Huntington Woods, MI asked in Arbitration / Mediation Law and Estate Planning for Michigan

Q: My ex husband passed away during a search at the Wayne County clerks office they found that we are not divorced.

In the event of my husband's passing she was to sell the house and give all proceeds to his son. I'm not on the title of the house but since I am still married to him I have rights as his wife to put this in probate. She agreed and signed a contract to that effect. Since she has stated she will not honor his wishes and since I'm legally married him and I have legal documentation he never signed our divorce papers. I would like the estate put on probate court. I've been told by another attorney that since we are not legally divorced I can put it in probate and ask the judge to stop all sales. She's trying to do a fast sale and take the money that she's not entitled to.. His brother has power of attorney. Do I have a case? I believe I do and is there a probate lawyer who can help?

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

A: First, it depends on how the property was titled, i.e. whether you are on the title too and if so, how you hold title with your deceased ex, i.e. as tenants by the entireties, joint tenants, or tenants in common. Second, it depends on how far you got in your divorce. Did you try to divorce, and sign a judgment or other document, for consideration, that established rights to marital property between yourself and your deceased ex? Did you think you were actually divorced, but due to some legal technicality, the divorce wasn't finalized? This case sounds like it may be complicated. You would be best off to call a qualified family law attorney in your area, who also does work in the probate court.

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