Wills

  • Do I Need an Estate Plan?

    Have you ever considered what will happen to your assets -- your house, the contents of your bank account, etc. -- after you’ve passed? Many of my clients say they’d like their assets to be split between their children or to see certain funds go to charitable organizations. The only way to guarantee that your assets are distributed as you desire is to have a will.

  • Does a trust have to go through probate?

    No. One of the advantages of a trust over a will is that a trust does not have to go through probate before assets are distributed to beneficiaries. A trust is usually more expensive and complicated to set up than a will; on the other hand, it can take anywhere from 6 to 18 months (or longer) for a will to go through the probate process.

  • Estate Planning Basics: How to Choose the Right Guardian for Your Child

    As difficult as it may be to think about someone else raising your child, choosing a guardian for your child is an invaluable gift. By selecting a guardian with the same values, morals, religious beliefs, and commitment to education that you have, you will ensure that your child will grow up to be the person you want him or her to be.

  • Estate Planning Basics: Top 3 Reasons You May Need a Will

    When I meet with a potential new Estate Planning client, one of the first questions I hear is, "Do I really need a will?" That question is usually followed by comments such as, "I don't have tons of money," or "If I die, my spouse will just get everything," or "If my spouse and I both die, my parents will raise our kids."

  • Estate Planning FAQ: What are the requirements for a formal (typed) will?

    For a formal, typed, will (called an “attested” will), there are three requirements that must be met for the will to be valid and enforceable:

  • Estate Planning FAQ: What happens if I die without a will?

    A person who dies without a will is said to have died intestate. If you die intestate, your estate will be distributed according to state law, not according to your wishes. With very few exceptions, only family members will inherit your estate if you die intestate. If you want to leave money to a close friend, church, or charity, for example, you need to have a will.

  • Estate Planning FAQ: Is a handwritten will valid in Michigan?

    Yes, if certain requirements are met. In order to be valid, a handwritten, or holographic, will, must meet the following criteria:

  • Estate Planning FAQs: What is the difference between a will and a trust?

    A will (often called a Last Will and Testament) is a set of instructions that allow you to distribute your assets upon your death. You can also set up guardianship for your minor children. Once the instructions in the will have been carried out, the will ceases to exist.

  • Great Caesar’s Ghost! Wills Can Have Epic Consequences

    During any given week throughout courtrooms in Michigan, judges calmly decide the merits and validity of wills meant to convey property from the deceased to their heirs. 

  • Key Traits to Consider When Choosing a Guardian for Your Children

    While there are many factors to explore when chosing a guardian, I advise my clients to consider the following:

  • What Happens If My Boyfriend/Girlfriend Dies Without a Will?

    My boyfriend and I were together for more than 10 years, but we never married. He recently died without a will, and he never listed me as beneficiary on his life insurance and 401(k). Do I have a right to inherit a portion of his estate?

  • What is probate, and why does everyone think probate should be avoided like the plague?

    Probate is the process used to ask a judge (usually a probate court judge) to approve a decedent’s will so the instructions in the will can be acted upon.

  • What Will Happen to My Kids if I Die?

    The only way to be absolutely certain that the person(s) you want to be guardian of your minor children is selected in the event that both you and your partner pass is to have a valid will in place.

Mike Toburen - Attorney at Law   

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Attorney Mike Toburen

(616) 425-9212
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1115 Taylor Ave NW, Suite 110
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

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