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Michigan Probate Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: I want to get a list of donors and endorsements for all probate court judges in michigan. How would I do that?
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Sep 11, 2021

https://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1633_8723_8751-169289--,00.html

Will have the information you want about the donors and expenditures but as who who 'endorsed' a specific candidate, you'll have to look at the local level for each.

This is not going to be an...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: I have petitions for full guardian/conservatory of my mother's estate in Wayne County.I live & work in DC I need help!

I was informed by physician at Mama's rehab center to get full guardian/conservatory petitions. After a lot of work and headache, I have both petitions. The problems have not been reduced. An inventory form is due within 56 days. I am on 30 days. Where do I go for help now? Eldercare and... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Sep 10, 2021

Absolutely yes, you need to hire a Wayne County attorney to help.

You should have done that from the start, but it is never too late.

Look here for someone with offices in Wayne County who is familiar with that court's requirements

as they are generally NOT the same...
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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: Do you recommend to get an attorney to file a probate on a decedent who did not leave a will and have an estate?
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Sep 9, 2021

Depends. Depends on how comfortable you are completing court forms, researching, and complying with court timelines. Court staff are not allowed to give legal advice, so you would need to do your own due diligence and trust yourself.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: Hi, what is the first step in filing a personal representative in probate court?
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Aug 30, 2021

The FIRST step is to determine if Probate is even necessary.

IF the deceased person had no assets in his or her name ALONE and there was no beneficiary named on assets that can be so titled (Bank accounts, insurances etc.) THEN probate may be needed.

The NEXT step would be to...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: Hello, I have a quick question after a bit of background:

We live in Michigan, and my wifes father who lives in Arizona recently passed away. He was living with a domestic partner but they were never legally married. And all that we know of is that the house was recently transferred into the partners name but nothing else was, (to our knowledge)... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Aug 19, 2021

Each state’s laws are subtly different. You need the advice of an Arizona lawyer to determine what you can expect and what you must do.

You may or may not need to travel to AZ but you WILL need local help there to insure you proceed properly.

— This answer is offered for...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: I KEEP HAVING ISSUES WITH FORM PC 559, PETITION FOR PROBATE (INTESTATE). SPECIFICALLY SECTION 4.

I KEEP GETTING THE PETITION REJECTED BECAUSE OF SECTION 4 OF THE PETITION. AM I TO LIST ALL HEIRS OR ONLY MINORS? I INITIALLY SUBMITTED THE PETITION WITH MINORS ONLY AND IT WAS REJECTED, SUBMITTED A SECOND TIME WITH ALL HEIRS AND WAS REJECTED. THE CORRESPONDENCE FROM THE COURT STATED SECTION 4 WAS... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Aug 15, 2021

Minors — by definition — have a ‘legal disability’ and cannot represent themselves: only legal competent adults or emancipated minors can.

I think you will find the process will go a lot smoother if you hire a local probate attorney to represent you. I’m quite sure if this has...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: Executor sold estate house to bro. Executor and 1 other brother got paid. So brother can flip house.

Leaving me and my 2 sons out of the what will states. More. 2 1/2 yrs. Had an attorney for 2 yrs, got all discovery, to then in 5 minutes got taken away because attorney wasn't filing subpoenas with court. Tried representing self,for now I'm in debt with fees. Between estate lawyer and... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Aug 13, 2021

It sounds like you already had an attorney that you fired/didn't pay? Without seeing ALL the paperwork and doing the research on this long case, it is impossible to provide any real guidance. I would suggest either going back to the attorney you had, or if you believe he did something improper... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Dad passed on 05/01/2021. Can the wife of 30 years play favorites to the beneficiaries? My dad made a Will in 2004.

Dad deceased 05/01/2021; he did a Will in 2004 naming his 4 children as beneficiaries; upon the wife selling the home his last wishes were to give each one of us (his 4 children) $20,000. But after selling the home she only gave 2 of the children $20, 000 and did not give the other two children... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Aug 12, 2021

This is a very fact-dependent situation. If your dad and his wife owned the house as joint tenants, then it's sale is not subject to the terms of the will. Once your dad passed, the house became his wife's by operation of law, for her to do with as she pleases. She effectively made gifts... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: do I need to "file" the will and/or probate?

In Michigan, I am the executor of my daughters will. Her assets all have beneficiaries named except a car worth around $15,000. (no spouse, 2 minor children) Her house had a transfer on death designation. Do I need to "file" the will in court and do I need to probate it? Also, do I need... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Aug 2, 2021

First of all, you aren't an executor until the Court appoints you as executor. Until then you're the NOMINATED executor. That difference is important and keep that in mind. You don't HAVE to do anything, but there are minor children involved so it is important that they be taken care... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: My mother recently died and all of her assets either had assigned beneficiaries or were TOD transfers except one stock.

