• The Mitten Law Firm, Plc

Common Will Types in Michigan

Updated: Oct 30, 2018



Statistics show that approximately 69% of adults do not have a will or other method of estate planning in place. It is important to plan ahead when it comes to property and what happens to it when we are no longer around. A will provides peace of mind, and allows for one to distribute his or her assets upon death, without putting family members through the stress and heartache of probate court.


A person making a will is called the testator and there are several requirements which must be met to help ensure that a will is determined to be valid. First, the testator must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind. They must also:


1. Understand the disposition of his property at death

2. Know the nature and extent of his property

3. Know the natural objects of his bounty

4. Reasonably understand the nature of his will.


When it comes to wills in Michigan, there are several different routes that may be taken. However, the most common forms of legally accepted wills in Michigan are formal wills and holographic wills.


A formal will is a type of will that you would have made at The Mitten Law Firm. This type of will has several requirements which must be met to be enforceable. A valid formal will must meet the following requirements:


1. The will must be in writing, either typed or handwritten is acceptable.

2. The will must be signed by the testator, this is the person making the will.

3. It must also be signed by two witnesses within a reasonable amount of time of them having witnessed the testator signing the will. The witness can be an interested party, a minor, or signed by proxy.


A holographic will is a much less formal version of a will. This type of will has less requirements than a formal will, which can often lead to more scrutiny from the courts. There are only two requirements for a valid holographic will in Michigan:


1. The material portions of the will must be in the testators own handwriting.

2. The holographic will must be signed and dated by the testator.


As you can see, the difference between a formal will and a holographic will in Michigan is pretty drastic. This is why it is always important to contact an experienced law firm, such as The Mitten Law Firm, to help plan for you future. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about current wills, making a new will, or which options are best for you- please contact us.


(734) 765-9382