A testator may file their Last Will and Testament with the Probate Court office to be held for safekeeping during their lifetime. The filing of a Last Will and Testament is not required and the testator may retain their original will in a safe location (i.e. a safe or safe deposit box). It is recommended that the nominated personal representative be made aware of the location of the original will.
Filing Fee: $25 (Non-refundable filing fee)
- Testator must reside in Montcalm County
- The original Last Will and Testament must be sealed in a standard business-size envelope containing 1) the full legal name of the testator; 2) the testator's current address; and 3) the last four digits of the testator's social security number
Upon receipt of a will for safekeeping a "Receipt for Will" will be mailed to the testator. If a will is placed on deposit with the Probate Court office, the will may only be withdrawn by the testator. Upon receipt of a will for safekeeping the will cannot be opened for copying by the court staff. The Court cannot confirm or deny the existence of a will held for safekeeping except to the testator personally after presentation of a photo id at the Probate Court office. If the testator is deceased, a copy of the death certificate must be presented to the Court before the existence of a will may be confirmed.
To withdraw a will from safekeeping an authorization to release will from safekeeping must be signed by the testator. It is recommended that the testator come to the probate court office to withdraw his/her will.
If the testator himself/herself cannot personally appear at the Probate Court office: 1) the testator must sign an authorization to release will before a witness and a notary public. 2) the authorization must accompany a copy of the testator's driver's license or photo i.d. 3) the authorization must be mailed or delivered to the Probate Court office along with a money order for the expense of mailing the original will to the testator (by statute the will must be mailed by certified mail, restricted delivery, return receipt). Please contact the court to determine the cost of mailing.
A copy of a will held for safekeeping of a person who has passed away may be obtained upon presentation of a certified copy of the death certificate. Copies may be obtained at the cost of $1 per page or a certified copy at the cost of $10 plus $1 per page.
Upon the death of a testator, the original will cannot be released from the Court.