What is a holographic will?

While many people in Michigan choose to have their will drafted and typed out by an attorney, some choose to handwrite their will. Known as a holographic will, a handwritten one has some benefits, but it also comes with certain complications. People should weigh the different factors before deciding what form they want their will to be in.

Not all states recognize a holographic will as being valid, but Michigan does. According to the Michigan Legislature, a handwritten will requires a number of things. For it to be valid, it must be signed by the testator’s name or by someone directed by the testator, and it needs to be signed by a minimum of two witnesses. As an alternative, it is also valid without witnesses if a date is included and the material portions and testator’s signature are in the maker’s handwriting.

According to FindLaw, one of the benefits of a handwritten will is it may be deemed more trustworthy because it is in the actual handwriting of the will writer. However, there are some problems associated with this type of will. For those with few assets, a holographic will may work well, but it is challenging when it is a large estate. It also causes complications when the will has a lot of changes made to it. It may cause confusion and result in unwanted court battles to figure things out.

Consult an estate attorney to determine how you should write your will based off your individual situation. No matter what form you use, there are tips to follow to ensure it is valid and will not lead to any legal battles.