Novi, MI asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Landlord - Tenant and Probate for Michigan

Q: My mother passed intestate. She left an old mobile home that was never transferred in her name. Am I responsible for it?

It's in a seasonal campground and the park owner wants it renovated, removed or demolished. I want nothing to do with it. Also, the park owner misplaced my mother's lease. Can I take the belongings and walk away?

1 Lawyer Answer
Trent Harris
Trent Harris
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Jackson, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: So you’re saying you don’t think there is a certificate of title saying your mother owned the trailer. Or, she leased it and didn’t own it.

If that is truly the case, then the trailer didn’t legally belong to your mother. It would not be property of her estate, but the estate could be liable for the costs of removal or demolition if she owned it, with or without a written lease. You (an heir of your mother’s estate) aren’t personally responsible for those costs, but the estate is. If your mother only leased the trailer, the renovation/removal/demolition would be the landlord’s responsibility since the landlord owns the leased trailer.

Surviving children of a deceased are entitled to exempt property allowance under MCL 700.2404 worth up to $15,000, free and clear of creditor claims. You can take the belongings, and divide them among other surviving children of your mother (if any). Exempt property allowance is calculated along with property your mother had elsewhere, ie a motor vehicle or in her primary residence too.

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