Macomb, MI asked in Probate for Michigan

Q: do I need to "file" the will and/or probate?

In Michigan, I am the executor of my daughters will. Her assets all have beneficiaries named except a car worth around $15,000. (no spouse, 2 minor children) Her house had a transfer on death designation. Do I need to "file" the will in court and do I need to probate it? Also, do I need to fill out the form 56 for the IRS?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Fowlerville, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: First of all, you aren't an executor until the Court appoints you as executor. Until then you're the NOMINATED executor. That difference is important and keep that in mind. You don't HAVE to do anything, but there are minor children involved so it is important that they be taken care of. Is there a nomination of a guardian/conservator in the will? Then maybe you DO need to file for probate. Is their father still around? Then maybe not.

The second question is a bit more straightforward -- do you need to file a tax return? If yes, then you need to also fill out form 56.

As to whether or not you need to open probate, it seems like yes if for no reason than to deal with the guardianship/paternity issues.

Bottom line, you would do well to bring the WHOLE situation to a lawyer in your area who can review all the paperwork and provide some real advice after exploring all the facts. I feel like I'm missing pieces so it would be wise to review things further!

-- 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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