The greatest trouble most people have with their estate plan is failing to have an estate plan.

Not having an estate plan in place means you will not be the person making the decisions as to where your assets go after you die.

Instead, it will be the Probate Court that decides, applying Michigan’s Estate and Protected Individuals Code to determine your heirs and how your property should be distributed.  What you may have wanted will weigh little if at all in the process.

This can mean strife among your children and relatives as your wishes will not be paramount, and promises you may have made to them but not written down into an estate plan will not be kept.  This can cause strife among your children and other relatives.

A lack of an estate plan also means that through the probate process your affairs and the inventory of your estate will be public, not private, and it can lengthen the process of distributing your assets considerably as the probate court process occurs and increase costs that reduce the value of your estate to your heirs.

Estate plans do not need to be elaborate or expensive, but failing to have a plan in place can prevent an orderly and timely distribution of your estate to the heirs that you choose to inherit your property.