When it comes to probate, you may have a lot of questions. Read on to learn the answers to some of the most common probate questions.

What is probate?

When an individual passes away leaving a last will and testament, the assets disclosed in the will are distributed through probate proceedings. In Michigan, there are both formal and informal probate proceedings. Formal probate proceedings generally take place in front of a judge in court and are used when there are disputes over the will. An informal probate proceeding is more simple and occurs in front of a probate register.

An estate can only be closed once the following criteria are met:

  • The estate must be open for a minimum of five months
  • A notice to creditors was published at least four months before closing
  • Inventory fees were paid
  • Estate and inheritance taxes were paid, along with proof of payment

Do I need a probate lawyer?

A probate lawyer is there to guide the executor of a will and/or the beneficiaries of the estate through the probate process. A probate lawyer can help with the following tasks:

  • Collecting proceeds from life insurance policies
  • Identifying and securing estate assets
  • Obtaining appraisals for the decedent’s real property
  • Assisting in the payment of bills and debts
  • Preparing and filing documents required by a probate court
  • Determining whether any estate or inheritance taxes are due and making sure they are paid
  • Resolving income tax issues
  • Managing the estate checking account
  • Transferring assets in the decedent’s name to the appropriate beneficiaries

Probate can be a stressful, complex process, so it is often best to work with an attorney who can walk you through the process and handle any complicated legal matters.

If you have any questions or concerns about estate planning or the probate process in Michigan, our firm is here to help. Reach out today to speak with an experienced attorney.

Contact our Firm

Sometimes, divorce, family, and estate matters are difficult to navigate. Fortunately, they do not have to be with the assistance of a compassionate, knowledgeable attorney who is willing to guide you every step of the way. If you need a seasoned firm to help you with any divorce, family or estate-related matter, please do not hesitate to contact Collis, Griffor & Hendra today to schedule a consultation.

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