Are you trying to avoid the process of Michigan probate? Most people make this a goal due to concerns over privacy, cost, or the length of time it takes to complete probate and in order to avoid potential conflict and in-fighting after they have passed. Additionally, due to Michigan’s enforcement of Medicaid Estate Recovery, the potential risks of probate are greater than ever before. Many assets can be placed in other estate planning vehicles in order to avoid the probate process and to make things easier for your loved ones.
The average length of time that it takes to probate a Michigan estate varies based on the total volume of assets inside, the type of assets, how many creditors might be able to file claims, and whether or not anyone contests or disputes the estate planning or the probate process.
Estates that go through the probate process the fastest are those that qualify as a simplified estate. This is available in the event that the value of the estate is less than $15,000 or if the estate is only big enough to cover the expenses of the family allowance, the homestead allowance, the final illness medical expenses, and the funeral. Formal Michigan probate is not required for simplified estates.
Barring any other problems such as allegations that the person who created the will was not of sound mind, most basic Michigan probate estates will be closed out with seven months to one year after the death. How long this process takes also depends largely on the Executor and their organizational skill and willingness to complete the tasks required of them. This is why the selection of the right person to serve in this role is so important.
While you can select a friend or family member to be your executor for Michigan probate, you need to make sure this person is comfortable with this role and knows all the tasks required, such as making an inventory of the estate assets, filing your paperwork, completing final tax returns, and distributing any remaining property to your heirs.