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Wills Archives

Will contest involves $2.7 million, prior beneficiaries and a cop

Michigan residents, like most people, want to be in control of their lives and what happens to them. The same holds true even in death. This is why many people write wills: to ensure that their wishes are carried out after their passing with regard to their personal property and other important issues. Unfortunately, there are many situations in which a will contest results when potential or expected heirs are not satisfied with the will's provisions or believe there may be problems with the will wording or creation.

Estate planning for Michigan same-sex couples: Creating a will

In our most recent blog post, we discussed an issue that might be on the mind of many Michigan residents: estate planning for same-sex couples. As we discussed, a number of legal matters become complicated for long-term couples who do not have a legally recognized marriage.

Estate planning: What is Michigan's standard for mental capacity?

In many ways, creating a will is a way for a person to establish his or her lasting legacy. By distributing assets through a trust to a non-profit organization or a loved one, a life's work can continue to have meaning well beyond an individual's passing. However, in order for that legacy to persist in an intentional fashion, the decedent's last will and testament must be considered valid.

Don't let undue influence derail a loved one's true estate plans

A will is generally viewed as a final chance for people to provide support for the people and causes they cared about while living. Significant time and attention may be dedicated to creating a robust, clear and accurate estate plan to minimize ambiguity. Leaving loose ends or room for doubt in regard to personal intentions can create complications for beneficiaries or individuals who feel they were wrongfully left out of a will.

The estate planning may be done, but updates are important

Any of our Michigan readers familiar with previous posts here know that there are a wide variety of estate planning instruments to consider when it comes to protecting assets and avoiding probate litigation. Some will choose trusts because of the relative ease with which assets can be passed on to future generations. Others choose the tried-and-true will, in which the estate planner can designate property distribution as well as detail important decisions like naming guardians for minor children. There are many approaches, and having an estate plan is almost always better than leaving an estate in the hands of state intestate laws.

Taking the first step to protect assets and plan accordingly

Anyone who works in the field of estate planning would probably be able to tell our readers that the biggest hurdle for Michigan residents to overcome in the process is taking the first step. Like a major house project that has been put off for months or years, many people view estate planning as some herculean task that once begun will be more trouble than it is worth. For the vast majority of people, however, that could not be farther from the truth.

Thinking about estate planning in a different light

Thousands of Michigan residents probably think at least once a day: "I need a will." Many of our readers know from previous posts here that there are so many people out there who know that they need an estate plan, yet each day passes and they don't get any further along with the estate planning process. Procrastination in this area of life is somewhat understandable, since having an estate plan drafted will necessarily entail thinking about some unpleasant situations; namely, death.

Age can be a factor that leads to probate litigation

Any of our Michigan readers who are familiar with previous posts here probably know by now that one of the key parts of estate planning that many experts recommend is to communicate the contents of the plan to relatives and others who may believe they will be part of the distribution of assets and property. Some people may find this hard, preferring instead to keep their wishes secret until the will is actually needed. But, of course, by that time it is too late to discuss why a planner made certain decisions, and the result may be something a solidly drafted will is designed to avoid - a will contest.

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