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Michigan Last Will and Testament

Michigan Last Will and Testament

By 

Jennifer Mcgee

·

Updated on  

January 3, 2023
·

8 mins

 Read

Writing down your wishes and declaring that document as your Michigan last will and testament isn't enough. It won't necessarily hold up in court and may be invalid. The entire process would be futile if you don't follow the correct conditions for making a legal last will and testament. You do not have to get a lawyer for the process and can rather choose to make an online last will. It would be a more straightforward process to express your final wishes for your estate and family.

Different states have varying requirements to make a valid and enforceable last will. If you live in Michigan, here is what you should follow.

Requirements for a Michigan Last Will and Testament 

  • Written will: A Michigan last will and testament must be on paper to be legal. However, Michigan also allows electronic wills. Michigan accepts holographic wills.
  • Must be of at least 18 age 
  • Possess sound mind and memory: The testator for a Michigan last will must understand the procedure, nature, and extent of their estate and the designated beneficiaries. For their last will to be enforceable, they need to have a sound mind and memory.
  • Testator signing: To make it legal, you must sign your Michigan last will and testament before your two witnesses.
  • Witness signing: You must have at least two witnesses for the will. They should acknowledge and sign the will within a reasonable time.
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“Should have done this before, had made it up to be really hard in my head. This was super easy!”

Who can be your witnesses for a Michigan Last Will and Testament? 

Your witnesses for a Michigan last will must follow these conditions:

  • Michigan allows any competent adult to become a witness. 
  • They should be able to testify about what they saw and the will-making process.
  • It's better not to select beneficiaries as witnesses as they could lose the estate portion or any gift you leave them.

Michigan rules for a personal representative or an executor 

Choosing an executor for your Michigan last will would be better than leaving it to uncertainty. However, an executor should follow these guidelines to be eligible for the role:

  1. Must be at least 18 or above
  2. Capable of performing the job, i.e., of a sound mind.
  3. Michigan doesn't restrict people convicted of a felony from being executors.
  4. Michigan allows you to choose someone out of state as your executor.

Last will and Testament Notarization in Michigan 

There's no need to notarize your Michigan last will and testament. However, you should add a self-proving affidavit to the last will to speed up the probate process. Here's how you can do that:

  • Find a notary public to make a self-proving affidavit for the will. 
  • You and the witnesses must go to the notary and sign the affidavit, stating who you are and that you know you're signing a will.

Michigan Last Will Revocation 

You could follow any of the following methods to revoke your Michigan last will and testament:

  • Destroy your last will by tearing, burning, obliterating, and shredding.
  • Making a new legal will that revokes any part or the entire previous will.

What if you have more than one Michigan will?

If it's not clear whether your new Michigan will revoke the old one, the state will follow these rules:

  • It'll replace the old will if the new one has varying or contradictory terms to your previous Michigan will.
  • The probate court assumes you wanted to revoke the previous will if the new one disposes of your entire estate.
  • If the new will doesn't dispose of the entire estate, it would be treated as a supplement to the old Michigan will.

Michigan Last Will Amendment Rules 

If you wish to make some minor and simple changes to your Michigan last will, you can do it through a Codicil. It will allow you to introduce changes to your existing will and avoid revoking it.

However, you must follow the same guidelines to make a legal codicil as for an original will. If you want to make multiple amendments, it's better to make a new will that revokes the previous one.

Michigan rules for divorce after making your last will

  • Michigan law revokes any gift you leave to your spouse.
  • Revokes any appointment of your spouse as the trustee or executor 
  • However, the provisions will stand if you state otherwise in your Michigan will or remarry your ex.

What happens if you don't have a will in Michigan?

Case

What happens 

Has children, no spouse 

Children inherit everything 

Has a spouse, no children, no parents 

Spouse inherits everything 

Has parents, no children, no spouse 

Parents inherit everything 

Has siblings, no parents, no children, no spouse 

Siblings inherit everything 

Has a spouse and children (Children you share with that spouse)

Spouse inherits the first $150,000 of your estate and one-half of the balance 


Children inherit the balance 

Has a spouse and children 

(You share at least one child with that spouse and at least one with someone else)

Spouse inherits the first $150,000 of your estate and one-half of the balance 


Children inherit the balance 

Has a spouse and children 

(Children you share with someone else)

Spouse inherits the first $100,000 of your estate and one-half of the balance 


Children inherit the balance 

Has a spouse and parents 

Spouse inherits the first $150,000 of your estate and three-fourths of the balance 


Parents inherit the balance 

Last Will and Testament Michigan Free Template

You can quickly create a simple estate plan by downloading a Last Will and Testament Michigan free template. It will be the best option if you don't have a large estate or complicated finances. You could check out the template and follow the necessary requirements to make your new Michigan last will and testament. Once you go through the details and follow the required steps:

  1. Connect on TrulyWill and create your account.
  2. Discuss any issues or complications about your finances and personal relationships with our attorneys.
  3. Sign or notarize the document, depending on your state requirements. 

This template and sample last will and testament would allow you to examine what your will would look like. You can change the will template depending on your personal preferences for estate distribution. 

Some instances where it would be prudent to consult our experts before finalizing your will would be when you have a high net worth or complicated family and personal relationships. We also provide additional services for those unique requests:

  • Online expert support: You can connect with our experts online and clear your doubts.
  • Attorney support: For some specific and unique requirements, we also offer additional attorney support services for your will and trust.

If you're facing any of these issues, it's essential to consult an expert before proceeding. They could personally help you out with any doubts and create a solid and legally enforceable Michigan last will and testament. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a lawyer to make my last will and testament?

There's generally no need to get a lawyer to make your will. You could use an online platform and easily make it within minutes. Only some special cases, like complex family relations, may require you to consult an attorney.

What would happen if someone passes away without a will?

The state's intestacy laws will be followed if someone dies without a will. The interested parties, like the spouse or children, would have to go through a probate process to get their share in the estate.

Can an executor or guardian refuse to take up the role?

Yes, your guardian or executor can refuse to take on the job. It is always better to ask the person and get their approval before mentioning them on your will.

Should I update my will?

You should regularly check and update your last will after certain life events. It can be a new marriage, a child, or a divorce. Either way, keep updating your will after some time.

Do I need to notarize my will?

Different states have varying requirements for Notarization. It's better to read your state rules before finalizing your last will and testament.
Jennifer Mcgee
Parent to five young children. Expert in Estate Planning, Probate, and Family Law Matters. Volunteer with Victim’s Advocates in the local sheriff's department...
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