Q: My parents were married 16years.Divorced Decided to cohabitate,due to my brothers stroke condition.
My father suffered a major heart attack on March 16 and passed. No will. Nothing discussed. There are 6 of us children. We all agreed, that everything should go to my mother. Is there an easier way, other than probate. He had no major creditors
A: Probate is the legal means to distribute property owned by a deceased person. Unless your father held assets jointly, or had beneficiary designations on everything, then probate will be necessary. Your mom is no longer an heir or entitled to a spousal elective share, but you and your siblings can agree to the distribution of the estate as heirs.
There is much mis-information about probate, but while the 'easier' ship sailed when your father passed without planning (a Will alone would not have helped...) the process of probate need not be 'difficult'.
Please consult with a local estate planning and probate attorney to review all the facts and determine what type of probate (Michigan has several) is best for your situation, or if things can be done in some other way such as Secretary of State succession for vehicles, or an affidavit for very small estates (you don't say what was in your father's name when he passed.)
And no matter what, you and your siblings can 'disclaim' or distribute the assets to whomever you want. Just be careful to do that in a way that does not invoke gift tax or other complications.
Again, seek local legal help!
-- 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
Michael Zamzow agrees with this answer
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