Q: My brother is moms legal conservator and I am her legal guardian. She has an old will. Will we avoid probate or no?
I assume by that you mean you and your sib are COURT APPOINTED conservator/guardian. Conservatorship and guardianships will not stop probate after someone dies. They are unrelated, and indeed they end at death and require a FINAL order from the court at that time.
IF there is property left at the time of death that does not already have a beneficiary named or is not in some form of survivorship joint ownership, then probate will probably be needed. This is, however, a VERY fact dependent situation. If you have questions, particularly if you are unclear what your RESPONSIBILITIES are as guardian / conservator, you should consult with a local probate attorney to insure you don't overstep the bounds of your limits as court appointed fiduciaries.
This is NOT usually a DIY sort of court proceeding. You need guidance at the beginning and usually at the end to insure you know what you should be doing, however, in the 'middle' when you are acting as fiduciary, it is often not necessary to have intensive legal help -- but it is ALWAYS a good idea to have an attorney 'you know' to help if you have questions during the process!
In short -- the facts are not clear, and will matter a lot on how things play out. Seek local legal help to know for sure!
-- 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
Generally, a will does not avoid probate. Many different factors can determine if a probate is needed, or not. For example, does she own real property? If she does, how is it titled? If she owns real property that is only in her name, you will need to probate her estate. If she does not own real property, and all her bank accounts and investments have beneficiary designations, there would most likely be no need for a probate, regardless of the status of the will.
You should contact a Michigan estate planning attorney for a free consultation. Your question should be easy to answer with a little more information.
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