Q: Is a land contract legally binding in MI if owner dies or is incapacitated? Does it have to be entered into their will?
We were advised by another free legal aid that it has to be entered into their will in order to be binding in a court of law if the next of kin wanted to challenge it. I printed out a Codicil for the seller. Is that sufficient?
You don't 'enter' a land contract 'into a will'.
And a codicil is usually the 'worst of all possible worlds' to avoid a will challenge.
And finally, preparing a legal document for someone else potentially constitutes the practice of law which, if you aren't a licensed attorney, is a misdemeanor in Michigan.
PLEASE seek local legal representation from a licensed attorney. There are lots of ways to assure the land contract will be legally binding and cannot be challenged. Trying to "DIY" it is conversely an almost sure way to get things challenged and make things work out badly.
Local legal representation from a licensed attorney shouldn't be expensive to avoid problems in the future, but if you insist of trying to be 'penny wise' about this you'll very likely end up spending more in the long run to undo problems later.
Anthony M. Avery agrees with this answer
A: The land contract is an executory contract, and therefore, the estate of the decedent will be bound by the terms of the seller or buyer. When drafting the contract, there should be provisions that state that the contract will be binding on heirs to the decedent. It is unlikely that beneficiaries to the estate will be able to set aside the land contract terms. They as well as the personal representative of the estate has the authority to enforce the terms of the contract. See www.provenresource.com for more information.
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