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What is a will?

  • A will is a written legal document that outlines a person’s last wishes for their assets and their dependents after their death. 

What are the different types of wills?

  • Standard Will
    • A standard will is a document that has been written by a person to detail their last wishes for their assets and dependents after their death. These need to be witnessed by at least two adults who are competent and cannot be oral. 
  • Holographic Will
    • A holographic will is a document that has been written by a person to detail their last wishes much like a standard will. However, this is a will that has not been witnessed by two or more competent adults. A holographic will is one in which the will is simply signed and dated by the writer of the will

What happens if you die without a will?

  • If you die without a will it is called “intestacy”. When a person dies intestate, the probate court in your county will decide what happens to their assets and belongings. In Michigan, the probate court will look at the laws of the state to decide what happens. 

How can I execute a will?

  • A will can be executed by being signed in the presence of two competent adult witnesses. 

How should I pick an executor?

  • Picking an executor can be a stressful process. You want to pick someone that you can trust to complete your wishes to the best of their ability. The best advice is to pick someone close enough to you that knows how and when you would like things in your will done. A close friend or relative is usually that best person. In a situation where you do not want a friend or relative handling your last wishes, you can always have an attorney or other professional handle being your executor. 

What does an executor do?

  • An executor is the person who handles the last wishes detailed in your will or trust documents. Primarily, the job of the executor is to make sure those last wishes are fulfilled. However, it is also the executor’s responsibility to make sure that all assets are accounted for and any debts are paid among other duties.