All residents of Michigan who are at least 18 years old are allowed to prepare a written record of how they want their assets to be shared after they die. This written record is known as a Michigan last will and testament.
Without this legal instrument, the state takes over the decedent’s properties and distributes or shares them according to the laws of intestate succession. Some exclusionary rules exist that are designed to prevent the testator’s distant relatives from taking over the value of their estate.
This article discusses a lot more about a Michigan last will and testament.
What Is a Michigan Last Will and Testament & How Does It Work?
Like an Illinois will, or an Arizona will, a Michigan last will and testament is a legal document through which a Michigan resident lists beneficiaries that are to receive his or her ‘probate’ assets upon his or her death. The beneficiaries of this will are known as devisees while the creator of the will is known as the testator.
Should there be probate assets, the will must be admitted before a probate court before these assets are allocated to the devisees. Family members are allowed to contest the will. However, they must be able to provide valid grounds why the will should become invalid.
A testator might also name an executor who is legally obligated to share the assets of the testator amongst his or her designated beneficiaries following the instructions highlighted in the last will and testament.
All laws regarding the creation and execution of a Michigan last will and testament are stated in Act 386 of 1998 of Michigan legislature.
Why Is The Michigan Last Will and Testament Important?
A last will and testament Michigan is important for many reasons. It can decide;
- who receives the testator’s assets after the demise and what percentage of these properties they receive; This reduces the probability of any dispute ensuing between family members over the properties of the decedent;
- who is responsible for administering the testator’s estate;
- who should be appointed guardian over the testator’s minor children;
- how the testator should be buried. The testator might want to have his or her body parts donated for science discoveries, be buried or be cremated;
- whether or not the testator wants to give some of the properties to charity;
However, wills cannot be used to share exempt property, elective share, dower rights, homestead allowance and family allowance. They also cannot be used to avoid the court process of probate.
The Requirements for a Valid Michigan Last Will and Testament
Regardless of where a Michigan template is gotten from, it is legally valid as long as the following requirements are met.
- The testators must have reached age 18
- They must be of sound mind and not under any form of duress when writing their will
- The will must be in writing
- It must be signed by at least two witnesses after witnessing the signing of the will by the testator or an acknowledgement of the signing of the will by the testator.
How to Write, Change and Revoke a Last Will and Testament in Michigan?
A Michigan statutory will can be changed at any time the testator deems fit. This is usually done using a codicil which is executed in much the same way as a will.
Wills mi are usually revoked by executing another will with the intent to revoke the initial one. It can also be revoked by burning, tearing or destroying the will with the intent to revoke its content.
In Michigan, if a testator gets divorced after executing a will, all provisions in the will tying the ex-spouse to a property become annulled.
Executing a will form is pretty easy when you have the right template to work with. CocoSign has a rich gallery of Michigan fillable will forms and templates you can download for free.
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