You are young and you have young children; why do you need a Will or a Revocable Living Trust? A Will and a Revocable Living Trust are legal document which essentially allow you to do two things. First, you name who takes over for you in performing certain tasks upon your death. You appoint who will be in charge of financial matters. This person is called a Personal Representative or a Trustee. You may also name the Guardian for your minor children. The Guardian will make all the decisions regarding the day-to-day care, medical and educational decisions for your minor children.

Second, you may control the child’s inheritance past age 18. Under Michigan Law, a child becomes an adult at age 18, and the child is entitled to the inheritance in full. You may establish a Trust within your Will or Living Trust to control the assets until an age you select. The Trust terms give the Trustee you have appointed directions regarding the distribution of funds before the selected age. The Trustee may usually be authorized to distribute funds for care, support, health and education of the child.

Without a Will, the Probate Court selects the Guardian and Conservator for your children based upon Petitions filed by your family, and at age 18 your children will be entitled to their shares in full.