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Michigan Probate Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Unmarried cohabitating partner dies intestate, does the survivor need to prove that they own furnishings?

The deceased partner owned the home. The surviving partner provided almost all of the furnishings. The personal representative for the estate needs to provide inventory for probate. Do heirs have a claim on the survivor's personal property? How do you prove who owned what? There are some... Read more »

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

First question to ask is whether this is an issue. In other words, is the personal representative contesting the surviving partner's claim in the property? If not, then there's not much of an issue; the court is not interested in sifting through items of personal property. If there is an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Civil Litigation and Probate for Michigan on
Q: As a residual beneficiary do I have rights to request accounting or statements from financial institutions?

Are there certain time limits that affect when I am able to request certain accounting records?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on May 29, 2020

Beneficiary of what document? Will? Trust? Bank Account?

If the former two, you have the right to request that of the Trustee/Personal Representative

If the later, you should be dealing directly with the bank, and you don't need an 'accounting' so much as you need to...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: I have been given Letters of Administration for my mother's estate in Florida. She has a safe box located in Michigan.

I have been given Letters of Administration for my mother's estate in Florida. She has a safe box located in Michigan. In order to access the box, the bank said these Letters of Administration need to be stamped and filed in in the county it is located or Letters of Authority need to be given... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on May 26, 2020

There is a SCAO form that you can access that you would need to complete and file with the probate court.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Identity Theft and Probate for Michigan on
Q: My father used my identity on forged paperwork to take over my mom's estate in probate court. Can I take it back?

My mom named me her agent on a durable POA for all real and tangible personal property and highlighted at the end that it went into effect immediately (Dec '13) and was to "CONTINUE UNTIL REVOKED" - in all caps . Mom got her wings last April. After I refused to sign a letter of... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on May 3, 2020

A durable power of attorney terminates upon death of the principal. Once your mother died, you had no power under the POA. If you believe someone forged a document submitted to the probate court, you should contact the court.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Is there a way to find a college fund left for me by a family member based off of my name and/or SSN?

Unfortunately, the executor(my grandmother) of a college fund left to us by our great grandmother is estranged to my siblings and I due to my parents' divorce and our choice to be with my mother for 100% custody after a 50/50 arrangement for 3 years when I was in middle school. 2 years ago,... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Apr 20, 2020

Since there is no 'one repository' of 529 plans you won't find 'one place' to look for the information you seek other than your relative who has the information.

Short of that (and mending fences with family is RARELY a bad idea for non-legal reasons -- so DO...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Probate for Michigan on
Q: My mom has custody of my 4 year old and sense guardian ship and guardian ship shes treated me like I'm nothing.

What do I do for visitation asking for a time to si down and go over times is always brushed off. I'm done asking her I want my visits

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Mar 23, 2020

What does the Order granting guardianship say about visitation/parenting time?

Is it at the discretion of the parties? If so then you need to petition the Court that granted the guardianship to allow for parenting time/visitation if your mother won't cooperate.

If the order...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: I just found out that my sister convinced my dad to put her on the title/deed to his house.

I believe she took advantage when he was ill. He's 84 and in poor health. My sister does not live with him. What are my options? Thanks.

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Mar 19, 2020

You could file for guardianship/conservatorship over your father. Then, if the court believes your father is in need of legal protection and the past conveyance was not in your father's best interest because of duress or undue influence, the court could set aside the transfer. To do any of... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: When splitting inheritance between siblings does a decreased siblings portion go to there children if there is no will.

My husband's uncle passed away with no will, no spouse and no children. He is proceeded in death my his parents and one brother. How I read the law is that the inheritance goes to the 2 surviving siblings and the children of the deceased brother. Am I reading that correctly.

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

That is probably correct but there is a lot more to it than that and the probate process is very technical.

I’d urge you to consult with a local probate attorney to insure you follow the process properly and avoid problems.

— this is offered for information only and does not...
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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: I moved out of my sister's and she is refusing me possession back of my personal property which my mom gave to me as an

Inheritance. I live in Michigan and my mom gave us all our inheritance just of her personal belongings before she died. My mom is not deceased. What can I do to get my stuff back

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Mar 15, 2020

So what you're saying is, your mom gifted the property to you. The property became yours upon completion of the gift, ie when it was delivered to you. Now, your sister is detaining the property against your rights and not allowing you to have it.

You could sue your sister for claim...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: Can I fight my brother on my mom's will? She put him on deed, but in her will she wanted everything split

My mom was going through court with her dead husband's kids so to protect this house she added my brother to the deed because I live in another state. Now he is fighting me even though he know what my mom wanted and won't split the profit from the sale. Do I have a case?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Mar 12, 2020

I'm sorry to hear of you loss and I'm even sorrier you mom did not seek legal help before placing your brother's name on the deed.

