Probate Administration: Honoring Your Loved One’s Wishes Through The Court Process
When a loved one passes away, administering their estate is a weighty responsibility. It’s also a meaningful one. It’s an opportunity to honor their legacy by seeing that their wishes are fulfilled.
The legalities of estate administration can be complicated, however. Many estates must pass through probate administration – the court-supervised process for administering the estate. The personal representative of the estate must uphold certain legal duties. Skilled legal representation is critical for navigating that process with care and precision.
Our Team Can Walk Alongside You
At DeMent & Marquardt, PLC, our lawyers walk alongside families throughout the probate administration process. They are highly skilled in all aspects of Michigan probate. Our attorneys focus solely on estate law and related matters, including administering trusts and estates. Since 1994, we have built a trusted reputation in the Kalamazoo community for the skilled, thorough and compassionate legal services that we provide.
Understanding Michigan Probate
The probate process in Michigan involves the following basic steps:
- Filing and validating the will, if there is one
- Collecting and filing an inventory of estate assets
- Notifying creditors and settling any remaining debts, such as medical and long-term care bills
- Preparing final tax returns for the estate
- Making distributions in accordance with the will
- Addressing any challenges to the will or estate distribution
Other aspects of the estate might not be subject to the probate process. For example, real estate may pass directly to the joint owner if it is titled a certain way. Assets that have beneficiary designations – such as retirement accounts and life insurance – won’t need to go through probate.
Addressing Any Complications
In the best of cases, probate is a smooth and seamless process. However, complications can sometimes arise. For example, perhaps there is no will, or perhaps the terms of the will are unclear. Perhaps there are disputes among heirs or beneficiaries. Any of these obstacles can lead to time-consuming probate litigation.
Our lawyers are adept at handling both straightforward and complex contested probate cases. You can lean on them throughout the process, trusting that they are well equipped to address any hurdles that arise along the way.