734-359-7018
Now Accepting New Clients!
Blog

A basic introduction to wills

Originally posted on 10/31/2016

A formal legal document has last will and testament written on it complete with a seal.It can be difficult to consider the end of our lives when we are in good health. However, lives can change at any moment, so it is wise to be prepared for any situation that may arise. Despite the many benefits of a last will and testament, studies have shown that the majority of Americans do not have current wills.

Having a will can ensure that your wishes regarding your property, assets, and family will be followed in the event of your death. Most people find that having a current will provides them with a sense of peace knowing they have their affairs in order. 

This article will give you a general overview of what a will is the benefits of having a will, and a start to writing your own will.

What is a Will?

A will is simply a legal document that specifies the wishes of the testator (the individual who created the will) regarding the treatment of their property in the event of their death. Wills are generally not difficult to make. Though the laws regarding wills and testaments depend on the state in which the document is drafted. The will itself may be handwritten, typed, made using computer software, or by filling out a form.

Why Have a Will?

As we go about our lives we tend to accumulate resources. These resources can come in many different forms whether it be land, homes, money, art, cars, etc. We usually care enough about these things to want them treated in a certain way.

By having a valid will you are able to specify exactly how you would like your resources treated in the event that you are no longer around to manage them. A will allows you to provide specific items to specific people, make charitable donations, and provide for your loved ones. If you have children, a will allows you to appoint legal guardians for them. It also prevents your family or relatives from having to go through the long and difficult process of managing your assets should you die without an available will.

What Do I Need to Do Before I Set Up a Will?

Before drafting a will, you will want to do some research and find out what the laws of your state require, as they vary from state to state. In general, the law requires that it be written by a testator who is a legal adult and of sound mind. The document must specify that it is the testator's will and specify the preferred method of managing property and appointing a guardian for children if the testator has them. It must also name an executor.

What Should I Include in a Will?

An executor is an individual appointed by the testator who will manage all of the logistics of executing the testator's wishes after their death. This includes filling any relevant documents and managing property and assets. An executor does not have to be a relative, but it is usually a relative or close friend who has consented to perform all of the necessary duties following the testator's death. After all of these topics have been covered in the will, it must be signed by witnesses who are both legal adults of sound mind and are not beneficiaries of the will.

Work with a Legal Professional Who Specializes in Wills

We hope this overview of wills has been helpful for you. Though a will does not have to be drafted with the assistance of a legal professional, it may be advantageous if the testator has significant properties or assets that are unconsolidated. The attorneys at Aldrich Legal Services have more than 21 years of experience helping people set up their will. Give our team a call today to set an appointment.

Three reasons to put a power of attorney in place

Originally posted on 11/08/2016 While no one wants to think of the unfortunate possibility of being incapacitated or of a time when we can't handle our own affairs, this circumstance is a real possibility. If something happens and this...

How to approach parents about estate planning

Originally posted on 12/09/2016 Family forms a strong foundation for many people's first and most intimate community. It is important to strengthen these first relationships so even uncommon questions become natural. For those...

PROBATE 44: Petition for Mental Health Treatment

Michigan’s Mental Health Code governs the civil admission and discharge procedures for a person with a mental illness. Specifically, MCL 330.1434 sets forth the procedure and content requirements for a petition for mental health treatment.

Should you get your criminal record expunged?

Originally posted on 04/12/2017 If you have been convicted of a crime, have served your sentence, and have followed all court recommendations, you should be able to put your past behind you and move on with life. Moving forward is critical...

Choosing the right executor for an estate

Originally posted on 05/28/2017 When people are thinking about planning their estate, they often think about trying to minimize the estate tax, keeping their will updated, and keeping items out of probate court; however, there is another...

Understanding how the Miranda warning works

Originally posted on 11/25/2016 Michigan residents who have seen television police shows or movies involving law enforcement have no doubt watched many dramatic scenes with officers quoting something to the effect of, "You have the...

PROBATE 42: Dissolution of professional corporation.

This case involves the estate of a doctor whose professional corporation also had to be dissolved upon his death. The personal representative of the estate sold the company’s assets but did not pay off the company’s debts before transferring the proceeds to the estate and distributing them to the heirs.

REAL ESTATE 73: Quiet title action.

This case involves a dispute over real property located in Michigan. W and V who are D’s parents, acquired the property. In 1999, W and V conveyed the property to the Trust, to which W is the sole trustee, via a quit claim deed. At some point...

How Is Alimony Determined In A Michigan Divorce?

Originally posted on 06/22/2018. When filing for divorce in Michigan, you may seek alimony, spousal support, from their spouse whenever they require financial aid. A judge may order your spouse to pay certain alimony. However, it depends...

Is My Conviction Eligible for Expungement?

Originally posted on 10/11/2019. At one point or another, we have all made mistakes. For some people, those mistakes involved breaking the law. Convictions have a large impact on someone’s life. Beyond the sentencing ranging from...

PROBATE 45: The court held that the probate court did not err by granting summary disposition for Plaintiff, or by denying Defendant’s request for an extension of the discovery period, adjournment of mediation, and issuance of subpoenas and by dismi

This case arises out of competing petitions for probate. On November 19, 2018, Defendant initiated this case by filing a petition for probate, attaching Decedent’s death certificate and purported last will and testament, dated March 9, 2007,...

DIVORCE 57: Holding that the trial court’s factual findings were not supported by the record evidence, and thus could not stand, the court reversed, vacated the portion of the Amended Default JOD ordering defendant to pay $3,325 to plaintiff, and re

Plaintiff first testified that she and defendant purchased the marital home in 1995. At the time the first default judgment of divorce was entered in September 2017, plaintiff had the home appraised. The value of the home was determined to be...

Don't let a bad decision, unfair contract, or a messy divorce get in the way of a promising future!
Contact the experienced team at Aldrich Legal Services today to schedule your free initial
consultation
and secure reliable and trustworthy representation today!
Get the Help You Need From a Team You Can Truly Count On: (734) 404-3000
734-237-6482
734-366-4405