One of the tools used by the Michigan estate planning attorneys at Willingham & Coté, P.C. is a will. A will (sometimes referred to as a “Last Will and Testament”) is a legal document that lays out your wishes with respect to the distribution of your assets. Your assets include everything you own (i.e. a couch, bank account or interest in a closely held company). A will also allows you to name guardians for your minor children and name your Personal Representative.
A will is a great tool to protect members of a non-traditional family because without a will, the law will dictate who can receive your assets.
By having a will, a probate will have to be opened. Probate is the legal process by which a Personal Representative receives authority from the court to collect and distribute assets of a decedent to his or her heirs or beneficiaries. Throughout this process, there are certain deadlines and filing requirements with the court that must be met. The Michigan wills attorneys at Willingham & Coté, P.C. are ready to assist a Personal Representative in navigating this chapter of the estate planning process and to ensure as smooth an administration as possible.
The person making the will.
The person responsible for gathering the assets, paying an outstanding debts, distributing the property to the proper individuals and making sure that final tax returns are prepared
The person who will have physical custody of the minor child or children. This will be the person who will be in charge of the day-to-day well-being of the child and will have the legal authority to make all decisions regarding the child.