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Can a non-lawyer help me draft estate documents?

If you need a will drawn up, you may be tempted to have a friend or relative help you do it so you can save money on paying an attorney. However, due to Michigan laws, you probably should not do it. According to the State Bar of Michigan, letting a non-lawyer draft legal documents for you, including estate documents, is illegal.

The only people who can practice law in any way, including drafting legal documents are those who are licensed to practice law in the state. Others cannot give you advice, act as yoru representative in a legal matter or do any of the other things a lawyer would do.

There are companies that do offer services for creating legal documents for a fee. Most of these companies are not legally able to do so under the law because they are not attorneys. You should always verify the licensing of such a company to ensure the work is being done by actually lawyers.

Should you have your estate documents drawn up by a non-lawyer, they could be found invalid. You can submit a complaint for unauthorized practice of law with the bar association if you run across such a company or person.

There is one exception to this general rule. You can create your own legal documents for yourself. It is a right your have under the law. You can get forms from the State Court Administrative Office. This information is not legal advice. It is for your education only.

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