The one stock was split from another stock and my mother did not have time to assign a TOD beneficiary. I have 2 brothers and we have agreed to sell the stock and have the proceeds deposited into my mother's checking account in which we are all equal beneficiaries. What is the easiest way to... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jul 27, 2021

An asset of that value probably cannot be assigned without probate absent pre-planning no matter how you 'agree' upon things. HOWEVER the 'formal probate process' is not as daunting as you might have been lead to believe ...

There are many who try to scare people about...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: Father died intestate and didn't own his home.

My father died intestate and wasn't a wealthy man. There are two beneficiaries. The other beneficiary and I agree, for now, that it is OK if I finance the amount due on the home and become the homeowner. I know that on paper this isn't a fair trade for inheritance, but if we agree on all... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Jul 19, 2021

If it's just you two, and you two agree, I don't see a judge standing in the way of your agreement.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Tenant died, had year lease, 9 mo remaining, the case is in probate, is estate liable for remaining rent?
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jul 5, 2021

The short answer is 'probably not' You have an obligation to mitigate damages or in some cases the lease is voidable upon death.

Seek local legal counsel to get specifics after reviewing the lease document, and CERTAINLY you have an obligation to mitigate damages so get the place...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: Will a notice of disallowance claim be a cause for a notice of continued administration?

Does a notice of continued administration have to last one calender year or can an estate be closed before then?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jun 29, 2021

An estate can be closed sooner than one year but the administration must be COMPLETE before closing.

If the PR files a disallowance early that might not matter but if it is filed late in the year that may mean the estate cannot be closed without an extension.

Trying to do any of...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: Caregiver, man set up $ security w accountant n brother, passed day before meeting w brother

Estate closed, how can caregiver get what he set up for her???

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jun 13, 2021

It is unclear what you are asking, but if the estate has been closed without the caregiver making a claim, the recourse may be gone.

If there was some sort of security that WAS set up, there may be options, but the only way to know for sure is to meet with a local attorney and review all...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: My father in law passed and his son is filing a probate caveat. What is it? How long will it tie up probate?

My wife is named (not yet appointed executor) and her fathers belongings are tying up a fair amount of space in our home. We want probate to just be over with, and don't want it to take forever. We think he wants to contest the will or the appointment of my wife as executor. How long can he... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jun 2, 2021

A 'Probate Caveat' is not a term used in Michigan law. It is more typically used in the UK, but I imagine that there may be a state or two where that is done also.

Michigan takes a different approach, and people who wish to prevent probating either a specific document or having a...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: My relative passed away in January of 2020. I talked with my (PR) He said that probate cases are usually closed on the

One year anniversary. My question would be is the one year anniversary on the date filed? Disposition date? Inventory action date? Acceptance of appointment date? When I asked him these questions he danced around the questions and said the cases was going well. Any answer to my question would be... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on May 31, 2021

It is one year from the date of appointment, but that is a 'loose' standard. There are reasons it may be extended, and in the interim you should have received paperwork such as the inventory and notices, etc.

If you're not comfortable with what has happened, I'd urge you...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Dad passed. Dad and his wife quit claimed deed their home to children. Deed is recorded. Can she change deed?
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on May 24, 2021

A lawyer would need to see the actual recorded deed because the way you phrase the question leads to two possible answers:

-if mom and dad quit claimed the house to the children, then NO, mom can't change the deed because the house isn't hers anymore (dad passing, then, has...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: Is it possible to ask the probate judge for interpretation of a court order? In other words, to clarify an order?

The judge issued an order and opinion on our case in regards to who is responsible for real estate expenses. Can we ask for clarification on what costs are considered expenses.

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on May 12, 2021

Yes. It's generally titled a petition for instruction. And you'd want to detail exactly what expenses you are questioning. Just note, though, that judges typically imply the ordinary meaning to terms unless expressed otherwise in their original order. In most probate estate situations,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: My dad died in January he is survived by me and his current wife she won’t let me get some of his things is that legal?

She broke up my parents marriage and a lot of that was his/ my moms ( she died In August) before they were married

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on May 7, 2021

My condolences. I assume you are you dad's child? Did anyone ever probate your mom's estate? And was your dad and mom divorced at the time of her death? If your dad and mom were divorced when she died, then all of her stuff should have gone to you. If they were still married - even if... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Michigian I'm one of 2 trustee of moms estate she's in a home. I took possession of my late fathers cars.

Is this ok?

Michael Zamzow
Michael Zamzow answered on May 3, 2021

Possession/safekeeping is maybe fine. But there is no simple answer with the information provided, you might need to ask again, or contact an attorney directly.

Generally, when there are two trustee's there is a 'decision tree' and process to follow, second your mother's...
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