What if you die without a will?

No one wants to think of their passing, but residents of Michigan should take the time and effort to make a plan regarding what to do with their assets when they die. If someone dies without a will, the state is in charge of distribution, and there is a progression of who the assets are passed to. To avoid complications or legal battles among intended heirs, it is always a good idea to have a legal document detailing how your assets should be allocated.

According to FindLaw, if you do not have a will your property will be distributed according to Michigan’s laws of intestate succession. Property includes real estate and vehicles as well as securities, bank accounts and other items of value. The beneficiaries the state chooses largely depends on marital status and if there are children. Typical heirs who the state will name include:

  • Surviving spouse
  • Blood or adopted children
  • Siblings
  • Parents
  • Aunts and uncles
  • Distant relatives

If there are no living family members, the state is the recipient of the estate. Having a will is especially important if you have a partner but are not married because the surviving partner is not entitled to any part of the estate.

The Michigan Legislature outlines a simple will that you can use to make up a will quickly and effortlessly. In it, you can name specific beneficiaries for items such as personal and household items, cash gifts and other assets. It also has you choose a personal representative as well as a guardian for minor children.