And there are many other possibilities that you may wish to discuss with an attorney
and provide for them.
BUT if you want to leave everything to your spouse and your
children with all going to a surviving spouse first and then after the death of the
surviving spouse to the children, this Standard Family Will (with minor adjustments)
may well work for you. The Will follows:
Last Will of
I, [name], also known as [name2], being of sound mind, state that my home is in
[county], [state]. This document is my Last Will and Testament , and I revoke all
my prior Wills, Testamentary Trusts and Codicils that were made before the date
of this Will.
(Here you may place the last words you want your heirs at law to hear from you.
Often Bible Believing Christians or Jewish people will place here a Scripture and
tell their spouse or children why they believe they will be in heaven and encouraging
them to join them in heaven.)
Article I. Family Declarations
1.1 FAMILY. My spouse is [spouse's name]. My living children are [children's names].
Besides these, I know of no other children.
Article II. Fiduciaries
2.1 PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE. I nominate and name [namePR] as Personal Representative.
If they are or become unable or unwilling to serve, I nominate and name [namePR2]
as successor or alternate Personal Representative.
2.2 GUARDIAN. If my dear spouse [spouse's name] fails to survive me, I appoint [guardian
name] as Guardian of any child of mine who is a minor at my death. If that person
does not survive me, or fails to qualify, or ceases to serve, I appoint [guardian
name2 ] as Guardian of any child of mine who is a minor at my death.
2.3 CONSERVATOR. If my dear spouse fails to survive me, I nominate the guardian
appointed under this will as Conservator for any child of mine who is a minor at
2.4 COMPENSATION. My fiduciaries are entitled to reimbursement for out-of-pocket
expenses but have agreed to serve without charging a fee for their services.
2.5 BOND. No bond shall be required of my fiduciaries.
2.6 DISABILITY OF FIDUCIARY. A fiduciary shall be deemed to be disabled if a licensed
physician certifies or, if required, a court having jurisdiction determines that
due to physical or mental conditions, the person is unable to exercise judgment about
or attend to property or financial matters. The determination that a fiduciary is
disabled constitutes the resignation of that person as a fiduciary. I desire that
any fiduciary or successor fiduciary sign an authorization by which health care records
can be obtained necessary to conform his or her ability to serve as fiduciary.
Article III. Specific Gifts
3.1 LIST. I may leave a list, either entirely in my handwriting or just signed by
me, that specifies gifts of tangible personal property. If I do, I intend it to be
an amendment to my will. If the list does not qualify as an amendment, I nevertheless
hope those entitled to my estate will respect it.
3.2 OTHER TANGIBLE PERSONAL PROPERTY. My tangible personal property includes my
personal effects, furniture, household goods, jewelry, motor vehicles, water craft,
and other tangible items. I hereby give and transfer all right, title and interest
in my tangible Personal Property, to:
(a) My dear surviving spouse, [spouse's name] and only IF my spouse does not survive
(b) I give my tangible personal property not effectively disposed of above to my
children who survive me in as nearly equal shares as possible. If items are inappropriate
for distribution to a child at the time my estate is closed, they may be distributed
to the trustee or custodian for the child, for delivery to the child at a later date.
3.3 RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES. If there is a dispute among my beneficiaries over
which items of personal property each is to receive, my Personal Representative shall
place a value on each item (by appraisal if appropriate) and then each beneficiary
shall select in rotation (the order of choice to be determined by lot) the items
each desires until all have received approximately equal value.
3.4 INSURANCE POLICIES. I give the policies of insurance covering any personal
or real property in which I have an interest, including any claims I have under them,
to those persons who succeed to the ownership of the property by reason of my death.
Article IV. Residue
4.1 RESIDUE: This includes all other property not otherwise given away or any other
property or rights that I have, including the power to appoint by will. It shall
be divided as follows:
(a) All to spouse. I give all other property that I own to my surviving spouse.
(b) IF my spouse does not survive me, then to my children in equal shares.
(c) If my spouse and children do not survive me, I give all other property that
I own to those who survive me and are in the line of survivors or relatives who would
be entitled to receive if I had died without a Will.
4.2 DISTRIBUTION TO CUSTODIAN. When any share is or may be distributable to a person
under age 21, my Personal Representative or Conservator may hold or distribute the
property as or to a custodian for the beneficiary under any applicable uniform transfers
to minors act until he or she attains age 21. When distribution is made to a minor
or custodian, the minor's or custodian's receipt is sufficient to exonerate my fiduciary
from any further responsibility or liability.
4.3 ABSENCE OF BENEFICIARIES. If, at any time, there is no one to take under the
other provisions of this will, I give the funds one-half to those persons who would
inherit my estate and the other one-half to those persons who would inherit my spouse’s
estate, in each case as if we had then died intestate (without a Will) under the
law of Michigan then in effect with the shares and proportions determined by that
law. For purposes of this paragraph, however, a governmental entity is not an heir
of either of us if there is a natural person who is an heir of the other person;
and if there is, the entire estate shall be distributed to the heirs of the other
Article V. General Provisions
5.1 CHOICE OF LAW. This Will is to be interpreted and construed under the laws of
the state of Michigan.
5.2 SIMPLIFIED PROBATE. If my estate may be settled under simplified or informal
procedures, I direct that my personal representative elect to do so unless my personal
representative decides the supervised or formal procedures are preferable.
5.3 STATUTORY BENEFITS. The value of a homestead allowance, a family allowance, an
exempt property allowance, or a similar statutory benefit that is received by a beneficiary
shall be charged against the share given under this will to or for the beneficiary.
If the benefit exceeds the gift under this will, my personal representative may direct
that the excess be charged against the benefits payable to the beneficiary under
any trust that receives assets from my estate.
5.4 PAYMENT OF CHARGES. I direct my personal representative to pay the following
items from the residue of my estate, without apportionment among my beneficiaries:
(a) my legally enforceable debts (other than debts secured by real or tangible
property, which shall pass subject to those obligations)
(b) funeral expenses
(c) expenses of administering my estate
(d) taxes, including any interest and penalties, imposed by reason of my death
on any transfer of property
5.5 POWERS. My personal representative shall have all of the powers that are given
to a personal representative under MCL 700.3715, as that section exists on the date
that I sign this will. I incorporate that section by this reference.
Article VI. Definitions
6.1 SURVIVAL. For purposes of this will only, a person has survived me or is living
at a particular date only if he or she lives for more than 30 days after my death
or after the particular date. A gift fails if a beneficiary does not satisfy a condition
of survival and there is no substitute beneficiary indicated in this document who
satisfies the conditions for taking.
6.2 REPRESENTATION. If property passes under this will by right of representation
to the descendants of a specified individual, the property shall be divided into
as many equal shares as there are (1) surviving descendants in the generation nearest
to the specified individual that contains one or more surviving descendants and (2)
deceased descendants in the same generation who left surviving descendants, if any.
Each surviving descendant in the nearest generation is allocated one share. The remaining
shares, if any, are combined and then divided in the same manner among the surviving
descendants of the deceased descendants as if the surviving descendants who were
allocated a share and their surviving descendants had predeceased the specified individual.
A posthumous child shall be considered as living at the death of the child's parent.
6.3 CHILD AND DESCENDANT. Unless named in the paragraph of Article I