Michigan, like other states, has specific requirements for a will to be accepted in probate court. For example, the will creator must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind. The will must also be signed by two witnesses.
There are several different reasons that a future beneficiary or suspected beneficiary may pursue a will contest in your probate case. Your goal in estate planning should be not just to accomplish your individual goals of protecting your legacy and supporting the beneficiaries you care about, but also to minimize the possibility of estate planning conflicts, such as a will contest.
Violation of state law is one reason why an interested party may be eligible to open a lawsuit to contest the validity of your will. Courts are very careful to ensure that someone who is bringing forward a case has the legal grounds to do so because of their role as an interested party and is contesting the will based on a legal reason. Every state has specific laws regarding governing the wills of their residents. For example, this might involve signature requirements, such as how many witnesses you have present to sign your will.
Other technicalities may also need to be observed. Simply because a will was signed in an attorney’s office does not mean that it is necessarily legally valid. For example, a future interested party may be able to argue that you were under the influence of someone else’s wishes, or did not have the appropriate mental capacity to sign a will. Both of these are seen as legal reasons for contesting a will and could significantly delay the administration of your estate. This is why it is important to work with a qualified and experienced estate planning lawyer in MI who can minimize the possibility of this by properly documenting everything and ensuring that state laws are followed.