A will is a record of an individual’s assets and where and whom they are distributed to. Over time, our society has adopted more interpretations of wills. There’s oral wills, written wills, holographic wills and more. There was even a story of a man writing his will on a tractor that crushed and killed him. As long as there’s proof of the passing individual’s request, it must be fulfilled by the probate court. Of course, scrutiny is part of the probate process. One of the things which is analyzed (if necessary) will be if it’s a valid will. It’s pretty easy today to forge a will and present it to someone, claiming it’s real. If you think they don’t do this to everyone, just take a look at the situation involving the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. But going back to the validity of these wills, what makes them valid? Let’s take a look at what makes a will valid.
The Michigan Legislature has the literal interpretation of the law regarding what makes a will valid…
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) and in sections 2503, 2506, and 2513, a will is valid only if it is all of the following:
(a) In writing.
(b) Signed by the testator or in the testator’s name by some other individual in the testator’s conscious presence and by the testator’s direction.
(c) Signed by at least 2 individuals, each of whom signed within a reasonable time after he or she witnessed either the signing of the will as described in subdivision (b) or the testator’s acknowledgment of that signature or acknowledgment of the will.
(2) A will that does not comply with subsection (1) is valid as a holographic will, whether or not witnessed, if it is dated, and if the testator’s signature and the document’s material portions are in the testator’s handwriting.
(3) Intent that the document constitutes a testator’s will can be established by extrinsic evidence, including, for a holographic will, portions of the document that are not in the testator’s handwriting.
Darren Findling of The Probate Pro
explains into further detail the validity of wills.