Losing a loved one is never easy and the process of sorting through a lifetime is complicated. Let's look at how to probate a small estate in Michigan, step by step.
Determine with your Attorney if a small estate is appropriate in your situation.
Is there a will that nominates a personal representative (executor)? If not, someone will need to nominate themselves. Note that the personal representative does not have any authority until granted that authority by the Court's "Letters of Authority".
Prepare the Application for Informal Probate and/or Appointment of Personal Representative, Testimony of Interested Persons and other related paperwork for filing with the Court.
Once a personal representative (known as the "PR") has been appointed, that person will need to apply for an EIN SS-4 to use for estate accounting and tax purposes and then open up an estate account with a bank with checks.
All interested parties must be served with estate paperwork within fourteen (14) days of the appointment of the PR
A Notice to Creditors must be published in the local major newspaper inviting any creditors that may be unknown to submit bills to the PR.
Within ninety-one (91) days after the PR appointment, an inventory must be filed with the Court declaring the assets of the estate, their values and also pay the inventory fee to the Court based on the estate size.
After the claims bar date of at least four (4) months after the date of the Notice to Creditors publication, all claims must be paid from the estate account, including final expenses and any known bills or claims filed.
A final accounting is prepared and served on interested parties and filed with the Court.
The final disbursement to heirs is completed and a Sworn Closing Statement is signed by the PR.
As you can see, probate is complicated and the above is only intended to be a general outline of the steps required. Each case is different and having an attorney by your side is usually necessary to navigate the process.
Discuss your estate planning or probate needs with Attorney Allison Greenlee Korr today. 269-381-4471