What are the basic requirments of a Will?

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What are the basic requirments of a Will?

Can I write out my own Will, have it witnessed by 2 unrelated persons, and have it be binding? Do I need an attorney to make it legal?

Asked on February 13, 2011 under Estate Planning, Michigan

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

MI recognizes what is known as a "holographic Will" (i.e. one that it written in the testator's own handwriting) as long as it is dated and signed at the end.  There is no requirement for witnesses.   Also, as with all Wills, the testator must be at least 18 years of age and of sound mind.  Although holographic Wills are often challenged in court so they are not the best option.

Having an attorney draft a Will for you would be best.  However, if money is an issue, why not purchase a Will form on-line from a reputable vendor. The cost is minimal.  Just be sure to follow all instructions when you fill it out.  As additional protection, you could then have an attorney review it for you; this is cheaper than having them draw one up.  This way, you could save on costs but still have the peace of mind that your estate will be distributed as per your wishes.


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