When it comes to wills, there are two basic types that you need to know about: There are typed wills and there are handwritten wills. The latter are also known as holographic wills.
You may be wondering, “must a will always be typewritten and signed by two witnesses in order to be valid?” The answer to that is no. Royal Oak or Novi, Michigan residents typing out a typewritten will need it to be signed (or executed). The person that makes the will (the testator) must declare in front of the witnesses that “This is my last will and testament,” and request that those on-hand as witnesses serve as official witnesses during the testator’s official signing. The witnesses sign under penalty of perjury and notarization of the will is not necessary.
Holographic wills, however, have to be completely handwritten, dated, and signed by the testator. Witnesses do not have to be present and the holographic will doesn’t have to be notarized. These wills need to meet minimal requirements in order to be probated in Michigan.
You may need to consult with an estate probate attorney in Novi or Royal Oak MI to gain a clearer understanding of the problems that can arise with holographic or handwritten wills. It can be trying to prove that the testator of a holographic will prepared and signed it on his or her own.
With a typewritten will, the witnesses and the ceremony that comes along with the signature prove that the testator prepared and signed the will. One can’t be so sure with holographic wills, as it can be unclear if the deceased person has provided for an abnormal disposition of his or her property. Handwriting experts may sometimes be called upon to analyze holographic wills to prove the testator did in fact prepare and sign the will. The testator also must be conveying a wish to direct the distribution of his estate to beneficiaries.
It’s clear to see that if you or someone close to you has to choose between one of these two types of basic wills, hiring or consulting with an estate probate lawyer Royal Oak or Novi, MI can make the process a lot easier. It’s not a requirement in any state to hire a lawyer for probate but under some conditions, like proving the validity of a will, it can be very helpful. Contact us today to see what Michael Colton and his probate and estate planning specialists can do for you!