How to Probate an Estate in Michigan

When probating an estate, most estates will be unsupervised. Only in limited circumstances will supervised administration be appropriate (such as if the will directs it or the court orders it to protect interested persons). Opening an estate can seem complex for those who have little experience in probate court. Therefore, it is often helpful to hire an attorney for help. What follows is a brief description of unsupervised administration of an estate in Michigan.

Unsupervised Administration

Opening an estate in Michigan requires an application or petition to probate a will in the probate court for the county in which the decedent was domiciled in Michigan. If the decedent was not domiciled in Michigan, then the appropriate probate court to file in would be the county in which the decedent’s property was at the time of death. In the application or petition to probate a will, all interested persons to the estate must be notified. So, this includes devisees, heirs, trustees, the nominated personal representative, etc. If no personal representative is identified in the decedent’s will, there is an order of priority for those who may act in such a capacity. If no one is available to act, the court will appoint someone. Unsupervised administration may be accomplished through either formal or informal proceedings.

I. Informal Proceedings

In informal proceedings, notice is not provided to interested persons of the estate. Because interested persons are not provided with notice, a will may be challenged at any time thereafter – there is no statute of limitations. Amongst the documents that are required to open an estate in this manner (in addition to the application) are a copy of the will, a death certificate and sworn testimony identifying the heirs and devisees (people to whom the decedent left property). Once the application is filed, a register must review and approve the application.

II. Formal Proceedings

Again, the main difference between informal proceedings and formal proceedings is that in formal proceedings, notice must be provided to interested persons. Again, the death certificate, will and sworn testimony must be attached to the petition when submitted to the court. The petition and a notice of hearing must be served upon all interested persons. The hearing is set up so that interested persons have an opportunity to challenge the validity of the will in addition to any other issues that may arise.

Contact a Michigan Probate Attorney Today

Akiva Goldman & Associates are probate attorneys who have served Metro Detroit for over twenty-five years. Contact us today for a free consultation at 586-268-2400.

We Can Help With Probating an Estate in Michigan

Most estates in Michigan are probated by unsupervised administration. Unsupervised administration may be by informal or formal proceedings. There is not much difference between the two other than that interested parties need to be provided with notice for formal proceedings. Probating an estate can be confusing, so it is always best to consult with an attorney first. Contact us today for a free consultation.