Q: My father in law passed and his son is filing a probate caveat. What is it? How long will it tie up probate?
My wife is named (not yet appointed executor) and her fathers belongings are tying up a fair amount of space in our home. We want probate to just be over with, and don't want it to take forever. We think he wants to contest the will or the appointment of my wife as executor. How long can he delay the probate?
A 'Probate Caveat' is not a term used in Michigan law. It is more typically used in the UK, but I imagine that there may be a state or two where that is done also.
Michigan takes a different approach, and people who wish to prevent probating either a specific document or having a specific person named as an agent file an 'objection'. If another person has SUPERIOR or EQUAL rights to file for probate under the law, then there needs to be a notice sent before probate is begun by that first person, and then the second person can object or if they have a superior right, actually file probate ahead of the first.
NONE of this is easy or straightforward and you can dig yourself a pretty deep hole trying to do this and making a mistake! PLEASE seek local legal counsel in the county where the deceased resided to insure you're acting properly and protecting yourself as well as any potential inheritance.
There are lots of ways to be 'penny wise' that will end up being 'pound foolish' as the old saw goes. This won't 'delay' probate long in Michigan (there is a 14 day notice requirement) but it will cause issues if you do it wrong!
-- 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
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