Estate Administration Attorney in Ypsilanti, Michigan
When someone passes on, they are known as a decedent. In most cases, decedents will pass their assets down to beneficiaries. When you create an estate plan, you will name someone the administrator of your estate. If you do not name someone as the administrator of your estate, there is a very good chance that, if your estate requires that it enter the probate process, the courts will choose a family member of yours to administer your estate. Essentially, the role of the administrator of an estate is to gather assets, pay all taxes and debts, and finally transfer those assets to all beneficiaries you have listed in your will. Our estate administration attorneys can help.
If you are someone who would either like to appoint someone to administrate your estate upon your passing, or you are someone who has been named as the administrator of an estate and you are ready to begin the estate administration process, please continue reading and contact our knowledgeable Washtenaw County estate administration attorneys today. We have over 30 years of combined legal experience, and we are ready to put that experience to work for you.
Probate is Not Always Necessary in Michigan
First and foremost, you should understand that while very many assets may have to go through the probate process, not every facet of someone’s estate is required to go through this process. To start, you should note that only assets that were owned solely in the decedent’s name are required to go through probate. Generally, most other assets can be transferred to others without issue and without having to be subjected to the probate process.
Assets That May Bypass Probate in Michigan
Some assets that will generally bypass the probate process are as follows:
- Assets that the decedent owned in joint tenancy form. Assets owned in the joint tenancy form will generally be transferred directly to the other owner of those assets. This is frequently the case with homes and other jointly owned property when the other property owner is still alive.
- Assets that are subject to a beneficiary designation, such as payable-on-death bank accounts, will generally not be included in the probate process.
- Any life insurance proceeds that are set to transfer over to a named beneficiary are generally exempt from the probate process.
- Assets held in trusts, especially revocable living trusts will be exempt from the probate process. In fact, the primary reason people establish revocable living trusts is to save their families time and money by excluding certain assets from the probate process.
Smaller Estates May Not Require Estate Administration/Probate
You should also understand that even if your loved one owned property solely in his or her name, you may still avoid the probate process if that property was worth under a certain amount. Michigan law states that after funeral and burial costs are paid, and if the value of the gross estate is less than $15,000, the remainder of the estate may be given directly to the surviving spouse or heirs. Additionally, if the decedent’s estate is only large enough to cover the cost of the decedent’s final illness and funeral, the homestead allowance, the family allowance, and certain other expenses, the remainder of the decedent’s estate may be given, by the probate court, to the surviving spouse or heirs.
Contact Our Michigan Estate Administration Attorneys
There is nothing more upsetting than losing a loved one, and if you are someone who now has to go through the estate administration process on your loved one’s behalf, we are here to help. We know that now, things may seem confusing, however, it is our job to shed some light on the situation and guide you through every step of the legal process going forward. If you have any additional questions or are ready to get started, please do not hesitate to contact Collis, Griffor & Hendra today.