witnesses will signing

When you create a will, you can’t just have it done in secret. There is actually a requirement that there be witnesses to the execution of a will in most states, and that includes Michigan. If you want to be sure that your document meets all legal requirements, you may want to consult a Washtenaw County wills attorney from our firm.

Do I Need Multiple Witnesses When I Make My Will?

You do not just need one witness when your will is being executed. You need at least two, but you can have three or more witnesses. This rule about witnesses is meant to protect you. With their signatures, they are ensuring that you are competent and capable of understanding what is going on. Some people try to take advantage of people when they write out a will, so having as much protection against that as possible is a good idea.

What Are the Requirements For These Witnesses?

The requirements for the witnesses are not all that strict. Anyone who is an adult of sound mind can be a witness to the execution of your will.

Some states do not allow someone with an interest in the will to serve as a witness. Michigan does not have such a restriction. One of your witnesses can be someone who is named in your will as a beneficiary. However, we cannot recommend this because it can serve as grounds for challenging the will later. This is why many people will not use close friends and family members as a witness. A more distant relative or even someone who works for the law firm, like a paralegal or assistant, may be a better choice.

Should I Hire a Lawyer?

You may be able to find a guide to making a will online, but we don’t recommend doing this on your own. You need to be sure that your will is legally binding. An experienced estate planning lawyer can do that for you while taking care of every other aspect of your estate plan. We can help you assign a guardian for any minor children, create a trust, or do anything else with your assets that you deem necessary.

What Happens If My Will Is Considered Invalid?

Dying without a will is called “dying intestate.” When this happens, the court has to decide what happens to the deceased’s assets through the probate process. If your will is not legally binding, due to the lack of witnesses or another error, then your estate will go through the probate process.

Meet With Our Team

If you are ready to make an estate plan of your own, contact Collis, Griffor & Hendra. We can schedule a consultation for you and tell you more about what our attorneys can do for you. Remember, you can benefit from having an estate plan in place even if you are not extremely wealthy. We can help you protect your assets and leave something behind for your loved ones.

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