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Michigan Probate Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: Parent has 2 children, 1 child then parent dies, remaining child inherit 100 or 50 split with deceased child's children
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Apr 9, 2021

50 percent, with the other 50% being split among the deceased child's children equally. This is called a per stirpes distribution.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: My dad passed away - does his will die with him and everything is inherited by my mom?

My brother has a power of attorney - it's long and lenghty

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Apr 7, 2021

Actually, quite the opposite is true: his will is now the controlling document; the power of attorney is no longer effective. You would need to see the will to see what it says about distribution. Most of the time, the will express everything go to the surviving spouse. Even if the will says... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: I am the policy holder on medical insurance and my wife passed early Feb 2021. Am I responsible for paying her copay?

Our deductible is 1500 max per family/year 750 per person/year. So hospital bill says she owes 750.00. Am I obligated to pay this 750 for her?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Apr 6, 2021

I'm sorry to hear of your loss. Your wife's ESTATE is responsible for the medical bills she incurred, but unless you've signed something that would say otherwise YOU are not. This has several different ways it could play out, but you'd be well advised to seek the advice of a... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: in the state of michigan . when a parent dies without a will and his wife is incompitent . what are the childs rights

my father died with no will . his wife is incapable of making her own decisions , is it legal for HER daughter to take control of my fathers assests and cut me off completely?

Michael Zamzow
Michael Zamzow answered on Apr 5, 2021

You'll want to contact an estate planning attorney directly, preferably in the county your father passed away in.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: Can a personal representative in Michigan transfer property to himself?
Michael Zamzow
Michael Zamzow answered on Apr 3, 2021

Generally, a personal representative in Michigan, has a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries. The personal representative must assess the fair market value of assets, distribute the assets and pay debts of the estate, and then file taxes. And the personal representatives might be mismanaging the... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: Can a personal representative in Michigan transfer property to himself?
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Apr 3, 2021

This question cannot be answered without a thorough review of all of the relevant facts and the probate case file. This is a question that you should ask the attorney representing you in the probate case.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: Mom recently passed with manufacture home worth 45,000 and a car with lien. No other debt. Can we avoid probate?

Mom has manufactured home in a park owes about 8,000 on it and the value is about 45,000. The car is worth just about what she owes 19,000 with no co-signer. Her bank account is joint with one of my siblings. She has no other debt. From what we have read there would be no probate. We can... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Mar 25, 2021

If the value of ALL vehicles is less than $60,000 and there is no probate, then the title(s) can be transferred at the secretary of state with the appropriate affidavit and death certificate.

The 'wrinkle' is that a creditor may petition to open probate to settle any deficiency,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: Can I petition the probate court on a related matter when an order has already been entered?

If a complaint was filed on behalf of the estate and order entered which affects an heir's ownership in property, can the heir then petition the court?

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Mar 20, 2021

Presumably, all interested persons - including heirs - were notified and had an opportunity to be heard before entry of the order. The heir would now need to rely of the court rules to determine whether an opportunity to appeal exists. If not, the court's order stands.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: I just need help filling out the paperwork to close a probate case.

I have PC 593 so far.

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Mar 19, 2021

You're on the right path although there is likely an easier method to use, depending on the facts of your case. If everything has been done, "closing" happens with the filing of the right paperwork and / or a hearing. What you have filed would require a hearing, but in many cases,... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: My aunt passed in January of 2020 without a will. My Personal representative in my probate case had a cash offer for my

Aunts property. The property sold on February 11,2021. The (PR) said that

if I sign a consent form for them to sale the house

the case could be closed soon being an cash offer and the hearing date would be removed. The hearing date was set for 3/3/21. The hearing date was removed.... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Mar 17, 2021

I would check to see if the sale has been completed. Any number of things can fall through or otherwise delay closing. You should receive your portion after the final inventory and accounting has been concluded.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: In MI. is it required for the probate lawyer to ask for SS# of siblings when there is no spouse or children of deceased?

Family who are all out of state are trying to find a probate attorney in MI. and some are asking for SS#s, others aren't. Any explanation would be helpful. Thank you!

