Probate is a court process where the estate of a deceased individual is administered so that creditors are paid, assets gathered, and property is distributed to the rightful heirs and beneficiaries. Probate may be confusing for many people, so here are your probate questions answered.
In Probate, someone dies “intestate” if they died without a will. If someone dies without a will, his or her distributable assets pass to certain family members in accordance with Michigan laws. If someone has a will, they can name anyone that they want to receive their assets, so long as the person is able to do so and was not influenced. In Michigan, “small estates” (i.e. an estate valued at $23,000 or less in 2019), can utilize an abbreviated and easier process.
The probate process, which often lasts six months to a year (or more), can cost thousands in legal fees. Fees are paid from the estate. Probate proceedings are usually open to the public, so there is little privacy involved.
“You can help your loved ones to avoid the hassles of probate court and ensure that your wishes regarding your assets are honored,” said Linda McGrail, a probate attorney and shareholder at O’Reilly Rancilio. A proper estate plan is affordable and will usually include durable and health care power of attorney that will assist your loved ones in caring for you if you become incapacitated (either temporarily or permanently).
For more than 30 years, southeast Michigan residents have relied on the estate planning and probate attorneys at O’Reilly Rancilio in Sterling Heights. To have your probate questions answered by an attorney, visit our website for information.