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If you don't have estate planning documents, you aren't alone

Taking an "I'll do it tomorrow" approach to estate planning isn't something that most people think twice about since they don't really consider the fact that death can be very sudden. That thinking, however, can cause chaos if something does happen to you. Your heirs will be left without anything that lets them know what you want done with your assets.

If you die intestate, which is another way of saying without a will, the state's law will determine who gets what. If you have children and are married, your spouse and children will likely get your assets, but the process will likely be very slow and very costly. If you don't have children or a spouse, the court will determine the appropriate heirs according to state law.

Don't think that you are alone if you haven't made out your will. More than half of Americans who are 55 to 64 haven't yet made a will. That percentage tends to rise with younger people. The reason why people don't have wills varies. Some people say it is because they don't want to think about death. Others say they just haven't gotten around to writing out a will. Some people don't even think they need a will or they believe that making a will isn't urgent.

When you do make a will, be sure that your loved ones know where the will and other important documents are located. You should also update your will and other documents periodically, such as when your personal situation is changed. While you are making a will or updating your will, make sure you get your questions answered by someone familiar with Michigan estate planning.

Source: Forbes, "Americans' Ostrich Approach To Estate Planning" Richard Eisenberg, Apr. 09, 2014

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