When a Michigan resident passes away without an estate plan, it can have devastating consequences for surviving family members and potential heirs. For example, imagine your mother died without a will and the court must divide her estate between you and your five siblings.

Since no will exists, the estate dispensation of your mother’s assets will happen according to Michigan state intestacy laws. A probate court will make all the decisions about who gets what. If family members disagree, they might file legal actions to assert their wishes in court, which can result in expensive litigation.

Here’s some motivation to get your estate plan finished

Your family can avoid long drawn out probate proceedings with a suitable estate plan. Let’s take a look at what an estate plan can offer you and your family:

  • Name your friends, family and loved ones who will receive inheritances following your death.
  • Minimize the legal red tape involved with dispensing your assets to heirs.
  • Minimize taxes that may apply to your estate and your heirs.
  • Bypass probate-related delays and costs with a trust or payable on death account.
  • Detail how you would like to be cared for in the event you become physically or mentally incapacitated.
  • Name who should serve as your health care power of attorney and financial power of attorney who will make decisions for you in the event you become incapacitated.
  • Name who the executor of your estate will be.
  • Complete your funeral arrangements and even pay for them in advance.

Understand the options available for your estate planning needs

Every Michigan family will have different estate planning goals and requirements. These may need to be addressed in a tailor-made estate plan.

By consulting with a Michigan estate planning lawyer, you can find out which estate planning strategies can benefit your estate, your family and your heirs. This way, when you’re gone, you leave behind a well-organized plan that not only provides for your family materially, but also preserves the respect and understanding amongst your loved ones.