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Michigan Probate Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: I did filed my own probate paperwork for my fathers estate. I closed the estate before I deeded the house back to me.

I am the sole heir and have a will. I am trying to refinance the property and having a hard time. Do I have to reopen probate and record the deed?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jun 26, 2019

The 'hard time' is not surprising since you don't own the house you're trying to 'refinance'. Yes, you need to reopen the probate in order to have authority to record a deed from the estate to the heirs.

Whether or not YOU have a will is not relevant, and this all leads me to an ultimate...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: probate law- MI EPIC - a representative have how long to do an inventory
Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Jun 20, 2019

91 days after appointment of the personal representative.

"Within 91 days of the date of the letters of authority, the personal

representative must submit to the court the information necessary for computation of the

probate inventory fee. The inventory fee must be paid no...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: How do I put a house through probate in Michigan?
Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Jun 17, 2019

There's several options. You could do a petition and order for assignment, using SCAO form pc556. Or you could file an application for informal probate and appointment of a personal representative, using form pc558. Or you could file a petition for formal probate and appointment of a personal... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: For Michigan - My Uncle passed away 5/13/2017 without a Will. He had a mobile home and a car. Only worth Ten Thousand.

His adult kids live out of state & are next of kin. His daughter has stage 4 breast cancer and fighting for her life. She said she isn't interested and has no intention to fill out forms to get titles transferred from deceased Uncle's name. His son has no interest or intention either. The Mobile... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Jun 7, 2019

In short, yes. The persons entitled to an estate can all agree in writing to change the distribution of the estate, so it passes other than as would be dictated by a will or the laws of intestate succession. They can also renounce their right to be appointed personal representative, and nominate... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: A widow can't find her husband's stock certificate. To replace it the stock company requires certification from probate.

The decedent lived in Wayne County, MI. The Stock is worth approximately $2,500. He never updated beneficiary forms and the stock company needs to see that the widow is named the personal representative or see a small estate affidavit in order to transfer the ownership of the stock to her. Before... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Jun 4, 2019

#1: It shouldn't be necessary to open a full-fledged probate estate. First, widow could try using SCAO form pc598, Affidavit of Decedent's Successor for Delivery of Certain Assets Owned by Decedent (see MCL 700.3983). That might work if stock company will accept it. Or, if stock company will not... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Landlord - Tenant and Probate for Michigan on
Q: My mother passed intestate. She left an old mobile home that was never transferred in her name. Am I responsible for it?

It's in a seasonal campground and the park owner wants it renovated, removed or demolished. I want nothing to do with it. Also, the park owner misplaced my mother's lease. Can I take the belongings and walk away?

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on May 25, 2019

So you’re saying you don’t think there is a certificate of title saying your mother owned the trailer. Or, she leased it and didn’t own it.

If that is truly the case, then the trailer didn’t legally belong to your mother. It would not be property of her estate, but the estate could...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Can me and my husband buy his mother's house on a land contract when husband and brother is in her will
Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on May 20, 2019

Yes. Even if mom’s will says the house is supposed to go to husband and brother, assuming she’s mentally competent she can still sell it to you and husband. If she does, then the house would no longer be part of her estate; instead her right to receive land contract payments as land contract... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: Was advised to direct all questions to attorney rather than Trustee and now she won't respond. What are my rights?

My brother retained an attorney to assist him with distribution of trust assets. He provided "accounting" that I disputed. A certified letter was set to the attorney per his (Trustee's) instructions in the paperwork with accounting. Going on three weeks and still no response from lawyer with... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on May 16, 2019

No, the attorney doesn't necessarily have a duty to call you back. Under the trust code, a trustee has a duty to send certain information to qualified trust beneficiaries. That sounds like what you received with the accounting. If you are a qualified beneficiary of the trust, you also have a right... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: Why would estranged spouse who left decreased for another man and lagged on signing divorce papers get all vs kin

My brother's wife suddenly decided to leave him right after going thru 5 IVF treatments trying to have a baby. She had met another man and moved to a different state to be with him. My brother had paid her the money they had mutually settled on in the divorce because it was going to be easy and he... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on May 13, 2019

Generally, a divorce in Michigan isn't legally final until a judgment of divorce has been entered. But, Michigan law creates an exception to this in the Estates and Protected Individuals Code: a "surviving spouse" does not include someone who, for 1 year or more before the other spouse's death, (1)... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: I need help finding a pro bono attorney to help open my father's estate and file elder abuse charges.

I live in Honolulu, Hawaii but my father was living in Detroit Michigan (Wayne County). I need an attorney located in Michigan.

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on May 6, 2019

You're talking about a subject that can be criminal or civil. For criminal charges, you'd need to present the facts to the prosecutor's office (typically done through the filing of a police report); the prosecutor decides whether to pursue charges - you cannot compel them to criminally charge... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: what are rules in michigan in regards to finding a will year after probate
Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on May 1, 2019

It depends on whether the prior probate was informal or formal.

