In Michigan, a person who is concerned about who receives certain assets after his or her death does not have to type out or download a document and find a couple of people to witness its signing. Instead, a pen and piece of paper are all that are needed to ensure that his or her wishes are honored.

According to the Michigan Legislature, if the will is handwritten, signed and dated by the testator, it is valid. In some cases, some of the document could be written by someone else, but the material portions must match the signature of the testator. When there are portions written by someone else, these could be used as external evidence that the document was intended to be a will by the testator.

The convenience of this method may have many people wondering why anyone would bother to make a will any other way. The holographic will does not even require the signature of two witnesses, unlike a traditional will. As FindLaw points out, it is this factor that may invite more people to challenge the document after the testator’s death. 

The burden of proof is on the person challenging the holographic will. However, the main thing he or she has to show is that there is doubt that the testator wrote it, or that the testator did not intend that particular document to serve as his or her will. Because there are no witnesses, the only one who truly knows the answer is deceased. If a challenger is convincing, the court may agree and invalidate the will.