Unfortunately, what your mom "wanted" is not as important as what she did legally. LEGALLY, it appears, she put your brother's...
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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: IF dead parent left a trust, how can one find out? no communication between siblings.Is there anything that can be done?
Andrew M Steiger
Andrew M Steiger answered on Mar 9, 2020

Trusts are generally private documents that do not require public filing like a will or disclosure in probate. A will may reference a trust and disclose its existence. You may also search public records for property that is commonly put in a trust, like a home, that would require a deed listing... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: After death of parent..what rights do I have..other sibling won't speak to me..not knowing if will or anything..

Just some guidance what to do next

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Mar 5, 2020

A person in possession of a deceased person's will has a legal duty to forward the will to the Probate Court in the county where the deceased person last lived. You could check with the Probate Court and see if a will is on file. Also, if you are a designated beneficiary under a trust, you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: what doe it mean when a letter is sent from State of Michigan Probate Court County of Wayne Re: Notice of intent to

Close Estate Administration & Terminate Personal Representative Authority. I do not understand this language. Please advise. Thank you. I will see and talk with a lawyer later this week, but am confused. I am settling my husband's estate; but my husband's daughter is my problem. I... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Mar 3, 2020

If you have a lawyer, he will be in a much better position to answer this. The point of the letter from the court is that the appointed personal representative has NOT got everything under control and has failed to complete the probate appropriately. Whether or not that will cause YOU an issue is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: I am questioning if it the will is still valid naming me executor of my mom and step dad's will. Step dad passed away

In October 2018 mom then changed all assets into her name. Is that will from 2010 still valid. Am I still the executor since step dad passed away, and Mom converted everything to her ownership. My stepdad did disinherit his natural children and it was stated in the will. He named myself the oldest... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Mar 1, 2020

The will is valid. The question is whether there is any property owned by your deceased stepdad that requires probating. If all your stepdad's property was jointly owned with your mom with survivorship rights, then the property would pass to your mom automatically and the will may not need to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: Need help, my mother is deceased i am disinherited from her will can i still sue the hospital for neglected

disinherited from a legal will in Michigan, the will was just mailed out... There is a lawsuit filled against the hospital and was wondering if I can collect from that.

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

To the extent the ESTATE has a lawsuit, if you are validly excluded from the will, you too have no claim. If YOU personally also have a cause of action that may not be the case. To know for sure however, it would require an actual consultation with a local attorney to review all the facts and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: My father has dementia in a nursing home

His owned paid for condo in Chicago IL and all personal property is left to me his only son in his will. Can my uncle who is listed as estate conservator in will only sell his condo simply because he is in a nursing home? Leaving nothing behind to inherit? Being heir can I stop his actions legally?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Feb 20, 2020

Your uncle cannot sell the condo, and neither can you, without either a power of attorney from your father or court-ordered conservatorship over your father. Being named as executor in a will is not sufficient authority while your father is alive.

That said, it sounds like the issue...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Probate and Life Insurance

My mother in law had a 50K life insurance police she passed in November and my father-in-law was the beneficiary. He died 43 days later before the policy paid out (check just came) does the money go into probate or go to the children?

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Feb 11, 2020

The money belongs to your father in law's estate. How the money goes from there depends on whether he had a will or other estate planning done, or if he died intestate. For further information, consult with a probate attorney in your area.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: My mother passed away in 2016 and my mother and brother are on the deed to her home as tenants in common.

We had a lawyer try and do a small estate as the estate value was less than the $22000 allowed in Michigan but it was denied, Would that be because my brother is also on the deed it has to go to probate?

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Feb 6, 2020

Possibly. When real estate is involved, it will either need to be probated or dealt with using a petition and order for assignment. The procedure used by your lawyer may not have been the correct one to use. But to be sure, you should get a consult with a probate attorney in your area who can... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: My husbands parents passed away, no will and no one named as executor.

He has 1 sister and 1 brother. They want me to be executor as I have experience (I’ve done this before). Sister does not agree with them and does not want me to do it. If the 2 brothers agree and sister does not, what do we do?

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Feb 4, 2020

The 2 brothers who do agree should sign renunciations of their right to seek appointment of personal representative, and in the renunciations they have the right to nominate you instead. You would file an application or petition to be appointed personal representative, with notice to all interested... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Banking and Probate for Michigan on
Q: I need to petition for conservatorship for my 14 year old daughter to receive her inheritance from my Mother.

The inheritance is coming from a Canadian bank and in the amount of $5000 CA. They will not release the funds until they have conservatorship papers. What forms do I need to fill out?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Feb 4, 2020

You asked this elsewhere, but let me reiterate:

1) if your current bank won't work with you, go to a different one!

2) GENERALLY speaking, there are exceptions to conservatorship for assets worth less than US$5000 which this is.

3) Similarly a trust or some other...
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