Probating a Will: How Does the Probate Process Work?

The process of probating a will involves proving the validity of the will of the decedent in probate court. Contests to a will are typically rare, but they can be made for reasons such as fraud, undue influence or incapacity.

If a will is not left by the decedent, under Michigan probate law, a Personal Representative is appointed by the court. Otherwise, the Personal Representative is the individual indicated by the decedent in their will, usually a family member or attorney.

The Process of Will Probate

The process of will probate typically includes a number of different steps, in which the Personal Representative (or Executor) indicated in the will or appointed by the court if no will is left (intestate) is directly involved.

The steps of probating a will include the following:

  • Filing necessary paperwork with Probate Court
  • Proving validity of the will
  • Presenting the Probate Court with list of decedent’s property, debts and beneficiaries
  • Notifying family members and creditors of decedent’s death
  • Liquidating liabilities of decedent
  • Paying necessary taxes
  • Distributing remaining property of decedent to beneficiaries

Will Probate and Creditors of the Estate

The Personal Representative is responsible for identifying the property of the decedent and placing a value on all assets. In certain cases, property may be sold to satisfy outstanding debts of the decedent to creditors.

Creditors of the estate can submit claims to be paid by the Personal Representative from estate funds. Once claims from creditors of the estate have been satisfied, the remaining assets are to be distributed to the beneficiaries, and then the estate is closed.

The process of probating a will differs in every situation and can involve many technicalities and specifications. In addition, there are specific time deadlines that must be met in each case.

For any questions concerning your will probate and estate case, consult our team of experienced probate attorneys by contacting us online or calling us today at (734) 397-4540.

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