Royal Oak, MI asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan

Q: A non-attorney in my neighborhood has been advertising her services to draft estate documents

She's offering what I believe to be legal advice. I specifically asked her if she was a lawyer and she said no, and is offering what I believe to be legal advice. Should she be drafting estate documents as a non-lawyer? In her exact words she "has been producing wills, powers of attorney, medical powers of attorney and several other types of legal documents." Can a non-attorney in Michigan draft all of these documents? If not, who should I contact so my neighbors don't waste their money?

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2 Lawyer Answers

Nina Whitehurst

PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN

A: Contact the State Bar of Michigan at (517) 346-6300.

Kenneth V Zichi agrees with this answer

Trent Harris

Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Jackson, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: While merely offering fill-in do-it-yourself forms might not be the practice of law in Michigan, if someone who is a non-attorney fills them out for someone else, or tells a person how to fill them in, that would be the unauthorized practice of law. What you are describing sounds like the latter. See MCL 600.916. See also MCL 450.681. Unauthorized practice of law in Michigan is a crime.

If you believe this is what your neighbor is doing is unauthorized practice of law, you might want to visit the State Bar of Michigan's unauthorized practice of law website for more information. https://www.michbar.org/professional/upl

You can also file a complaint using the form at https://www.michbar.org/file/public_resources/complaintform.pdf, and you can contact the State Bar of Michigan's unauthorized practice of law counsel at: Katherine S. Gardner, UPL Counsel, (517) 346-6305, kgardner@michbar.org.

Kenneth V Zichi agrees with this answer

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