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Estate Administration & Probate Archives

Probate is used for more than just wills and estates in Michigan

We have let our readers know a lot of information since this blog was first published. One thing that we have covered is probate. Our Michigan readers might find it helpful for us to give a quick overview about some of the things that are handled in probate court in our state.

Avoiding probate on real estate with a trust

Probate can be an expensive and difficult process for many Michigan residents. The probate process often leeches value from many inherited assets. However, when inheritance involves only real estate, there are many ways to avoid probate and its negative effects.

Contesting wills and trusts

A Michigan resident making plans for how their estate will be handled after their death may be concerned about limiting the potential for any challenges to the plan. Although such action occurs after the maker's death, a contest can result in a different outcome than he or she had desired. In reducing this risk, it is important to understand what a contest is and the circumstances under which it could be an issue.

Michigan spouses may be entitled to some estate properties

The application of probate law differs according to the situation at hand. One notable protected class includes spouses who outlive their partners. These individuals are generally entitled to receive a special intestate share of their deceased partner's estate upon its execution. This form of share is provided for in the event that the deceased failed to create a will that supported the survivor.

Estate administration in Michigan

The administration of an individual's estate after their death is regulated under Michigan probate court rules. An estate is opened in the county in which the decedent lived at the time of death or, if not domiciled in Michigan at the time of death, the county in which the decedent owned property. Once the petition is filed in probate court, a hearing is held unless all interested parties consent to the filing or waive the need for a hearing. The judge may assign a personal representative.

What to learn from celebrity estate planning mistakes

Celebrities often help guide popular culture, but they can be poor guides when it comes to financial matters. To ensure a valid will, minimize probate and provide for other special desires, Michigan residents can take a lesson from some well-known celebrities and their estate planning blunders that came to light when they passed away.

Smart planning: Robin Williams' estate will likely avoid probate

For many people, keeping family matters private is a major concern. What some people might not realize is that handling your estate plan using only a will is one way that your family will lose privacy when the estate is settled. This is because wills go through probate court and are made a matter of public record. If the will is contested, those proceedings are made public as well.

Probate topics: Are you responsible for parents' debts?

When your parents die, do you automatically inherit their debts? Many Michigan residents may be surprised to learn that they have little to worry about when it comes to this estate administration topic; in general, parents' debts are not transferable to their offspring. However, your parents' financial situation can have an impact on the amount you receive through probate or their estate plan provisions. It is important to understand how debt could potentially affect your parents' estate in order to make plans for your own financial future.

Check retirement accounts for estate administration purposes

Anyone who has undergone major life changes, such as the birth of a child or a divorce, has to consider how that change is going to affect his or her current estate plan. Even people who haven't yet created an estate plan would do well to learn how specific considerations must be made in the event of a divorce. Michigan residents might like to know how to protect assets that aren't covered in a will.

Jury questionnaire: Reminder that estate plans may avoid probate

When someone passes away without having a suitable will, his or her estate has to go through probate court for a suitable solution. In the case of contested wills and some other issues, a jury might be necessary to determine the outcome of the estate. Some Michigan residents might have received or might soon receive a jury questionnaire that might be used for jury duty in probate court.

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