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Michigan Probate Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: Can I take over my deceased ex wife's house to raise our minor children in?

My ex wife recently passed away completely unexpectedly with no will. She was not married, we live in Michigan and we have 3 minor children that we shared custody of (her only heirs and family in the United States). She has a home in our preferred school district that is currently just sitting... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Oct 7, 2020

You quite likely could do that, and yes, it would require a probate proceeding.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: I have 2. Can I sue my step father, he had my Mom sign a Trust last summer before she died, leaving him everything.

My sister, and my Mom's brother, truly believe my Mom was coerced because we knew her, and too many things went against her known wishes. Still is. He is easily a multi millionaire, and my Mother told my sister and I repeatedly what she wanted us to have. Most pre-him coming into our lives.... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Oct 5, 2020

Possibly, but it's a longshot. You would need to establish the wrongdoing, which won't be easy. To compound the problem, even if you successfully challenge the validity of the trust, negating the terms of the trust, your mom was still married to this man and he would then be eligible to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Medical Malpractice, Probate and Wrongful Death for Michigan on
Q: Do I have to sign a family member consent for representation agreement my ex wife’s attorney sent me?

Our 30 year old daughter passed last year suddenly, no will, now my ex got a lawyer and is suing the hospital etc. for wrongful death, medical malpractice and other damages. I was sent forms to sign that I agree with her and fully cooperate with their legal services, which I don’t agree! My... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Sep 29, 2020

Interesting. Wrongful death and medical malpractice claims are complex enough that you would be well advised to discuss this letter with an attorney before signing it. Your ex can, quite likely, proceed without your signature or cooperation.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: My grandmother passed away, her 2 children don't want her house, they're letting HUD take it. I want to buy it.

My grandmother passed away, her 2 children don't want her house, they're letting HUD take it. I want to buy it, but they keep saying no they just want HUD to take it. How can I become an heir or get authorized to buy it so HUD's management company will discuss buying her house with... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Sep 17, 2020

Has someone begun the probate process? You may have priority to do so if the ones 'ahead of you in line' don't, which it sounds as though may be the case. Did your grandmother leave a will? Are you listed in that will? What is the status of the house? Why does HUD have an interest?... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: Grandmothers estate

My grandmother recently passed and I received a copy of her will as her son, my father passed before her. I am mentioned as an heir. What are my rights? This case is out of Michigan.

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Sep 12, 2020

You would stand to receive whatever the will would have left to your father, unless you have siblings...in which case you would split whatever your father would have received.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: My parents were divorced but didn’t split the house before my father died. Who has rights to the house after his death?

My father died two weeks ago. My parents were divorced 8 years ago and the house was supposed to be split but my father would reside there (as stated in the divorce order). Well, the house was never sold or mortgaged so my mom was never given her half. Her name is still on the deed of the house.... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Sep 8, 2020

'Self help' like breaking in and changing the locks is NEVER a good idea.

Here's a brief and incomplete checklist.

0) Get yourself real legal representation, go over these steps and modify them based on the more complete information your new attorney will have....
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Mom had a mortgage and died recently. No will I'm the only child being made Executor. What are options keeping the home.

Am I able to assume her Mortgage and keep making the payments or am I required to sell the home and land. I want to keep the property and can make the payments. But I don't know how the process goes and am feeling overwhelmed.

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Sep 1, 2020

You can keep the property and continue making payments. Federal law, 12 USC 1701, invalidates a due-on-sale clause in this instance. You may want to confirm this with the lender because, although I believe this law to be applicable, there may be facts of which I am not aware.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Can a POA give away the principal’s personal items to family?

My grandfather has Alzheimer’s. My aunt is POA and the only living child of his. Can she start giving away personal items in the home such as family momentos, clothes, furniture, tools, etc before selling his home to move him? What about holding a living estate sale?

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Aug 20, 2020

Generally yes, the POA would allow her to sell property. There is no requirement that it be done through an estate sale, but any proceeds would need to be kept or used for your grandfather's benefit.

While an estate sale is possible, most estate sale companies charge a portion of the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Regarding last will & testament - person's name.

What kind of problems present itself in probate court if the LW&T states John Joe versus John H. Joe or John Harry Joe? Should i request that John's lawyer re-do the LW&T to include middle initial or middle name?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Aug 18, 2020

It is VERY unlikely to cause issues. Usually there is something else in the will that will clarify any 'ambiguities' (e.g. "My Wife Jane Joe", and "my children John Joe Jr and Billie Jo Joe-Harris" are identified in the will) which would make the identity of the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: My dad passed away which he lived in Michigan. Never married. Two kids grandma is now taking me to court for his house

Can she do this? Im the oldest brother is not 18 yet. She said she wants the house in her name and if anything happens to her then the house would go to me. I thought I was next of kin. Please help with any advice. So being that I am over 21 she can still get the house from us?

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Aug 17, 2020

You are - likely - the next of kin and entitled to half of your dad's estate. Grandma may try - and could be named personal representative.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Single mom left no will. Only daughter showed to court as personal Rep. Do I need to involve grandchildren still?

