PROBATE ADMINISTRATION & LITIGATION
I represents heirs, devisees, and personal representatives in handling all aspects of the Michigan probate and estate administration process. I also represent clients in probate litigation and guardianship cases.
The Michigan probate process is designed to transfer the property of someone who has passed away (in legalese, a "decedent"). Apart from transferring property, the Michigan probate process also handles any debts or taxes that are owed by the decedent's estate. Probate administration in Michigan is usually fairly straightforward, but it still involves numerous legal filings and a number of other responsibilities.
The Michigan probate process starts when a personal representative is appointed. After the personal representative is appointed, notice is sent to the estate's beneficiaries and creditors. Costs of administration and debts of the estate must be paid, and the personal representative must distribute the remainder to the estate's beneficiaries according to the instructions in the decedent's will or by following the law of intestacy if the decedent did not have a will.
While this procedure may sound simple enough, the truth is that the Michigan probate process can be frustrating, time consuming, and costly. By working with an experienced Michigan probate attorney, it is possible to save yourself aggravation, time and money.
Probate and Estate Litigation
In Michigan, probate and estate litigation is processed by county probate courts. Probate and estate litigation cases typically involve one of three situations: Will contests, Trust contests, or breach of fiduciary duty claims.
Will and Trust contests include disputes over how a Last Will and Testament or Trust document should be interpreted, or whether a Last Will and Testament or Trust document truly expresses the wishes and desires of the person who wrote it, or whether that person had the mental capacity to make a valid Will or Trust document, or was under some sort of undue influence to improperly include or favor someone who otherwise would not have received money or property under that document.
Claims for breach of fiduciary duty typically involve allegations that a fiduciary has disregarded applicable law or the terms of a governing document in administering an estate, Trust, or guardianship. A fiduciary is a person who has been appointed to act as a personal representative for a probate estate, the trustee of a Trust, or a guardian/conservator for an individual who needs assistance or protection in managing their personal and/or financial affairs.
Probate and estate litigation involves what can be a very unique and complicated area of Michigan law. As such, not only must a Michigan probate/estate litigation lawyer know the governing law -- the Michigan Estates and Protected Individuals Code -- but they must also be a skilled and able litigation and trial attorney in order to protect their clients' interests and advance their cases in a Michigan probate court.
Feel free to contact me for more information on how I can help you with your Michigan probate administration and litigation needs.