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An estate must be filed in the county in which the decedent lived at the time of death. If the decedent was domiciled outside of Michigan, but had property in Michigan, the petitioner may file an estate in the county where decedent's property was located at the time of death.
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First you need to determine if the relative had any assets held solely in his/her name. If so, probate proceedings will be necessary. The value of any assets will determine the manner in which you will proceed.