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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Here's How to Create a Valid Will in Michigan

A will is probably the most well-known estate planning instrument. With a valid will, you can leave property to your loved ones and ensure that your children will be cared for should anything ever happen to you. Although most people know what a will can do, many are unfamiliar with the steps required to ensure that a will is legally valid. If you are a Michigan resident and you’d like to create a valid will, please review the information below and contact a Michigan estate planning attorney to being the process.

The requirements to create a valid will in Michigan

For a will to be valid in Michigan, it must be:

  1. In writing;
  2. Signed by the testator (i.e., the person making the will) or by some other person in the testator’s presence and at his or her direction; and
  3. Signed by at least two other people, each of whom are required to sign the will after witnessing the testator’s signature or acknowledgment of that signature.


There are limited exceptions to the above requirements. For example, if you are in an emergency, you can create a will if you have something to write with and on. This type of will, called a “holographic will,” is valid if its material portions and the signature are in your handwriting.

In addition, a court may recognize a will that fails to meet the above requirements if the will’s validity is proven by clear and convincing evidence. This means that the person who submits the will to the court must demonstrate that the deceased person intended the writing to:

  • Be his or her will;
  • Be a partial or complete revocation of his or her will;
  • Be an addition or change to his or her will; or
  • Be a revival of a previously-revoked will.

Also, if a will was executed in another country or state in accordance with that country’s or state’s law, Michigan will recognize it as valid. Of course, barring rare circumstances, there is no reason to rely on an exception to make a will. If you have the opportunity now to create a valid will, you should do so. And the best way to ensure that you draft your will in accordance with Michigan’s requirements is to enlist the help of a Michigan estate planning lawyer.

Let us help you draft your will

If you’re ready to begin the estate planning process in Michigan, you need an experienced Michigan estate planning attorney on your side. At Keating Law, PLC, our Michigan estate planning attorney will assist you with all aspects of the estate planning process, including drafting a will, executing a durable power of attorney, creating a trust, and choosing an executor. If you’d like to begin the estate planning process today, please contact us for a consultation.

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