Q: Is a Notice to Creditors required for a person who dies who has ONLY a Trust and no will on file at probate court?
My mother is 97yo. She has no property that she owns and no car. She is in hospice and close to death. Her assets include only 3 POD CDs, a checking account (current values < $50,000 for monthly recurring bills; one credit card with a balance of < $100; a Savings account of just over $1,000; one recliner chair, one small kitchen table; person clothing. Her recurring expenses are a daily newspaper, a $100/month charity donation to her church, and her monthly medicare expenses. She lives in Michigan.
A: Short answer is no. If she has no assets to be probated , and no will to be admitted, there’s no need to open an probate estate in the court. Absent opening an estate in probate court, there’s no legal requirement to publish notice to creditors as they can only file claims against probate assets.
Respectfully, I disagree with my colleague's answer above. The trustee of a trust has a duty to publish notice to creditors after death of the grantor. See MCL 700.7608.
700.7608 Duty of trustee to give notice.
If there is no personal representative of the settlor's estate to whom letters of administration have been issued so that the publication and notice requirements of section 3801 have not been discharged, each trustee of a trust described in section 7605(1) shall publish and serve a notice to creditors in the same manner, with the same duties, and with the same protection for the trustee and the attorney for the trustee as described in section 3801 for a personal representative. The notice shall comply with applicable court rules and contain the name of the trust's deceased settlor; the trust's name or other designation, if any; the date the trust was established; the name and address of each trustee serving at the time of or as a result of the settlor's death; and the name and address of the trustee's attorney, if any. The notice shall state the date of publication.
Kenneth V Zichi agrees with this answer
Mr Harris is correct.
He omits part of the analysis however, that mitigates even MORE toward publishing.
Would you spend $200-300 to buy an 'insurance' policy to shorten a 'statute of limitation'
from up to 15 years to down to 5 months so you can 'close out' your mother's affairs that
much more quickly? That is what a publication notice does.
Get a local lawyer to walk you through the process of closing out the Trust and finalizing
things once your mom has passed. It will go a lot smoother and make your life easier!
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