Michigan Wrote Your Will … But Do You Like What It Says?

Did he die intestate or testate?

Only a legal professional would word a question this way, but it’s an important one. If a person passes away without a will then he has died “intestate.” If a person has a will at death then he has died “testate.”

If you have a will, then you picked the people who will receive the assets that don’t already have a beneficiary associated with them. If you don’t have a will, Michigan law determines who inherits those assets. This law is referred to as the intestacy statute. The intestacy statute ensures that someone will inherit your assets.

You may not be terribly astonished at how the statute is set up, but here are some parts of the intestacy statute that may surprise you:

  • A surviving spouse of someone with living parents and no children will not get all of their deceased spouse’s assets. The parents of that person are entitled to a portion of the surviving spouse’s share.

  • A surviving spouse who shares children with the deceased would get the first $150,000 plus 50 percent of the balance, and the children would receive the difference.

  • A parent would inherit everything of a child who died with no spouse or children.

  • Siblings of someone who died without a spouse, children, or parents would inherit everything.

The choice should be yours! Planning now for the eventuality of death will ensure that your property and money go to the persons you intend to receive them.

Cunningham Dalman, PC publishes this web site and its component parts to inform users about our firm, our attorneys and general new developments in the law. The web site and blogs are not intended as legal advice on any matter. There are many factors that may affect your situation. You should not act or refrain from acting because of information found here without first seeking appropriate legal or other professional advice from someone who is familiar with your particular circumstances.

In the operation of this web site and our blogs, we do not intend to create an attorney-client relationship with you and no such relationship shall be created by your use of this web site. Such a relationship can only be established to the extent an attorney at Cunningham Dalman, PC expressly agrees to undertake the relationship. Please do not communicate to us any information you regard as confidential unless and until we have established a formal attorney-client relationship with you. Any information you send to us before we establish an attorney client relationship may not be privileged or confidential. Information you send to us over the Internet may not be secure.