Walled Lake, MI asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Insurance Defense for Michigan

Q: Fiancee's grandma quit claim deedeed house to us and herself and passed a week later...

My fiancee's grandmother quit claim deeded her home to myself, my fiance, and herself, and passed a week later. The insurance policy was in her name which they were notified of her death. Our home burnt down 8 months after she passed. She had no will and no estate, insurance adjuster says that all checks must be made out to "The Estate of.." how do I file for executor of estate. They will not reissue any checks for our hoome to be rebuilt until we get executor of estate paperwork, even though we are on the deed because the insurance policy was changed to "The Estate of...." how can I do a quick probate proceeding for executor so we can rebuild our home?

2 Lawyer Answers
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Howell, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: This may or may not actually be required depending on how the deed was written and recorded (was it done by an attorney or did someone go on the internet and ineffectively 'try' to do this on their own?) HOWEVER, if indeed you do need to open an estate, you need to petition the Probate Court in the county where grandmother lived with the death certificate, relevant documents and the like and then have someone with priority (usually a spouse or adult child if there is no will, but grandchildren could be in the mix as well in some circumstances) be appointed as the Personal Representative.

This is VERY detailed and there are many places people can make mistakes that will cause delay at best and problems if things are not done right.

I'd urge you to consult with a local probate attorney to insure things go as smoothly as possible. You can use the 'find a lawyer' tabe here to locate someone if you don't already have an attorney.

--This answer is offered for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney/client relationship. I am licensed to practice in Michigan only. Please seek competent local legal help if you feel you need legal advice!

Brent T. Geers agrees with this answer

1 user found this answer helpful

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: It's likely that someone - maybe your fiance, or another one of his family members - will need to open an estate in order to receive the insurance proceeds. Unfortunately, there is no quick way or a shortcut to doing this the right way; And I'd agree with Mr. Zichi's assessment that probate in general is an administrative process where easily made errors can make a long process longer.

It would be best - especially if your fiance has family member issues - for you all to seek professional advice and guidance from a local probate attorney.

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