A will specifies how a person’s property is to be distributed or handled after their death. It is a legal document that describes what the person creating the will, called the testator, wishes to have done with his or her property after he or she dies.
The testator creates the will, but the will's provisions are carried out only after the testator dies. The testator names a personal representative (often called an executor in other states) to administer the distribution of the estate. The personal representative makes a list of all the testator's property, bills, and creditors. Then the personal representative pays the valid debts and distributes the remaining property, if any, to the persons specified by the testator.
Under Michigan law, the personal representative must get the probate court's approval to distribute the estate. Many personal representatives hire a lawyer to assist with the process of "probating an estate." Elder Law of Chelsea specializes in probate court matters and can help resolve these situations for you.
Since the will specifies what is to be done with a person’s his or her property after he or she dies, it would be a good idea to make a video record of your personal belongings by using the movie feature of your smart phone's camera. Pan around each room in a circle, moving slowly. Stop the video in each room and you'll have a separate video 'file' for each room. Label the videos with the date and name of each room. At this point you can save the videos to a cloud storage site such as Dropbox or Evernote, or back up the video files to a hard disk for storage.
After that, you can make a printed list by viewing your video and carefully listing everything you see. Even if you don't get to this last step, you have a visual record of the possessions in your home.
Remember that if you are making a home inventory for your will, you need to write down your wishes for the disposition of the items.
Check out a home inventory booklet and form by clicking hereHome Inventory Booklet and Form: http://web.aces.uiuc.edu/vista/pdf_pubs/houseinv.pdf The will is also the document in which a person names a guardian for his or her dependents. So, for instance, it is in a will that people with minor children name guardians to serve in case of the parent's death. For more information on Guardianship for minor children.