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Michigan Probate Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: My father recently passed and has a living wife. Can she give me items such as tools before probate?

There was no will and my fathers spouse lives in the house with all his stuff.

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

Can she? Most likely, yes. And that will somewhat depend on if probate is necessary. Will she? That's a conversation best had with her.

The death of a loved one, and more specifically, the disposition of their estate, tends to either build or divide families. If you have a good...
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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: How long do you have,in Michigan, to petition the probate court, after a death?
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jan 10, 2021

You should begin 'as soon as possible' but if you don't act within a reasonable amount of time, the creditors may file instead, but the FIRST question you must consider is whether or not a probate petition is even necessary.

There is no 'one size fits all' estate...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: My sister took control and drained my mom’s bank accounts. My mom died about 5 mos later. I didn’t know until her death

She had my mom sign numerous checks with loan in the memo line. Over 125k. I do not believe my mom was aware of her balances. She died from Parkinson’s. My sister and I inherited the house. The only way to recover the money would be from her 1/2 of the house. A case has not been opened in... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Dec 28, 2020

I am sorry to hear of your situation. If there was no 'estate' because all the property passed outside of probate, there is nothing to make a claim against in Probate Court.

How did the house pass? Jointly with your sister as Tenants in Common? If that is the case you may be able...
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2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: My son is 13 and he keeps finding a way to smoke weed. Can I put him on probation?
Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Dec 21, 2020

Probation is something that's part of a criminal sentence. If you want your son to have a criminal record, you can make a police report. Then the police and prosecutor can find a way to charge him. It could also get you a visit from Child Protective Services. Those things may not work out so... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: My Aunt died this year. She had always told me there would be money for me. The Trustee, says she didn't name a

beneficiary. I am now told the trustee can actually keep all of the assests. Do I have recourse?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Dec 17, 2020

You should hire a Michigan trust administration attorney to help you sort this out. At the very least, the attorney can write a letter to the trustee demanding a copy of the trust and an accounting. Do not delay. If you wait too long you may lose your rights as a legal matter due to the passage... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: In michigan do i need to go thru probate to transfer the deed to his house in my name. His wife is passed away

Im the only child

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Dec 16, 2020

Yes, you will need to get an order from the probate court. That could be in the form of a petition and order for assignment, or by opening probate and having a personal representative appointed who can do the transfer. For assistance, you should call and hire a probate attorney to help you with the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: Sold my parents home. My brother passed away 4 yrs prior. Has not seen his daughter for 30 some years. I never met

Her. My lawyer says she’s entitled to my brothers portion. Gave my lawyer an address I found on line which was out of state and that was 5 years ago. My brother has been gone for 10 years. Her portion is sitting in my bank in an account by itself. Nothing is happening. What I am asking is is... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Dec 1, 2020

You need to get with a new probate attorney. There are several factors in play here: presumptively, the estate is no longer open; was the daughter provided notice?; was this woman determined to be an heir?...too much to go into on a forum

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Can I skip the step of reporting observed abuse and file a complaint directly with the Probate Court?

My elderly father's wife suffers from addiction (refuses treatment) and abuses him. I have proof. He would not technically be considered a vulnerable adult but one could argue he is as he allows it to continue. She needs a guardian and court-mandated treatment. I cannot allow this to continue... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Nov 18, 2020

I think you should reconsider giving Adult Protective Services a call first. If you filed for guardianship - skipping that reporting step as you say - you'll find that before the court appoints a guardian, there will be someone appointed - a GAL - to investigate and make a report and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: My sister is trying to have me removed from my mother's trust, she passed away in June, I have no money and clue what

My house is somehow in her trust I am going to lose everything

Steven J. Fromm
Steven J. Fromm answered on Nov 17, 2020

It is hard to tell what is really going on here. If you are living in a house that is owned by the trust, then you could face eviction if the trust does not allow you to live there and the trustee believes it is in the best interest of all concerned to sell the house. If you a beneficiary of the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Tax Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Parents house left 2 me in trust. When I change the name on the house will my taxes go up or are they grandfathered in?

Trust was made in 2006. My father passed in 2017 and my mother is still alive. I understand that the house is now owned by the trust. But after my mother passes and I put the house in my name will the taxes on the house go up or will I pay the rate at which my parents were paying.

Not... Read more »

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

Assuming you are the beneficiary or contingent beneficiary of the trust taxes will not necessarily be uncapped.

Beginning in 2015, a distribution of residential real property from a trust to a distributee who is settlor or the settlor’s son or daughter, (among other relations) AND if...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: My father passed and left an estate are his children from a previous marriage entitled to a share?

My mother and father were married and had 4 kids together but when my father passed there was no will so does the estate go to his immediate family that he widowed or do the other kids have a share aswell?

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Nov 4, 2020

Your father's wife (your mother) would be entitled to the bulk of your father's estate through the spousal election. Beyond that, children are treated pretty equally regardless whether they are children of the surviving spouse, adopted, or half-blood. And so, yes, potentially your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: My biological father passed away in 2001 still owing back child support.

I'm 38 his friend that was the cosigner on his house passed july 2020. Can me and my adult sibling sue her estate for back child support Michigan since after he died it went to her they weren't married

David Soble
David Soble answered on Oct 29, 2020

This is really not a real estate matter, but more or less a divorce or family law matter.

2 Answers | Asked in Tax Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: I am the PR of my cousin estate, per probate court.

She died with no will, hence probate court. She had no kids and her husband died 4 years before her, she has no siblings.

We are in Michigan. Everything was sold and put into "Estate of" bank account. When this is closed, which is in next couple weeks, do we pay taxes on the money... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Oct 21, 2020

Probably not, but without a FULL understanding of things it is impossible to say FOR SURE.

There may be an estate tax return required, or maybe not,

There may be capital gains taxes due, or maybe not.

It is unlikely that YOU will be charged taxes, but if things 'pass...
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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....
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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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