Why Do I Need a Michigan Estate Planning Attorney to Draft a Will?

Every adult should have a will, regardless of their financial situation or family situation. Wills ensure that a person’s wishes are carried out after their death. Without a will, state law, judges, and other individuals decide what happens to a person’s estate. However, a will is only valid if it meets all of the legal requirements for a will under Michigan probate laws.

What is Required for a Will to be Valid in Michigan?

Under Michigan probate law, a person must be 18 years of age or older and of sound mind (sufficient mental capacity) to execute a will. The will must be in writing, signed by the person making the will, and witnessed by two individuals.

If the person making the will cannot sign the will, he or she can direct another person to sign the will in front of the witnesses so that the witnesses can attest that the person acknowledged the will and directed another person to sign the will for him or her.

Also, if the will is handwritten by the person making the will, dated, and signed by the person, the will might be accepted as a holographic will. Holographic wills do not need to be witnessed.

Why Do I Need an Estate Planning Attorney?

If you know the legal requirements for a will, why would you need an estate planning attorney to draft the will? There are several reasons why it is better to consult with a Michigan estate planning attorney to draft a will instead of attempting to draft a will without an attorney.

First, a Michigan estate planning attorney ensures that the will is drafted and executed according to the legal requirements for wills in Michigan. Holographic wills can be difficult to admit to probate, especially if one or more family members contest the validity of the holographic will.

Other reasons why you want to involve an estate planning attorney when drafting your will include:

  • An estate planning lawyer can advise you on options for naming guardians and trustees for minor children within your will.
  • Your attorneys help you develop a plan to protect assets during your lifetime and after your death.
  • A wills lawyer can also help you develop an estate plan that avoids probate and reduces your taxable estate.
  • You may have matters that require more complicated wills and estate plans, such as providing for a family member with special needs, including a family business in your estate plan, or estate planning for blended families.
  • A Michigan estate planning lawyer can assist you with long-term care planning, incapacitation planning, and Medicaid planning to protect your assets for your spouse and other family members.
  • You may also need other documents to achieve your estate planning goals and protect your family, including powers of attorney, health care directives, trust agreements, and living wills.
  • An experienced estate planning attorney can help you coordinate your retirement plan with your estate plan.
  • Your attorney will help you coordinate assets that pass directly to beneficiaries, such as life insurance policies and retirement accounts, with your estate plan to reduce tax liabilities and protect those assets for your heirs.

You can draft a will without an attorney, but you might cause your family more trouble than had you not executed a will. An estate planning lawyer in Michigan can help you develop a comprehensive estate plan by explaining probate laws, offering suggestions based on your goals and needs, and drafting estate planning documents that are legal and enforceable.

Avoid Potential Estate Problems by Hiring an Experienced Michigan Estate Planning Attorney

Give yourself and your family the peace of mind that comes with knowing your estate plan contains everything necessary to protect yourself, your property, and your family. Hire an experienced Michigan estate planning lawyer instead of cutting corners and using a DIY will you find online.

Contact The Elder Care Firm of Christopher J. Berry by calling 888-390-4360 or by using the contact form on our website to schedule a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney in Michigan.

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