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Michigan estate planning laws allow holographic wills

Every state has its own traffic laws. Numerous other types of laws are under state (as opposed to federal) governance, as well. Michigan’s child custody guidelines in a divorce might differ from another state’s laws. This is also true for the estate planning process. For example, in this state, the court accepts a holographic will under certain conditions. However, many other states prohibit this kind of will.

If you execute a holographic will, it means that you have issued a will in your own handwriting, rather than a printed document. You can do this in Michigan if you adhere to the conditions that ensure validity.

What makes a holographic will valid in Michigan?

The following list includes stipulations one must meet for a holographic will to be valid in Michigan:

  • Testator (person executing the will) must list desired distribution of material provisions in his or her own handwriting
  • Document must include the date of signing
  • Testator’s signature must be at the end of the document

In some states, a holographic will is only valid if two witnesses are present when the testator signs the document. Michigan law does not require witnesses.

This state prohibits nuncupative wills

Although Michigan permits holographic wills, state law prohibits nuncupative (oral) wills. People who may not have estate plans in place might assume they can state their intentions orally, especially if they’re in a perilous situation where death is imminent. While some states accept this type of will, Michigan does not allow it.

Which type of will best fits your needs?

If you want to reduce the chances of someone challenging your will, you’re better off opting for a printed version executed under experienced estate planning legal support. Handwritten wills often face a question of validity, which means that there will be a delay in distributing assets to heirs or beneficiaries because a probate court judge must review evidence and determine whether the will in question is valid or invalid.

Printed wills can also deal with this, but this does not happen as frequently as it does with holographic wills. Remember, you can amend and update your last will and testament as needed, providing you’re of sound mind and possess testamentary capacity when you do so. Testamentary capacity basically means that you understand the purpose and implications of estate planning, know the value of your estate and can identify your beneficiaries.