Estate Planning

Q&A: What is a will?

A will (or “last will and testament”, “testamentary will”) is a document that outlines an individual’s wishes for their assets upon their death. The will document is reviewed and used in probate court after the individual dies. Contrary to popular belief, wills do not keep assets from going through probate; wills direct probate on how to handle the assets.

Many people don’t have a will because it can feel like a tedious process that they don’t know much about, but wills can be created online for free (see below) and achieve the same goals, depending on how complex the individual’s situation is. For a more “bulletproof” or complex will, an attorney can be consulted and paid to draft one.

If you live in Michigan and would like to create a simple one for free, see the walkthrough I created: Michigan Legal Help: Creating a Will for Free

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