Have you ever asked yourself “what will happen to all my stuff after I die?” This is an issue that many people don’t want to talk about, but it will eventually affect every one of us. The answer to this question can be answered by another question: Have you thought about this issue, and if you have, what steps have you taken to address it?
In Michigan, you can choose to do nothing, or you can choose to draft some type of estate planning document. If you choose to do nothing, you will have died “intestate”, which means you died without a will. When this occurs, all the assets that were titled solely in your name will be added into your estate and distributed to your family members under a priority list found in Michigan statutes. The courts will decide who gets what, and if you have no living family members, all your assets could go to the State of Michigan. If you have minor children, the courts would ultimately decide who would become legal guardian(s) of those children.
If you decided to draft a Will or Trust, you would have thought about and decided who you would want to get your assets after your death. In addition, you likely identified a trusted person(s) you would want to handle your affairs for you after your death. Most importantly, you would have thought about and decided who you would want to become legal guardian of any minor children.