In an effort to protect the health of our clients, employees, and communities from potential impacts of COVID-19, we are holding virtual meetings (via telephone) as an alternative to traditional face-to-face meetings. The quarantine does not need to stop you from getting the legal help you need and we are available to help entirely virtually! Feel free to reach out for a Free Virtual Consultation.

In order to express our gratitude and appreciation to all of the healthcare workers and first responders helping our communities, we want to extend a discount to each of them and their families on any estate planning services to help them protect and care for their own loved ones.

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Troy Probate Administration Attorney

Effective Counsel to Ensure Fair Probate Administration

When a person passes away (the “decedent”), their surviving loved ones may disagree as to how the decedent’s estate should be distributed. When several parties make competing claims over some or all of the decedent’s estate, the issue is brought before a probate court. Probate administration usually involves the following scenarios:

  1. The decedent left a will or other document that is contested by several parties; or
  2. The decedent did not create a valid will, therefore their estate is distributed according to Michigan’s probate laws.

If a loved one recently passed away with or without a will then if any of their assets are in their individual name and there is no joint owner or beneficiary or the asset(s) are not titled to a trust then the only way an asset can be transferred is through a probate administration. The probate process can be time consuming, expensive, public and you can lose control to the probate court. It is highly recommended that one use an experienced attorney who is familiar with probate administration to determine you and your loved one’s rights. Contact Barron, Rosenberg, Mayoras & Mayoras to learn more about your available legal options.

Who Can Be a Personal Representative?

The probate court appoints a “personal representative” to control or manage the assets of the decedent’s estate. Under Michigan’s probate code, the personal administrative is selected from the following people, in order of priority:

  1. A person specified in the decedent’s will;
  2. The decedent’s surviving spouse if the spouse is devisee (beneficiary) of the decedent;
  3. Other devisees of the decedent;
  4. The decedent’s surviving spouse (regardless of devisee status);
  5. Other heirs of the decedent;
  6. 6 weeks after the decedent’s death, the nominee of a creditor with the probate court’s approval; or
  7. In certain emergency situations, a state or public administrator.

What Are the Personal Representative’s Duties?

Personal representatives have a legal duty to swiftly and efficiently settle the decedent’s estate in accordance with Michigan law. If the decedent left a will, a personal representative has a legal duty to abide by the will’s terms. Personal representatives also have a legal duty to put the estate’s interests above their own. If the person did not have a will then that person dies intestate (without a will) and the statutes of the state of Michigan will determine how the assets are to be distributed. In many cases this is not what a person intended.

Probate administration can involve complicated legal issues, such as:

  • Contract interpretation;
  • Determining the value of assets;
  • Settling the decedent’s taxes, debts and expenses;
  • Determining the proper disposition of jointly owned assets;
  • Determining the proper disposition of assets held in trust;
  • Proper division of life insurance proceeds; and
  • The disposition of retirement accounts.

Given the complex nature of probate administration, an inexperienced personal representative could unintentionally breach their legal duties. As a result, personal representatives should consult an experienced probate attorney for advice on the proper administration of the decedent’s estate.

Consult With Experienced Counsel About Probate Administration

Our attorneys at Barron, Rosenberg, Mayoras & Mayoras have decades of collective experience with probate administration in Troy, Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, Washtenaw, Livingston, Genesse and St Clair counties.

Our probate administration attorneys can help you. Contact Barron, Rosenberg, Mayoras & Mayoras today at (248) 494-4577 for a free consultation with compassionate counsel.

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