LawRefs Customized Legal Information
Attorney Renee C. Walsh

A Valid Michigan Will

In order to make a valid will in Michigan, an individual has to be at least age 18 and of sound mind. The will has to be in writing and signed by the testator (will maker) or in their name by some other individual in the testator’s conscious presence and by their direction. In other words, as to a person creating the will who cannot physically sign the document for example, he could direct another individual to sign for him in his presence. The will also has to be witnessed, that is, it has to be signed by at least 2 individuals, each of whom signed within a reasonable time after he or she witnessed either the signing of the will or the testator’s acknowledgment of that signature or acknowledgment of the will. The witnesses do not have to read the will, but for example, just have to see the testator sign or see him directing someone else to sign and who does so in his presence.

A will that does not comply with the aforementioned requirements, is valid as a “holographic” will, whether or not witnessed, if it is dated, and if the testator’s signature and the document’s material portions are in the testator’s handwriting. Intent that the document constitutes a testator’s will can be established by extrinsic evidence, including, for a holographic will, portions of the document that are not in the testator’s handwriting.

The individual’s age is not of significance, only whether they are of “sound mind” and thus the need for witnesses to be able to come forward and testify that the individual was of sound mind. If they are not of sound mind, then any will they execute will not be valid. If they are elderly and of sound mind, then they can direct another to assist them in speaking with an attorney to make a change for them. If you need further assistance of have further questions, please contact me at www.lawrefs.com.

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