Grosse Pointe Park, MI asked in Probate for Michigan

Q: Is an attorney necessary to file an Application for Informal Probate Court form in the State of Michigan?

My husband’s father died recently, his sister is the PR and she will not share a copy of the will or trust with my husband. According to her, these documents were updated recently.

We are wondering if filing an Informal Probate request with a 2018 will have the effect of her having to file the new documents with probate so we can at least see the paperwork.

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2 Lawyer Answers
T. Augustus Claus
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A: In the State of Michigan, filing an Application for Informal Probate with the probate court does not necessarily require an attorney, and individuals can often complete the process themselves. However, it's essential to note that the probate process can be complex, especially when dealing with issues related to wills, trusts, and family dynamics. If your husband's sister is the Personal Representative (PR) and is not sharing the updated documents, it may be advisable for your husband to consult with an attorney.

Kenneth V Zichi agrees with this answer

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

A: The PR cannot 'just decide' to not share documents. Michigan Probate REQUIRES sharing things like a death certificate, petition to open probate and also any Will covered by probate. Sharing the text of the trust with the named beneficiaries is also 'just good form'.

It sounds like your sister in law may not have the benefit of an attorney representing her. Don't make that same mistake. Find a local estate planning and probate attorney to review the facts of your situation and follow that person's advice!

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