Michigan: Every Legal, Medical, and Estate Planning Document You Need

Here's a complete guide to every critical medical, legal, and estate planning document and relevant state law for MIchigan. Download these forms and get started with Pillar to organize all of your most important documents in one safe, secure, easy-to-use online storage solution

February 2, 2021

Each state has laws that are peculiar to its state constitution. And while these may seem unimportant, it's actually state laws and regulations that can have the biggest impact on your everyday life. Get to know the most important state laws and fill out the medical, legal, and estate planning forms and documents you need to prepare for the future. Here's a complete list of the most essential forms, documents, and resources for Michigan.

If you're a Michigander, here’s everything you need to know to plan for the future for you and your loved ones.

Essential Michigan Medical State Laws & Forms

How Long Do Doctors Have to Keep Your Medical Records in Michigan?

In Michigan, medical records have to “retained for a minimum period of 7 years following the last date of service provided to a patient.” However, this requirement can vary based on the type of medical record.

Certain records, like dental records, must be maintained for longer periods, and HIV status or mental illness records require their own specific retention and destruction periods.

Learn more about your medical rights and what should be included in your medical records

Michigan Advance Directive Forms

Michigan is one of only three states that do not recognize living wills. So while you can (and should) create a living will or advance directive to express your wishes, it’s not a legally binding document in the state of Michigan.

It’s important to point out that whether or not you have an Advance Directive Form, you are going to receive medical care. However, with the form, you are more likely to get the specific types of treatments you want. 

Download the full Advance Directive Form for Michigan. This form also covers organ donation, DNR orders, and medical power of attorney. 

Michigan Organ Donation Registries

You can register to become an organ donor in Michigan at Gift of Life, Michigan. Their database of residents, who are potential donors, is controlled by this department of the state.

Essential Michigan Legal & Estate Planning Laws, Documents, and Forms 

How to Create a Will in Michigan

Contrary to popular belief, you can write a will on your own, although many people feel more comfortable hiring a lawyer — especially if they have a larger estate. In order to create a valid will in Michigan, you have to do the following: 

  • Download a will template
  • Find an executor
  • Choose a guardian for your kids on the will
  • Fill out the beneficiaries of your property and estate
  • Witnesses should sign in the will
  • Keep the document safe
Learn what exactly to put in your will

Michigan Trust Laws

Michigan has certain probate laws where assets, even assets protected by a valid will, must typically enter probate for several months. You can avoid parts of this process if you create a trust in Michigan. Under the Michigan Trust Code, the power to alter the assets in a trust or direct the trustee is the same as that needed to make a will. 

Learn more about the biggest differences between a will and a trust

How to Order a Death Certificate in Michigan

Michigan has birth, death, and marriage records dating all the way back to 1867! You can order a death certificates through the Michigan Vital Records Office and pay online or print an application to order by mail.

Death records are open to the public in Michigan, as they are categorized under public records except when it's restricted by a court order.

Michigan Digital Estate Planning Laws

The law of Michigan provides fiduciary access to digital assets and gives power to the court that presides over such cases. There's more on these laws: The Fiduciary Access To Digital Assets Act.

Michigan Probate and Tax Laws

Michigan is a probate state therefore, probate is usually necessary — even when a person dies having assets that are only listed under their names. However, assets can be transferred with little or no court involvement, if it is co-owned by the deceased and another. Informal probate is a possibility in Michigan, but the probate process can (and often does) take up to seven months.

Learn how to avoid the lengthy probate process by setting up a trust

Michigan Estate And Inheritance Tax Rate

Michigan repealed their inheritance and estate tax in 2019. Therefore, Michigan has no inheritance or estate taxes, unlike several other states. However, you may still owe federal estate tax on an inheritance

How to Organize Your Most Important Documents

Michigan has a number of unique state laws when it comes to your medical records, wills, trusts, and estate planning. Prepare for the future with Pillar and safely scan, store, and share your most important state documents when you need them with Pillar's secure and easy-to-use online storage tool so you and your family can navigate the strict probate process and lax estate tax with confidence.

Start your free 14-day trial today and see if Pillar is right for you.