Many of the pitfalls that sometimes come up with wills in Hastings, Michigan, such as contests brought by would-be beneficiaries, or devises which aren't clear on what they mean, can be avoided if the will is properly drafted in the first place.
If your estate doesn't contain a lot of money and property, and you only want to leave your assets to a few individuals, making a will can be pretty simple.
Nonetheless, even with "simple" wills, there are a few frequent stumbling blocks that commonly make things far more difficult down the road. Luckily with proper will preparation, most of them are easy to avoid, with the help of a good attorney in Hastings, Michigan.
Most of the pitfalls that plague wills stem from failure on the part of the drafter to comply with the required formalities. These requirements aren't terribly difficult, but they have to be followed to the letter if a will is to be valid. Normally, wills have to be witnessed and signed by at least 2 people, and it must include a clear statement that the document is, in fact, a will. You should choose the witnesses cautiously, because if they have any direct interest in the will, they won't count as valid witnesses.
Holographic Wills in Hastings, Michigan
In some states, you can make what is recognized as a "holographic will." This is simply a will which is handwritten, in the testator's own handwriting. They do not need to be witnessed in order to be valid.
A holographic will, where they are authorized, will typically be interpreted liberally, to give effect to the testator's intent if at all possible.
You should be aware that not all states recognize holographic wills. In such states, you can of course still handwrite your will if you want. But for the will to be legitimate, it has to be accompanied by all the formalities (including witnesses) required for any other will.
If your estate is fairly small, and the devises you wish to make aren't very difficult, a holographic will can be a good option if they're valid in your state. Of course, it's never a bad idea to make a will with the assistance of a lawyer.
How Can A Hastings, Michigan Lawyer Help?
Because of the formalities that are required for most wills to be valid, it is normally a good idea to have a Hastings, Michigan attorney help you make it, or at least go over it after you have written it, to make sure there aren't any problems with it.