Decedent Estates & Wills
Please read before proceeding
This information is not intended to be legal advice, but a brief explanation of the basic procedure that is required. Probate Court personnel cannot give legal advice about your particular situation or complete your forms for you. You are not required to have an attorney; however, the Court cannot act as your attorney. If you do not understand process or have questions on what to do, you will need to obtain other assistance.
small estate affidavits:
May only be used if there is not real property in the Estate and the total assets are $15,000 or less (plus cost of living adjustment. That value is $24,000 if the date of death occurred in 2020.
May be used if the total assets of the Estate are $15,000 (plus cost of living adjustment) or less after funeral expenses are paid. That value is $24,000 if the date of death occurred in 2020. The Will should be turned in to Probate, but will not be Probated. A personal representative is not appointed.
Informal Proceedings occur in front of the Probate Register and are unsupervised. A Personal Representative is appointed by Register’s Statement and Letters of Authority are issued. A Will may be admitted in an Informal Proceeding as long as the Will is original and valid. The Probate Register cannot admit a copy of a Will.
Formal Proceedings occur in front of the Judge and can be unsupervised or supervised. The Personal Representative is appointed by the Judge and Letters of Authority are issued. A Will may be admitted to Probate by the Judge. If the Will is not original, the Petitioner may request the Judge admit the copy at the hearing.
For an Overview of Formal Probate, visit the Michigan Legal Help Website.
Petition & Order to Open Safe Deposit Box
If you are an interested party and you believe that a Will or Burial Deed is located in a safe deposit box, but the Bank/Financial Institution does not allow you access to the box, you may need to file a Petition and Order Open Safe Deposit Box.