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Mar 8, 2021

Licensed attorneys?

There is no court reason for this but it might be required when property is transferred. This is not something I routinely ask when opening an estate.

—This answer is provided for information only and does not constitute legal advice or create an...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: What are my rights as to what is legally mine when my husband passes away?

We've been married almost a year. He had a will before we married.

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Mar 3, 2021

As the legal spouse, you may claim what's called your spousal elective share, or take what's provided to you in the will (which appears to be nothing since it predates your marriage). You may also be entitled to homestead and family allowance; and of course anything jointly owned would go to you.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: I don't want my sister in law as my family since my brother just died. Is this legal in Michigan? If so, how do I do it?
Michael Zamzow
Michael Zamzow answered on Mar 3, 2021

The short answer: you'll want to speak with an estate planning attorney.

If you want to disclaim whatever rights you might have to your brother's estate, you'll need to take some affirmative steps. If you want to exclude your sister in law from your estate you might need to...
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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: Can my step father change my mothers will now that she has dementia. She wanted separate wills so we would be protected.

He actually changed the will about a month ago. My mother insisted on separate trust because she does not trust him to do the right thing. Could you please tell me how he legally did this. Thank you for your help in this matter.

Andrew M Steiger
Andrew M Steiger answered on Feb 28, 2021

If someone does not have capacity to make a will, they cannot make a will. No one else can do it for them at that point.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: Can a administrator of an estate rent the property of the deceased to another family member

The person who died without a will, so I was told, was the mother and guardian of one of a sibling. The other sibling is now the guardian and wants to continue renting the deceased property to the first. Isn't that dealing to themselves?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Feb 25, 2021

There is nothing that 'jumps up and down' and screams this is inappropriate in the facts you present, BUT the individual needs to have some authority to do this, be that as a court appointed Personal Representative or as the new owner under some other mechanism like a Ladybird or Quit... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: Undue influence and a fake will:

My uncle lived and died in Michigan and his will is going through probate. The personal representative's

attorney sent me the will. I believe it is fake and believe there is undue influence . What do I do next?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Feb 16, 2021

You can hire a Michigan will contest attorney to help you challenge the will. Understand, however, that you will need to produce evidence of forgery or undue influence. Your mere belief will not carry the day. A will contest attorney can explain this to you in more detail.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: How difficult is it to amend a letter of authority?

Waterford Michigan

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Feb 15, 2021

‘Amend’ in what way? Letters of authority in probate cases are usually unlimited. Do you want to extend them in time? Change agents? It depends on the reasons and circumstances. I’d strongly urge you to consult with a local attorney ASAP to flesh out the details to determine what you can and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: Can someone live in the house of a person who passed away before will goes to probate?

My dad left his house to my sister and i, but gave his girlfriend (who has her own apartment) life estate rights to the house as long as she pays for all taxes, insurance, utilities and must keep up on maintenance. If she doesn't, she loses life estate. The will hasn't even gone to... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Feb 10, 2021

This is a more complex situation that your should definitely consult a probate attorney about. If the deed granting the girlfriend a life estate is recorded, that would control her interest in the property subject to its terms regardless of what the will says. And so, yes, she may live there now... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: Transfer of property affidavit for a bank account?

Mother passed away without a will and no real property (Michigan). Can I use a transfer of property affidavit to get the money in her bank account to pay for part of the funeral expenses? (It is only around $2,100)

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Feb 9, 2021

I'm sorry to hear of your loss. The short answer to your question is 'yes'. You will also need a death certificate however.

If the bank doesn't 'recognize' this, you may need an attorney to help move that forward, but it should be fairly inexpensive to do that....
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Probate and Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: my fiance dad is dying we cant find the recent will where he said it was can ex wife take everything

his will is not where he said it was , his ex wife from 20 yrs or more wants to use the will he made when they were married to take everything from her kids that there father is leaving them can she do that . he does a brother an 3 kids alive

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Feb 9, 2021

Ex-wife? No. A divorce severs that legal relationship. Even if she were to find that will and enter it into probate, it can be easily challenged with the judgment of divorce.

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