The Probate Process Is Not One-Size-Fits-All

When a person dies, their estate must go through the probate process. Probate is the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person. The probate process can be complex, so it’s important to understand the basics of how it works.

Size And Complexity Of Your Loved One’s Estate Will Determine Probate Procedures

The purpose of probate is to ensure that all of the deceased person’s debts are paid and that their assets are distributed according to their wishes as stated in their will. If the deceased person did not have a will, then their assets will be distributed according to state intestacy laws. In Michigan, property and debts will be distributed to the closest living relatives of the deceased person if they die without a will.

The probate process will vary depending on the circumstances of your loved one’s estate.

  • Formal probate is the most common type of probate proceeding and is usually filed for larger estates, or if the deceased did not leave a will. Formal probate can be used to settle disputes between parties in the aftermath of their death, as court proceedings will dictate how assets will be awarded.
  • Informal probate may be used when there is no dispute over the validity of the will or the estate. This type of probate can be done without going to court. Instead of a judge, the process is facilitated in front of a probate registrar. While an attorney is not necessary, consulting an estate planning attorney may be helpful to ensure that your loved one’s estate is protected.
  • Simplified (summary) probate is a simpler and quicker version of formal probate. In Michigan, simplified probate only applies when an estate is worth at or below $23,000.

Role Of The Estate Planning Attorney In Probate

An estate planning attorney plays a crucial role in the probate process. When someone passes away< their assets and debts must be distributed according to their wishes and Michigan law. An experienced estate planning attorney can help ensure that the deceased’s estate is properly managed, debts are paid off, and assets are distributed to heirs or beneficiaries through the probate process.

Without a probate attorney, the probate process can be more complicated, divisive, lengthy, and expensive. Therefore, it is essential to seek the guidance and expertise of an experienced estate planning attorney to navigate this complex legal process and avoid potential disputes among family members of beneficiaries.