Deceased Person’s Estates


ASSIGNMENT OF PROPERTY

When the estate consists entirely of assets with a gross value of $19,000 (adjusted annually) or less, after payment of decedent’s funeral and burial expenses, a simple procedure is available.  File a Petition and Order for Assignment (PC556) with a copy of the receipt for funeral expenses and a copy of the death certificate, as well as any original will.  The will is not admitted to probate.  Assets are first assigned to reimburse the person who paid funeral expenses (or directly to the funeral home, if unpaid), with any excess to the heirs.

Filing fee: $25.00; inventory fee-based on value of assets; certified copy of order: $11.00.

Informal Probate

Commenced by filing an Application (PC557) for Informal Probate and/or Appointment of Personal Representative.  If granted, the Register will issue a Register’s Statement (PC568) admitting a will and/or appointing a personal representative.  The personal representative will sign an Acceptance of Appointment (PC571.  The Register will issue Letters of Authority (PC572)

Filing fee: $150.00.

The Personal Representative must serve Notice of Appointment and Duties (PC573) and Notice Regarding Attorney Fees (PC676) within 14 days.  The PR must provide the court with the value of the inventory within 91 days and pay the statutory inventory fee, based on value of assets, within one year or before the estate is closed.

The PR has further responsibilities regarding claims, accounting to interested persons, handling tax obligations, making distribution and properly closing the estate.

Formal Probate

Commenced by filing a Petition for Probate and/or Appointment of Personal Representative (PC559).  A hearing is scheduled and notice given to all interested persons.  If granted, the judge will sign an Order of Formal Proceedings (PC569) appointing the personal representative and/or admitting the will.  An Acceptance of Appointment (PC571) or a bond, if ordered by the Court, must be filed.  The Court will issue Letters of Authority (PC572).

Filing fee: $150.00

The PR has responsibilities regarding keeping the interested persons informed of estate activity, including the inventory and accounts.  The PR has further responsibilities regarding claims, preservation of assets, distribution, taxes, etc.

Supervised Probate

Supervision of an estate can be requested at any time during estate administration.  Unless the will requests supervision, necessity must be shown before supervised administration is granted.

If supervision is granted, the PR’s responsibilities are similar to those of an unsupervised PR.  However, the PR is required to file accounts with the court, determination of heirs must be made and distribution may not be made without court authority.

All Estates

  • Require that a death certificate accompany the petition/application.
  • Require a $20 filing fee for all accounts, motions, petitions, objections and claims filed.
  • Require a sworn testimony (PC565) be filed regarding interested persons.
  • Require payment of a statutory inventory fee based on the value of the inventory.
  • Must be closed with court documents applicable to the proceedings being used.
  • Require that forms be typed or printed in black ink.

Hiring an Attorney

Estates are almost always complicated enough to justify hiring an attorney.  Our experience has been that in most cases in which someone tries to probate the estate without legal assistance, it results in frustration, legal errors and the decision is regretted.  Michigan statutes and court rules and procedures must be adhered to in every situation.

An attorney can assist in determining if probate is necessary, which process to use, and execution of the proper documents to change ownership of the assets.

Court staff may not give legal advice or prepare documents for petitioners.  The court staff may not recommend an attorney.

Original Wills

Anyone in possession of an original will must deliver it to the court even if no estate will be probated.