What is a Will?

A will is a written instrument controlling the disposition of an individual's property at death.  The laws of Michigan establish the formal requirements for a will.  In Michigan, as a general rule:

          *  The testator must be at least 18 years old.

          *  The testator must be of sound mind.

          *  The will must be written (there are specific, limited exceptions).

          *  The will must be witnessed by two competent persons in a special manner provided by law.  A beneficiary of a will or spouse of a beneficiary should not be a witness, because the beneficiary may lose benefits under the will as a result.

          *  The technical formalities required for the execution of a will must be followed precisely.


When does the Will become Effective?

      A will becomes effective on the testator's death, but its validity must be proved in the Probate Court.

How often should a Will be Reviewed?

     A will is valid until it is changed or revoked, and it may be changed or revoked as often as you wish.  Changes in the family, changes in the amount and kind of property and changes in tax laws may require changes in the will.  A will should be reviewed at least every five years.




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