Creating your Will is an empowering practice that provides peace of mind and protects your loved ones. By taking control over your legacy, you’re making sure things aren’t left up to chance. The process of creating Wills is largely similar from state to state, but there are some regulatory complexities and nuances to be aware of. Thanks to technology, the process is becoming easier and more accessible. If you plan to make an online Will in Michigan, make sure to satisfy the specific requirements set forth by Michigan law in order for your Will to be valid. This guide provides an overview of what you need to know about making a Will online in Michigan.
What You Need to Know About Making a Will Online in Michigan
The process of creating a valid Will in Michigan is determined by state statutes. The laws regarding the execution of a Will can be found in the Michigan Legislature, Estates and Protected Individuals Code, Section 700.2502.
An online Will can be valid in Michigan so long as the above legal requirements are satisfied. Trust & Will breaks down these legal requirements over the next several sections by answering some frequently asked questions on the topic.
How Much Does a Will Cost in Michigan?
A Will in Michigan can cost roughly in the range of $200 to $600.This cost varies widely depending on three key factors: the method of execution, complexity of the estate, and attorney fees if you choose to work with one.
For instance, an individual with a particularly robust or complex estate plan with many special provisions may hire one of the most experienced estate planning attorneys in the state. This person’s estate planning costs will likely be in the higher range. The cost may even rise to several thousand dollars if they plan to establish a Trust.
However, many people have a relatively simple estate with straightforward objectives. Trust & Will’s online estate planning platform provides an affordable alternative that won’t break your bank. You can create your Michigan online Will through our platform at a fraction of the cost.
Are Online Wills Legal in Michigan?
Yes, online Wills are legal in Michigan so long as you satisfy the general requirements of executing a valid Will:
You must be at least 18 years of age
You must be of sound mind
The Will must be in writing
You must sign the Will before two witnesses
Your two witnesses must also sign the Will in front of you
To create a legally valid Will in Michigan, you can use a comprehensive estate planning platform such as Trust & Will, which will guide you through easy prompts and steps. Note that you have to print out your online Will, as the Great Lakes State does not recognize digital-only Wills at this time. We will discuss this more in a following section that goes over the requirements for online Wills in Michigan.
Can You Write Your Own Will in Michigan?
Yes, you can write your own Will in Michigan. There are multiple ways to write a Will, including writing your own Last Will on a piece of paper or filling out a statutory Will form with your own information found here.
These two options may be limiting. For starters, writing your own Will from scratch leaves you vulnerable to errors and pitfalls that could render your wishes legally unenforceable. A statutory Will is provided by the state and cannot be customized.
If you don’t wish to work with an attorney, an alternative solution to consider is creating an online Will using a trustworthy platform. For example, Trust & Will’s estate planning platform offers state-specific estate plans so you can have peace of mind knowing that your Will is compliant in Michigan and will obtain the desired goals of your legacy.
What are the Requirements for an Online Will to Be Valid in Michigan?
In order for an online Will to be valid in Michigan, it must satisfy the following requirements:
The Will must be in writing.
The Testator (the person writing the Will) must be at least 18 years old and be of sound mind and memory.
The Testator must sign the Will in front of two witnesses.
These witnesses must be competent, meaning they are capable of making decisions and have the capacity to reason.
After they see the Testator sign the Will, the witnesses must also sign the Will.
The Will must be printed on paper. While several states allow digital Wills, Michigan does not currently recognize digital-only Wills. Online Wills must be printed out.
Make sure to choose disinterested parties to witness your Will. Michigan law does not prevent you from using a beneficiary as a witness, nor will it invalidate your Will, but it’s generally discouraged since it could create conflicts of interest or pose a challenge to the Will’s validity later down the line.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Make a Will in Michigan?
No, you do not need a lawyer to make a Will in Michigan. Generally speaking, Wolverine State laws do not require you to hire a lawyer to create or execute a valid Will. However, you may want to consult an estate planning professional for advice if you have a large estate or special conditions that you wish to meet.
How Do I Sign an Online Will in Michigan?
Here are the steps to follow for signing and finalizing your online Will in Michigan:
Print out your Will
Sign or verbally acknowledge your Will before two witnesses
Have your two witnesses sign the Will in front of you shortly thereafter
Trust & Will’s estate planning platform is compatible with Michigan residents who wish to execute an online Will. Follow our simple step-by-step process to create your Will and other estate planning documents, which will be mailed to you upon completion for signing.
Do Wills in Michigan Have to be Notarized?
No, a Will does not have to be notarized in order for it to be legally valid in Michigan. However, it is an optional action step that you can take if you wish for your Will to be self-proving.
To do so, you and your witnesses must go to a notary public. After confirming your identities, you will make sworn statements and sign an affidavit. The affidavit is notarized and attached to the Will. This essentially proves that the notary knows who you are and confirms that each person was aware that they were signing the Will.
If your Will is presented to the probate court, then they must validate it. If the Will is already self-proved, then the court won’t have to call upon the witnesses to testify regarding the Will’s validity. This can help minimize potential issues and allow the probate process to proceed more quickly.
Who Can Witness a Will in Michigan?
Any competent adult can witness a Will in Michigan. However, a Testator should be careful not to select a beneficiary (an interested party) as a witness. While an interested witness won’t automatically invalidate a Will, this could create a conflict of interest. It is generally advised to select a disinterested party to witness your Will to avoid any challenges.
How to Create Michigan Last Will and Testament Online
The Great Lakes State does not currently recognize digital-only Wills, although this could change in the future. In the meantime, you can still create your Last Will and Testament online, so long as you print it out for signing. This is a convenient and affordable alternative to estate planning using traditional methods.
With this in mind, here is an overview of the steps of creating an online Will in Michigan:
Select a trusted online estate planning platform, service, or template.
Draft your Will
Review and finalize your Will
Print out your Will
Sign the Will
Obtain signatures from two competent witnesses
Optional: get your Will notarized if you want it to be self-proving
Upload the Will to a secure storage space online, such as a digital vault
Store the hard copy in a secure physical space, such as a safe
Review and revise your Will regularly
What Can I Include in an Online Will in Michigan?
The contents of a Last Will and Testament vary widely based on an individual’s personal circumstances, as well as the objectives they wish to achieve. Must estate planning platforms such as Trust & Will will guide you through a series of questions and prompts to help you create your Will.
Here are some ideas on what can be included in your online Will:
An inventory of your property and assets
A list of your Beneficiaries
Gifts made to specific individuals or organizations
Your nominated Executor who should handle your estate
A Guardian for any minor or dependent children (or pets)
A named individual to manage property for dependent children
Last wishes regarding your remains, funeral, burial, cremation, etc.
Any final instructions or notes for loved ones
Create Your Online Will in Michigan Today
Can you create an online Will in Michigan? The answer is “yes!” Creating your Will online, no matter your location, is a convenient and affordable alternative to working with an estate planning attorney. The key to successfully creating an online Will in Michigan is making sure that you satisfy state-specific requirements.
This guide provided an overview of the online Will requirements in the Wolverine State that you should be aware of.
At Trust & Will, we’re here to help keep things simple. You can create a fully customizable, state-specific estate plan from the comfort of your own home in just 20 minutes. Take our free quiz to see where you should get started, or compare our different estate planning and settlement options today!
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Trust & Will is an online service providing legal forms and information. We are not a law firm and we do not provide legal advice.