Once you’ve created an estate plan, it’s important that you maintain it. For example, there might be additional beneficiaries that you want to add to your will or people that you want to take out of it. Remember, if you don’t keep your will up-to-date then your wishes might not be carried out.
Different Types of Wills
There are several different types of wills that are legal in Michigan. A holographic will is entirely handwritten by the testator (the creator of the will). It must be signed and dated by the testator.
A self-proving will must be signed by the testator and two witnesses in front of an officer authorized to administer oaths under Michigan law. The witnesses must provide sworn statements.
To create a statutory will, all you need to do is fill out a form. However, you’re limited to the options included on the form. There is no room for creativity, and if you add anything not included on the form then your entire will might be deemed invalid.
We recommend that you contact an experienced estate planning attorney to help you create a formal will that will express your exact wishes and comply with Michigan law.
Why Might I Need to Update My Will?
Life happens, and after you’ve created your will, you might need to make changes. There are various reasons you might update your will, including:
- You’ve purchased additional property;
- The value of your current property has increased;
- A new child was born into your family and you need to add a beneficiary;
- You’ve adopted a child and need to add a beneficiary;
- One of your family members died and you need to remove a beneficiary;
- You’ve decided to remove a beneficiary for other reasons;
- You’ve remarried or divorced and need to update your beneficiaries; and
- You want to name a different executor (also known as a personal representative).
How Can I Amend My Will?
A will does not take effect until you die, which means you can modify it at any time without any legal consequences. There are two different ways to change your will:
- Start over and write a new will. Be sure to include: “I revoke any prior wills and codicils” at the top. We also recommend destroying the original will and any copies that were made.
- You can change your will by adding a codicil (an amendment). A codicil is similar to a will but it changes only certain parts. For example, if you adopted a child and want to add her as a beneficiary you could include that bequest in a codicil, which will then be attached to the will.
Do NOT make changes directly on the will by crossing through certain sections or adding comments in the margin. Doing so might invalidate your entire will.
Contact Experienced Michigan Estate Planning Lawyers Today
Contact our experienced Norton Shores estate planning lawyers today if you need to create a will or make changes to a will that you’ve already created. We will ensure that your will expresses your wishes and complies with Michigan law.