The Michigan Court of Appeals decided an interesting case this week, for publication, that should provide a heads up for lawyers preparing what are often called "pour-over Wills" and "simple trusts" for their clients. There are some traps for the unwary, lawyers and laypersons alike. The case, In Re Estate of Leix, makes those clear.
Sometimes folks want to do what they call "simple estate planning." They may make a contract / agreement to make mutual wills. Ultimately these people intend that their mutual promise to devise real estate, bank accounts, and other property to particular people--generally their children--is carried out after the first of the couple passes away. In Re Estate of Leix points out how easy it is to defeat this plan after the death of a spouse.