Contemplating the time when you will no longer be here is not pleasant for anyone.
Unfortunately, avoiding the inevitable also leads you and your loved ones into a tight spot later on. Probate is one of the things you should take the time now to educate yourself on. If someone has not written a Living Trust during their lifetime or taken other steps to avoid probate, then when they pass away the probate process begins to take place. While its necessity and rules vary in other states, this legal process is required for Michigan estates. It starts with an interested party to the estate, usually the personal representative, filing papers in the local probate court and is followed by many of the items on this list:
A personal representative is someone appointed by the court to control or manage property that belongs only to the decedent. An attorney should help you prepare the necessary documents to open an estate and request appointment as the personal representative. The personal representative is responsible for carrying out the duties and responsibilities as stated in the will or in the law if there is no will.
The court will appoint a personal representative from the following list of people, in order starting from the top:
All of this is can be very routine and clerical; however, probate can be expensive. It can be a very lengthy process and can keep property tied up for sometimes up to a year. For Michigan residents who are required to go through it, a good way to reduce some of those expenses is by giving away property or finding another way to reduce the amount of property going through probate.
McCleary & Associates, P.C. has helped thousands of people over the years to prepare their estates for probate and make it as informal and straightforward as possible. This experience is particularly useful in the rare occasions where a will is challenged or presumed lost. Reduce any worry of being unprepared by visiting mcclearylaw.com or calling me at (810) 516-5116
Author - David McCleary
Divorce, Probate, Elder and Estate Planning Lawyer