Attorney: A will can save money in the long run

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Months after the Queen of Soul died, her name is back in the headlines.

Shortly after Aretha Franklin died last August, it was believed she didn’t have a last will for her multi-million-dollar estate. Recently, three handwritten wills that were tucked away in one of Franklin’s homes were discovered.

“The goal in Michigan is always to carry out the testator’s intent. If she intended these documents to be valid or last will and testament, it’s possible they could be,” said Pam Cross, a Grand Rapids-based planning estate attorney.

Cross admits drawing up a will isn’t cheap. The process can range from a couple of hundred dollars to a thousand dollars.

However, the process can be worthwhile.

“You do you want to make sure there isn’t any question to the validity of your last will and testament,” Cross said. “Using a professional that prepares them regularly will be helpful to that end. Secondly, you want to make sure not only that you have the document prepared properly but that your assets are subject to distribution by its terms.”

Cross says drafting a will can save family members money in the long run.

“I can tell everybody it is a lot less expensive to get it taken care of upfront than to have your family fight with different lawyers and pay them to carry it out later. That can be a very costly process. The expense upfront is really minimal compared to what that might end up being,” Cross said.   

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