What Is Probate Court? What Kinds of Matters Does It Handle?
A Michigan probate court handles two main areas: (1) establishing guardianships or conservatorships and (2) estate settlements after a person’s death. Regarding the latter, official courts authenticate wills and authorize estate distribution to creditors and beneficiaries.
For estate administration, the probate process typically takes four to six months, or even longer if the decedent’s family members dispute the will. Other downsides of probate are its heavy fees and the lack of privacy it provides.
At The TGQ Law Firm, we use smart legal strategies to help you and your family simplify the process—or even avoid it entirely through trusts and other services discussed while working with the team at The TGQ Law Firm.
How Do I Know If I Need To Go to Probate Court?
By default, assets that the decedent held in their name as a sole owner must go through probate with or without a will. However, without a valid will (intestate), the process is likelier to last longer, involve disputes, and cost more.
Some assets do not need to go through probate in Michigan. These include:
- Property that the decedent jointly owned with a surviving spouse
- Insurance policies and retirement accounts with designated beneficiaries
- Payable-upon-death bank accounts
- Personal property worth up to $15,000
- Assets placed in a revocable living trust
At The TGQ Law Firm, We’re on Your Side
At The TGQ Law Firm, we deal with all matters related to probate in Michigan. Whether you want to help your family avoid probate or need to handle estate administration as a personal representative, our team at The TGQ Law Firm is here to help you save time, cut costs, and avoid conflict.
If you are currently making an estate plan, we can show you how placing property in a revocable trust may help you avoid probate and gain higher control, flexibility, and privacy in your estate management.
If you are an estate representative or potential beneficiary facing probate, we can:
- Prepare and file all court documents
- Handle real property appraisals
- Help settle estate and inheritance taxes
- Assist with all estate administration tasks, from identifying estate assets to notifying creditors
- Distribute assets to beneficiaries after the court’s approval
- Represent you in a case of a contested will