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Format for wills may now include digital media

Digital media is having a more significant impact on people’s lives in Michigan every day. There are new applications and new games.  Now there is a court decision that could even impact the authenticity of wills. A young man committed suicide and said in a handwritten note that a message on his phone conveyed his final wishes.

In the message on the 21-year-old’s phone, he stipulated that he wanted none of his belongings or assets to go to his mother. The two had been estranged for some time. His assets included a $100,000 trust fund left to him by his late father. His cell phone message stipulated that the trust fund go to his sister.

Michigan law stipulates that a last will and testament must be signed in the presence of witnesses. The digital document was not signed. The young man’s roommates testified that the text of the document sounded like what their roommate would have said.

Michigan law stipulates that you must be 18 to establish a will in Michigan. Anyone who is concerned about who may inherit assets or belongings after his or her death should consider establishing an estate plan. No one wants to dwell on the possibility of dying young, but neither do people have the luxury of knowing the future. A conversation with an experienced estate planning attorney could answer the question as to whether or not existing wills are sufficient to ensure a person’s final wishes will be carried out in the way that he or she intends.