Category Archives: Probate Lawyer Michigan

Typewritten or Holographic Wills- Royal Oak, MI

When it comes to wills, there are two basic types that you need to know about: There are typed wills and there are handwritten wills. The latter are also known as holographic wills.

You may be wondering, “must a will always be typewritten and signed by two witnesses in order to be valid?” The answer to that is no. Royal Oak or Novi, Michigan residents typing out a typewritten will need it to be signed (or executed). The person that makes the will (the testator) must declare in front of the witnesses that “This is my last will and testament,” and request that those on-hand as witnesses serve as official witnesses during the testator’s official signing. The witnesses sign under penalty of perjury and notarization of the will is not necessary.

Holographic wills, however, have to be completely handwritten, dated, and signed by the testator. Witnesses do not have to be present and the holographic will doesn’t have to be notarized. These wills need to meet minimal requirements in order to be probated in Michigan.

You may need to consult with an estate probate attorney in Novi or Royal Oak MI to gain a clearer understanding of the problems that can arise with holographic or handwritten wills. It can be trying to prove that the testator of a holographic will prepared and signed it on his or her own.

With a typewritten will, the witnesses and the ceremony that comes along with the signature prove that the testator prepared and signed the will. One can’t be so sure with holographic wills, as it can be unclear if the deceased person has provided for an abnormal disposition of his or her property. Handwriting experts may sometimes be called upon to analyze holographic wills to prove the testator did in fact prepare and sign the will. The testator also must be conveying a wish to direct the distribution of his estate to beneficiaries.

It’s clear to see that if you or someone close to you has to choose between one of these two types of basic wills, hiring or consulting with an estate probate lawyer Royal Oak or Novi, MI can make the process a lot easier. It’s not a requirement in any state to hire a lawyer for probate but under some conditions, like proving the validity of a will, it can be very helpful. Contact us today to see what Michael Colton and his probate and estate planning specialists can do for you!

Power of Attorney- Assets of the Living

For residents in Farmington Hills or Southfield, Michigan, it can be a bit confusing to understand the ins and outs of the power of attorney document. You may be thinking that since a person cannot use the power of attorney to take a person’s assets after they have died, that they may be able to take their assets while they are still alive through the document. But that is actually not the case.

A power of attorney can give another person the right to sell property in the place of the principal, sign a contract for the principal, or make financial transactions or decisions regarding health care. The principal can give someone the right to take any legal action that they would take themselves under the power of attorney document.

But when it comes to the way your assets are managed while you are still living, people who are disabled or anticipate being incapacitated in the future will often become the grantor of their own living trust. Your assets are overseen at your benefit through a living trust, and at this point, a durable power of attorney should be considered for management of your property. In this case, you appoint someone to be your “attorney-in-fact” and make property management or estate planning decisions in Southfield or Farmington Hills, Michigan, but only on your behalf. The attorney-in-fact’s ability to manage your assets expires once you pass away, so they never are able to seize your assets unless you grant them the ability to do so under the power of attorney.

If you, the principal, has dementia for example, the power of attorney does not give the appointed person the authority to overrule any decision that you make, even if those around you don’t believe them to be reasonable decisions. The person appointed under the power of attorney can manage your assets or finances but must make decisions according to the instructions of you, the principal, at all times.

Contact us for a free consultation if you think you or a family member might be dealing with these sort of issues in the near future. Michael Colton has been a probate or estate planning attorney in Southfield or Farmington Hills, Michigan since 1979 and is more than willing to help you do what’s best for your family during trying times. Call Colton Probate Law today. 248-324-0800.

Probate Lawyer for Southfield Michigan

Dealing with the death of a family member is never easy, in any way. So when it comes to taking care of probate claims and forms, and transferring assets, you’ll want to make sure you have an experienced probate lawyer on your side in the Southfield Michigan area.

With over 30 years of experience under his belt Michael Colton has earned his title as one of the most trusted probate lawyers serving the Southfield, MI area. As, licensed real estate broker, he is qualified to handle a number of tasks in the preparation and administration of a person’s estate. In addition to drafting the will, and planning the disposition of a client’s property through that will, an estate attorney must also administer any trusts that are suitable for a client’s purposes.

You may not realize how problematic drafting a will actually is. Save the headache and family arguments by leaving it in the hands of Michael Colton, an estate planning attorney in Southfield, Michigan. By doing this, you are entrusting a probate lawyer that can make sure appropriate procedure is followed and that the assets of your loved one are dispersed properly and not taken on by the government at a later time.

Colton Probate Law also wants to take on responsibility as executor of the will. Those set to inherit property may be scattered throughout the country, or even the world. From finding assets, to distributing property, to contacting heirs and the creditors of the deceased, let us be your all-in-one probate and estate planning attorney if you live in the Southfield MI area. Contact Colton Probate Law today!

There is no reason to fret over the probate process. Contact us today at 248-324-0800 for a free consultation.

Estate Planning- Farmington Hills, MI

Are you a Farmington Hills, MI resident thinking that you don’t need estate planning because the value of your estate is not big enough to cause estate taxation? Well, you are wrong! There is more than just writing a will when it comes to estate planning. Organizing your assets can cause fewer arguments with your loved ones and avoid a bulk of your estate from going to the government later on. Estate planning is the development of arranging and preparing for the dispensation of an estate during your life.

Estate planning eliminates confusion over the administration of probate, and expands the worth of the estate by cutting down taxes and other expenses. It involves wills, trusts, powers of appointment, beneficiary designations, property ownership and more. Parents/guardians are often designated for minor children and beneficiaries in incapacity.

Everyone has an estate; even a young child. If you own something of value and would like to pass it on after your departure, you have an estate. A good plan will maintain and boost the financial security of human beings and their families.

Located in Farmington Hills, Michigan, Attorney Michael Colton will help you with your estate planning needs. He can help give you guidance with any questions you may have regarding estate planning. Call 248-324-0800 today for more information of a free consultation.

Attorney Michael Colton reviews

Would you like someone to review your situation and help determine if it is the right time to create your Will? Or have you had a bad experience with probate not being properly handled? Either way, if you need help or believe that something was not handled correctly, Attorney Michael Colton of Farmington Hills Michigan can address any concern you may have.

For many, writing a will is a very troubling time. You may wonder when the time comes, if everything will be settled properly. Don’t wait to take away that worry and weight off your shoulders! When Probate Attorney Michael Colton reviews your existing Will or helps you with your estate planning, you will have that peace of mind you need.