How to Create a Legal Will in Michigan

By April Kohl

In the United States, federal law does not dictate the form a will must take to be legal. Instead, individual states are free to enact their own rules and laws regarding the validity of wills. Knowing how to create a legal will in Michigan, therefore, requires knowledge of the particular rules and limitations on wills under Michigan law, such as the need to be at least 18 years old.

Step 1

Draw up a list of your assets, such as money, land and other property. Write a list of the people you want to leave the assets to. Creating lists helps you clarify who should receive each asset, or part thereof, and ensures you do not leave any person or property out by accident.

Step 2

Consult an attorney practicing law in Michigan, providing her with the lists you have drawn up and explaining that you want to create a will. Alternatively, write your own will at home, either on computer or by hand. Handwritten wills, known as "holographic wills," are valid only if they are dated, signed by you and are in your handwriting.

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Step 3

Sign your will in the presence of two witnesses, neither of whom can be a beneficiary in the will (i.e., they cannot receive money, land or other property as a result of your death). Have both witnesses sign the will after you do. The witnesses do not need to see you write the will; they need only see you sign it. Holographic wills do not require witnessing under Michigan law.

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References

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How to Make a Legal Will in California

If you are a California resident who is 18 years or older, you can make a valid will without a great expenditure of time or money. Those with simple holdings can write a will themselves, dispensing with attorneys, notaries and even witnesses. The California Probate Code specifically approves a handwritten will -- termed a holographic will -- for state residents. While a holographic will is not for everybody -- more complicated estates might benefit from legal advice and tax-planning assistance -- a simple handwritten will remains a valid, viable option.

What Makes a Will Legal in California?

California state laws contain specific rules for what makes a will legal in the state. California's will laws are laid out in the California Probate Code. Like most states, California requires a will to be signed by the testator, or person who made the will, as well as by two witnesses.

How to Create a Will in Maryland

Seven out of 10 Americans die without a will, according to the University of Maryland’s Maryland Cooperative Extension. Many people believe that wills are unnecessary because they do not have many or valuable assets; however, a will can make life easier for your survivors, even if you only have modest possessions. A legal valid will ensures that your assets will be distributed to your beneficiaries according to your wishes. Although it is legal to write a will yourself, it is less risky to hire a lawyer to prepare it for you.

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