Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Michigan

My mother is a resident of Michigan and she is a widow. Her house is free & clear. The value is about $350,000. She has about $300,000 in a money market account. I am her daughter and she added my name on her house. Upon her death she expects me to sell the house and equally share the proceeds withe my 3 siblings. She listed my three siblings and me on her money market account as beneficiaries. My youngest brother is a recovering drug addict and she does not want him to get a lump sum. She wants him to get $1,000 a month until his inheritance runs out. Because my name is on the house and all of us are listed as beneficiaries on her money market account, she does not feel she needs a will. If she doesn't have a will, will there be probate costs? What is the benefit of a will for her? Thank you.


Asked on 2/25/19, 11:54 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

John Tatone John R. Tatone & Associates PLC

As a beneficiary, your youngest brother will recieve a lump sum 1/3 from the money market account. There will be nothing you can do about it under the current scenario. If your mother wants you to give him $1,000 per month, the best tool would be a trust. If her house were in a trust and the money market account is either owned by the trust or named as beneficiary, this would allow the trustee to honor her wishes and release only $1,000 a month to him. The trust could state that the rest of you recieve all of your share of the money immediately. I believe everyone needs a will as there are some assets that cannot have beneficiaries or joint owners, such as a medical malpractice claim or car accident. Please contact me if you would like my assistance. 586-580-8850 or jt@johntatone.com

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Answered on 2/26/19, 8:38 am


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