Estate Planning Lawyer in Chesterfield
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Chesterfield Wills Lawyers

Giving You the Help You Need to Be the Author of Your Future

Writing a will can be an emotional task as it forces you to face your own mortality. Unfortunately, a harder image to bear is what could happen without one. Dying intestate, or without a will, opens your estate to a variety of legal issues.

Your best chance to care and provide guidance for what is to happen with you, your loved ones, and all that you’ve acquired over the years is contacting an attorney to write a legally sound and thorough will.

Our Chesterfield wills attorneys can help you draft a will that reflects your wishes. Reach out to our law office today at (586) 690-4400.

How Do I Write a Will?

Writing a will lacks the natural feel of jotting a letter to a friend. A document carrying the weight that a will does requires more forethought. Wills need to be legally strong enough to ensure your wishes are respected.

If you want to write a will, you should contact an attorney for estate planning. Our lawyers will listen to you as you describe what you think needs to be accounted for and ask questions that prompt you to remember anything you may have forgotten.

After determining what you have and how you want to protect it, we will write a will and create an estate plan including:

  • Powers of attorney
  • Health care proxies
  • Guardianships for your dependents and/or pets
  • An executor or personal representative for your estate
  • Beneficiaries of your assets, including personal property and real estate
  • Final wishes for your body
  • Instructions for your funeral and burial

Your will is your platform to give your final wishes. Having one lets you take control of the end of your life and the future of your property.

What Happens with My Will When I Die?

After a death, if the decedent left a will, it is brought to probate court. The will is presented to a judge who will then evaluate it to confirm its authenticity. Once it is decidedly authentic and legally sound, the executor of your will, who may be named in your will or a probate attorney hired by your loved ones to facilitate the process, begins probate.

During probate, your assets are accounted for. Any outstanding debt you may have left, including bills or unpaid taxes, are settled. The person handling your probate process, be it your executor or a hired attorney, will play a vital role throughout the entirety of the estate settlement.

An estate executor will help by:

  • Paying your debts to the appropriate creditors
  • Notifying accounts of your death
  • Retrieving your life insurance payout
  • Distributing your assets to your designated beneficiaries
  • Handling any probate or estate disputes through probate litigation
  • Handling all communications with beneficiaries

The length of probate varies by state. In Michigan, it typically takes between seven months and a year.

If the deceased did not leave a will, or some assets are not accounted for in the will, estate administration occurs. Our attorneys are prepared to approach this with the same professionalism we apply to an ordinary probate.

Is Probate Required in Michigan?

Michigan only requires probate for property owned solely in the decedent’s name. By naming beneficiaries on accounts or moving assets into trusts, probate can be avoided. Making your property jointly owned with your determined beneficiary allows the possession to be passed with little to no delay.

Michigan offers exceptions in scenarios where the estate is held in the decedent’s name alone but does not exceed a specific value.

A simpler procedure than probate may be available if one of the following apply:

  • The value of the small estate is less than $15,000 after funeral and burial costs are paid
  • The financial return on the estate only covers the funeral and last illness, along with the family and homestead allowances and some expenses

In these scenarios, the probate court can order that the property be passed onto the beneficiaries without a formal probate.

For assistance with drafting wills in Chesterfield, contact our law firm.

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