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Had Will done.Was told not to take it to Court House to be recorded. Keep both copies with me. Thank You so much.

Waterford, MI |

do you agree this .

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Attorney answers 5


A will does not need to be recorded in Michigan. However, some people choose to have them recorded. There are a few factors that you could consider. The first is whether you think that you will move out of the county. If you are fairly sure that you will remain in your county til you pass then it wouldn't be a bad idea.

I am also wondering when you said "keep both copies with me" did you mean the original (with the inked signatures and a copy) or did you mean two copies? The original will would have to be recorded and filed if probate is needed.

Every case is different. As such, the answer cannot be considered legal advice nor can it constitute an attorney-client relationship.


A Will is not recorded, but you can file it with the county probate court for safe-keeping. Most counties charge a fee for this, and it can be as much as $100. I have never thought that filing the Will is a great idea. I think the original should be kept by the client, with instructions to the nominated personal representative on where the original can be found.

Having to go down to the county just to retrieve the Will from storage is an extra hassle that family members do not really need.

Better yet, you may wish to discuss an estate plan with your attorney that will avoid probate, completely. A Will cannot do this.

James Frederick

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The most important objective to be served by having the will held by the probate court is security. When a testator fears someone will exert influence over the disposition by surreptitiously destroying the original will, such security provides peace of mind.

This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.

James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick


That is a good point. In such cases, it is not a bad idea to file with the court. If you do, of course, you will need to file any later Wills or Codicils, as well, to make sure that your wishes are known.

Donald B. Lawrence Jr.

Donald B. Lawrence Jr.


I agree with the objective but there are other ways to also achieve security. It is important that the party nominated as Personal Representative know where to find the original and usually a good idea that they have a copy in advance. As Mr. Frederick indicates, an outdated will that no longer reflects your wishes should be revoked by your new will and the new one maintained in safety to be filed with the court after your death.


I would not file it with the Court. I would keep it in a safe place and let trusted people know where to find it when it is needed.


We have handled several probate cases over the years where it was known that a Will had been executed; or a more recent version of a Will had been executed; but it was nowhere to be found. We have also had probate cases where our client had the belief, but no proof, that a family member might have destroyed, or hidden, a Will.

We typically have our Will clients sign more than one copy of their Will so that in the event that one is lost or destroyed, there is another original waiting in the wings.

So, you need to consider your situation. If you believe your executors to be completely trustworthy, you might even want to give your first choice an original signed copy of the Will now, and keep your own original signed copy where you, and your family members, know where to find it quickly.

If you have some sketchy family members who might try to pull a fast one when the time comes, you might want to consider putting the Will in Safe Keeping with the Probate Court in your county. You can then let your executors and family members know they can get it there. If you do this though, you will need to put any subsequent Wills into Safe Keeping as well, or you could end up with a prior Will being probated.

Best of luck to you,

John J. Keenan

This response applies to Michigan law only. This initial response to your question(s) is for general purposes, only, and is based upon the limited information you have provided. Therefore, this general answer should not be relied upon as a reason for your action or inaction. This response does not establish an attorney-client relationship; such a relationship may only be established by the signing of a written retainer agreement, and the payment of the agreed upon retainer. Please call me, or another attorney of your choice, with more details, and for an appointment to discuss same. Thank you for this opportunity to address your question(s).