Serving Our Community For Over 70 Years

Photo of the firm's office building

The Probate Process

Probate is the legal process of closing out the estate of a decedent. It includes managing assets for distribution and paying off any debts while complying with legal regulations. Michigan probate laws can be difficult to navigate for those unfamiliar with estate law. For assistance with probate proceedings, reach out to estate law attorneys at Creighton McLean & Shea PLC.

Probate Requirements In Michigan

During the probate process, the executor named in the decedent’s will or a personal representative appointed by the probate court carries out the duties of closing out an estate. The main fiduciary duties include:

  • Filing a will with the probate court
  • Locating and protecting the decedent’s assets
  • Notifying creditors and paying debts
  • Paying final income taxes
  • Distributing remaining assets to named beneficiaries

For smaller estates valued under $22,000, Michigan offers an expedited probate process that does not require the appointment of an executor. Larger estates can be probated under supervised administration wherein the court must approve the actions of the executor, or unsupervised where the court is only involved at the start and completion.

What Assets Must Be Probated?

Assets titled only in the decedent’s name without a beneficiary designation, such as a home or vehicle, must go through probate administration. However, a life insurance policy or pension with a clear beneficiary designation does not.

Estate Planning Strategies To Avoid Probate

The probate process can be lengthy and you must pay court fees and filing costs. Probate records are also public. If you wish to avoid probate to keep the details of your estate private, our lawyers can help you decide what type of estate planning tool, such as a trust or ladybird deed, best suits your needs.

To learn more about the probate process and requirements, please contact us or call 734-245-9289 to schedule an appointment at our Livonia office.

Get Started By Contacting Our Firm

How We Are Different

We strive to become one of the most sought-after providers of legal services in the Metropolitan Detroit area.
We endeavor to meet or exceed the expectations of our clients in all aspects of their legal representation.
We promote a collegial atmosphere in which all individuals are encouraged to learn, improve and excel and to become leaders in the legal, business and civic communities.
We will pursue our belief that individuals with a sense of family and community and with interests outside the practice of law are better for it.
Creighton McLean & Shea PLC

Contact The Office

14881 Farmington Road
| Livonia, MI 48154