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How Does An Incapacitated Person Sign a Will or Trust?

The signing of legal documents such as a will and trust is subject to very strict requirements, and for good reason. It is important that no corners are cut when signatures are applied to estate planning documents, as forged or otherwise fraudulent documents may not hold up in court. So what happens if you’re unable to sign a document? How does an incapacitated person sign a will or trust?

Michigan Notary Public Act

Far too often, individuals of sound mind who are involved in accidents or who are afflicted with medical conditions are faced with the concern of how to manage their estate when they are unable to sign a document. However, the Michigan Notary Public Act has a provision to address this situation and allows a mentally competent person who is physically disabled to affix the necessary signature for estate planning documents.

Section 33 of the Michigan Notary Public Act allows a notary public to sign the name of a person who is unable to sign due to limited physical capacity if:

  • The notary public is permitted and directed by the person to sign his or her name;
  • The person is in the physical presence of the notary public; and
  • The notary public includes a notation that the signature is being affixed under Section 33.

Following this procedure, an incapacitated individual such as a stroke victim or a quadriplegic, retains the freedom and power to create or modify any estate planning documents with the assistance of a notary.

Help is available

An experienced estate planning attorney can help you navigate the strict and nuanced estate planning laws. For more information, please call 586-726-1000 or visit our website at

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