If the probate was informal, then there hasn't been a judicial finding about whether the person had a will - the facts in the application for informal probate were presumed to be true. If you come forward with the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: After consulting a lawyer, I am still confused about whether I should open a probate case or leave it alone.

My significant other died in January before he could sign the latest will we had prelared, so I was told everything would go to his only child, his daughter, unless I could find the hand-written will he signed in 2015 and then we would open probate. After I found the will, I was told to keep it... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Apr 25, 2019

So it sounds like you found the hand-written 2015 will? If so, the will may have legal effect, since holographic wills can be enforced in Michigan. The decision whether to open probate depends on the assets of the estate, and the purposes that would be served by having a personal representative... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: I'm the personal representative in my mother's estate how do I have the deed to the house change the my name

The house is worth less than $22,000 and I closed all the estate yesterday

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Apr 24, 2019

Assuming you were in informal probate, assuming you have letters of authority that are unrestricted as to your powers, and assuming you're the heir/devisee who is entitled to inherit the house, then you could sign a personal representative's deed conveying the house from the estate to yourself. The... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: Michigan. How do I open probate years after death without an account balance?

My MIL died 6.5 years ago, intestate. My husband is her only heir. At the time of her death we thought we closed all the bank accounts. She was insolvent so there was no probate opened. This year, however, we received a 1099 showing interest on an account in her name. We contacted the bank who said... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Apr 23, 2019

The bank is right. To give you information, the bank has the right to require you to show proper authority over the account. But you may not need to open an estate to get the money transferred if the account is worth $23,000 or less. You could try to use an Affidavit of Decedent's Successor for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: My mom died about two months ago in Michigan, and my sister went to Probate Court in Wayne County to live in my mom's ho

So the judge granted her the house, and I have a disabled brother that lives with my sister, the judge made her a representative of the house, so what do that means, can she sell the house since my name on it, my brother is disabled and I have guardianship of him, his name is on the house as well,... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Apr 17, 2019

It sounds like your sister has been appointed personal representative of the estate. Whether your sister can sell the house depends on how the house was owned by you and your deceased mother, whether it was joint tenants with right of survivorship, or whether it was tenants in common. If it was... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: my husband's grandmother lert a will. Upon her passing her surviving son & daughter will split the house . On her decis

to sell my husband's mother passed so in the will it says her part goes to her child. Now the brother passed and his part go to his children. he has 3 but only 2 he is on the birth certificate. they are trying to leave out the 3rd child. can she get a dna to stand for her right and part

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Apr 11, 2019

Under Michigan’s Estates and Protected Individuals Code, a child is also defined as someone with whom the parent had an openly acknowledged parent-child relationship which continued until death of the parent. The 3rd wouldn’t necessarily have to have a DNA test or birth certificate to prove she... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Legal Malpractice and Probate for Michigan on
Q: I paid a lawyer $10,000.00 to go to probate court and before I could get all the information my father passed away.

He did 2 lady bird deeds and filed them and said they had started to work on the petition but a court date was never gotten. I am not sure how to approach him about this issue since he really didn't do what he was hired for and how I ask for a partial refund.

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Apr 8, 2019

Direct communication is best. But first, review any engagement agreement you or your father signed with the lawyer. Depending on what exactly was to happen, your father's passing may have frustrated the process. Most lawyers want to be fair.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: Would I be able to get a lawyer to represent me in a one time probate court guardianship case . If so what is the cost?

Requesting guardianship of sister who is incompacitated.

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Mar 16, 2019

Yes, the cost would first depend on the area where the Probate case needs to be filed (ie Detroit or Grand Rapids, versus a smaller city). Typically, attorneys in larger cities charge more, and attorneys in more remote, smaller cities charge less. Second it would depend how complicated the case is,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: In Tennessee, when do I have to probate a will.

My father recently passed. I am the executor of his will. I have two siblings and all proceeds from the sale of his house and a small amount of stocks, and his life insurance are to be split between the three of us. He willed his car to my brother. Do I have to probate the will in order to transfer... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Mar 14, 2019

You're posting a question in an area for Michigan probate questions. If the house and other property are in Tennessee, you need to talk to a Tennessee lawyer. If some of the property is in Michigan, then you could possibly open a probate estate here, if necessary. There isn't enough information in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: My sister and I are co-executors on my fathers will. Can she settle the estate without my knowledge
Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Mar 14, 2019

It would depend on (1) whether she has been appointed as the personal representative of the estate, and (2) how the personal representative's name was worded on the letters of authority that were issued.

If the letters said that you OR your sister were appointed as personal representative,...
Read more »

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