What is a valid Michigan Last Will and Testament?

Michigan law regarding Wills is codified in the Estates and Protected Individuals Code, commonly referred to as EPC and found at MCL 700.1101 to 700.8102.In order to made a valid Will in Michigan, the person making the Will referred to as the testator, must be at least 18 and be of sound mind. The Will is valid only if it is (a) In writing,
(b) signed by the testator or in his conscious presence at his direction, and (c) signed by at least 2 witnesses, each of whom signed within a reasonable time after witnessing either the signing of the Will or the testator’s acknowledgment of the signature or acknowledgment of the Will. Witnesses must be competent and can also be interested parties to the Will.

A will that does not comply with the legal 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. This is convenient for a person who is faced with circumstances in which they cannot have the document witnessed or updated properly as for example, the person is taking a trip and does not have time.

A will may also refer to a list to dispose of items of tangible personal property not otherwise specifically disposed of by the will, other than money. The writing must be either in the testator’s handwriting or signed by the testator at the end. It must describe the items and the devisees with reasonable certainty and can be prepared before or after the execution of the will. It may also be altered by the testator after its preparation.

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