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Trust and pour over will being notorized.

Detroit, MI |

In michigan, when you make a trust, a pour over will are connected. Does the pour over will and the trust have to be notorized? Can one be notorized and the other document not? Is there a michigan code about wills and trust being notorized

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Attorney answers 3


It is not necessary for a Will to be notarized in Michigan, whether it is a "pour-over" Will or not. A Will that *is* notarized, could be a "self-proving" Will, which provides a presumption that the document was properly executed. But notarization is not required for a Will to be valid.

A Trust needs to be notarized.

And yes, the Michigan Estates and Protected Individuals Code, (EPIC),and the Michigan Trust Code list the requirements for proper execution of Wills and Trusts in Michigan.

James Frederick

I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state.

James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick


Actually, I wish to modify my answer, slightly. I could find no provision in the Trust code which requires notarization. But I have never seen a Trust Agreement that was not notarized. Obviously, the "best practice" would be to have a document witnessed and notarized. The more people who witnessed the execution of the document and can later testify to the grantor's capacity (and perhaps intent), the better. But the documents could well be valid, without notarization. I even have had cases where the court has admitted documents that were not *SIGNED*, but were simply unsigned copies.


I agree with the prior answer. The question states "In Michigan, when you make a trust, a pour over will are connected." This is true if you mean that the pour over will directs that any probate assets, after the payment of debts, be paid over to the trust. They are two separate documents. They should not be "connected" in the sense of being joined into one document because one of the advantages of a trust is that the assets in the trust are not disclosed in a public record whereas when you file a will for probate, you must thereafter file an inventory with the court or present the inventory of probate assets to the court. This is required because the court charges a fee based on the gross value of the assets passing through the probate process. The means that someone who wants to know can at least get an idea of the total value of the probate estate and may be able to get detailed information of what those assets are.

Donald B. Lawrence, Jr. (P16463)* THE HUBBARD LAW FIRM, P.C.* DID 517-886-7115 Fax: 517-886-7129 Email: The information provided does not constitute legal advice and no attorney client relationship exists based upon this response. Unless specifically noted to the contrary, information refers to Michigan law. Prior to taking action, you should consult directly with an attorney for specific advice based on a full factual disclosure about your own legal situation. This information is provided for your personal use and may be reproduced for non-commercial distribution. All copies must include the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2011 THE HUBBARD LAW FIRM, P.C. THE HUBBARD LAW FIRM, P.C.* 5801 W. Michigan Avenue, Lansing, MI 48917 Phone: 517-886-7176; Fax: 517-886-1080 *AV Peer Rated, Martindale-Hubbell® Please consider the environment before printing this response


If you are trying to construct your own estate planning documents, you would be wise to hire an appropriately skilled lawyer to help you.
If you are trying to figure out something about existing documents, you would, again, be wise to hire an appropriately skilled lawyer to review the documents and listen to your concerns.

I am licensed to practice law in Michigan and Virginia. My office is in Lapeer. You should not rely on this answer. You should consult a lawyer so you can tell the lawyer the entire situation and get legal advice that is precisely tailored to your case.