When a loved one passes away, the surviving family members are left with the responsibility of making sure the estate is taken care of. Any debts need to be paid, and all assets will need to be distributed amongst heirs in order to begin the probate process. Even though this is a challenging time of grieving for you and your family, it is important that these steps are taken in a timely manner. Contact our experienced Michigan estate planning attorneys at Collis & Griffor today to help you navigate through this difficult time. Continue reading to learn more about probate in Michigan:

What is probate in Michigan?

When an individual passes away leaving a last will and testament, the property disclosed in the will is 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

If you have questions regarding the probate process, contact an experienced estate planning attorney today to help guide you through these steps.

What kind of matters are handled in probate court?

In the context of the decedent’s estate, probate refers to the administering of a decedent’s property by a personal representative (PR), who is appointed by the court. If the PR is not in the will, then the court will appoint its own PR to administer the estate. There are three steps involved in the administration of a decedent’s estate:

  1. Marshaling of assets
  2. Payment of charges
  3. Distribution of the remaining assets to the estate beneficiaries

Additionally, the probate court presides over a proceeding that determines whether an individual requires court-ordered mental health care. Mental illness alone, however, is not enough to justify involuntary hospitalization.

Probate law should be taken seriously. It is important to recognize that this process is time-sensitive and must be handled as soon as possible. Contact a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer at Collis & Griffor to assist you during this process.

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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