I lived with my mom my whole life. I am the only living child besides one grandson that didn't show up to court. I plan to continue living in the house which is her only property. Do I need to involve him if there is nothing for him to inherit?

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Aug 15, 2020

Is this grandson your son? If so, then no, you don't need to include him. If he is the child of a sibling that is deceased, then yes, you do need to account for him. If he is the only grandson, he would inherit whatever his mom or dad (your sibling) would have received. If you had just one... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: I was extorted $6684.00 from probate court for minor getting put in a bootcamp I was not the custodial parent and had 0$

Was made to payback for a court ordered bootcamp,@ $126 per day for150 days I was asked to provide income proof which I did and had no income, was picked up 4 times on warrants in 3 months and was forced to pay full amount of bootcamp ex wife was on welfare. Was this fair? Hell no! How can I get my... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Aug 14, 2020

I understand you weren't the custodial parent, but are you the legal parent to this child? If so, you are on the hook for court fees as much as the other parent.

This is the way the court looks at it: if a minor needs juvenile assistance, the parents - not the tax payers - should fund...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: I'm currently my fathers Conservator and Guardian. 10 years ago he suffered a stroke.

He has made a full recovery. My question is, Can we get out from under the Court Directed Probate System. It's making simple family business difficult. Are there any steps or procedures I can take to relinquish their control?

Thank You in advance.

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Aug 3, 2020

Any interested person (including you, or your father) can petition the Probate Court to modify or terminate the conservatorship or guardianship, on account of changed circumstances and that the continued guardianship/conservatorship is no longer necessary for your father's protection. More... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Probate for Michigan on
Q: House left to church. Agreed to help me move then changed locks dumpstered my belongings. Probate open no inventory

Church nor lawyer came to inventory after either patent death. Have text of communication. I am disabled heir who cared for mother never received final month pay either. People who did the dumpstering never saw paperwork. Mentally unstable over this i had things boxed was working with them then no... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Jul 26, 2020

There are certain requirements a landlord must follow before eviction, including serving the tenant with a notice to quit, and then filing an eviction suit and getting a writ of eviction. It sounds like this process may not have been followed in your case. It would be best for you to consult with a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: How long should my attorney give opposing counsel to respond and how long for mine to get back to me?

I have been waiting a YEAR now for opposing counsel to respond to my attorney's requests and demands. My attorney is horrible about keeping me informed or returning calls/emails. I need to know if this is normal or if I should seek a different attorney to handle this. I feel like she... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Jul 20, 2020

Unless there is an active court case, timeframes are moving targets. What are you requesting? I think it's reasonable to assume that opposing counsel is not going to respond. The questions you should be asking your attorney is what the next step is, and is it worth it (financially) to proceed.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: Do I have to find FMV for appliances that were included in the purchase price of my deceased mother's home?

Would they be included in the FMV of her home or do I have to list them separately? We plan on including them when we sell the home.

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Jul 18, 2020

Usually, when a house is sold appliances are listed separately as personal property, and they are transferred using a bill of sale or an assignment of property. This is in contrast to the real estate, which is transferred using a deed. Your settlement statement at the closing should include values... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: How do I determine fair market value of my deceased Mother's items when everything was bought from a second hand store?

Most of her furniture was gifted to her, would the fair market value be different than looking them up in a department store?

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Jul 18, 2020

Fair market value would be the sale price that you could get by selling the same items to a third party in an arm's length sale. For example, on Craigslist, Facebook marketplace, garage sale, yard sale, etc. OR, you could also think of it as the price you would have to pay to buy an equivalent... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: My father's current guardian is misusing his money and giving some of his money to her daughter.

Should I modify the guardianship and seek guardianship and conservatorship on my father . The conservatorship case closed.

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Jun 22, 2020

You need to get a consult with an experienced probate attorney for these matters. There is a ton of additional information that needs to be discussed and considered, before anyone can give you an answer to your question. Call a probate attorney in your area, and set up a consult.

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Hi I have a question about adult guardianship case. I want to terminate my Father's guardianship case.

Can I have power of Attorney over my parent if someone else has guardianship over him

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Jun 22, 2020

No, you cannot have power of attorney over your father if he has a guardian. He has a guardian because he doesn't have the capacity to handle his own affairs, and thus he can no longer has capacity to appoint you as his power of attorney.

The alternative is that you could ask the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Health Care Law, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Can my sister set up POA (for legal and medical) while she is hospitalized? She is still mentally competent.

My sister is in the hospital, for kidney disease and another life-threatening illness. She will remain there for another 7 weeks, after which she is expected to get a kidney transplant.  She is mentally competent--understands what the doctors tell her, has normal conversations with us and can... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jun 16, 2020

The short answer to your first questions is yes, if she is mentally competent she can sign powers of attorney no matter what the state of her physical health is.

The much better answer to all these questions is she should not be making these decisions without the involvement of a local...
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