be distributed upon your death.

Also, without a will, the probate court, will appoint a person to be in charge of administering your estate and distributing your property. This person is called the personal representative. This may or may not be the person you would want to be in charge of your estate. A will allows you to name the person who is to be in charge of your estate upon your death.

Without a will, disputes will frequently arise among family members over whom the court should appoint as the personal representative. A will minimizes the likelihood of such disputes by allowing you to appoint a personal representative for your estate. The person you name in your will is given priority by the court as the person in charge.

The important thing to realize is that while will has many benefits, it does not avoid probate. If you have a will, the probate process is easier and faster but there is still a need to go through probate upon your death. The probate process takes a minimum of five months and is more typically one year.

To be valid, a will must comply with Michigan law and be properly executed. In addition, the person executing the will must have legal capacity and may not be subject to undue influence.

If you would like to discuss the benefits of a will or want to know more about probate and the avoidance of probate, call us for a free consultation (888-526-4489).