How Long Does Probate Take In Michigan?
The 8 Major Factors That Impact
How Long Probate Takes In Michigan
How long probate takes in Michigan depends on a few factors, such as the size of the estate and the nature of the assets.
If you have a small estate, there is a simplified process that drastically reduces the time it takes to complete the probate, making it possible to distribute the estate in a few months.
For large estates, if the Will is not contested, the probate process takes at least six months to complete. Other issues relating to the estate may extend the probate several months, or possibly years. This depends on what is causing the delay.
When is Probate Necessary In Michigan?
Probate in Michigan is the public court process that makes sure your money and property are distributed to your family after you die, and your debts are paid. You may hear this referred to as Estate Administration or Probate Administration.
Below are a few common scenarios that require the Probate Process in Michigan:
The loved one passed away without a Will
They had a Will, but not a Living Trust
The had a Living Trust, but did not properly fund it
There are family members contesting the estate
What Are The 4 Major Steps In The Probate Process?
Appointing A Personal Representative
Appointing a Personal Representative is the first major step in the Michigan Probate Process.
A Personal Representative is in charge of managing and distributing the estate to the beneficiaries.
The Personal Representative’s duties include managing any debt, money, and property the decedent owned at the time of their death.
A Personal Representative will be appointed by the Probate Court under Michigan Probate Law if one was not appointed in the Last Will and Testament.
Conducting An Inventory Of Assets
The Personal Representative is in charge of collecting and cataloging all of the decedent’s assets so it can be distributed to the beneficiaries accordingly.
Paying The Decedent’s Debts
Any debt that your loved one had when they passed away must be paid to creditors.
Distributing The Estate
The estate may be distributed after all debts and taxes have been paid. The remainder of the estate will be distributed according to the decedent’s Will. If there is no Will, it will be distributed according to Michigan law.
8 Factors That Can Impact How Long Probate Takes In Michigan
Now that you have an understanding of the 4 major steps in the probate process, we will discuss the factors that impact how long probate takes in Michigan.
1. The Value Of The Estate
How large or small the estate is has a large impact on how long probate takes in Michigan.
If you have a large estate, probate is typically more expensive, complex, and time consuming.
This is because large estates have more in depth proceedings in order to distribute your loved one’s money.
If you have a small estate, there is a cheaper and simplified process to allow your assets to be distributed.
2. The Type of Probate Required Affects How Long Probate Takes in Michigan
The type of probate required for your estate is a large factor that determines how long probate takes in Michigan.
Having to open a Formal Probate can significantly impact how long probate takes in Michigan. Formal Probate is typically required if an estate is complex, or if someone is contesting a Will and may be supervised or unsupervised.
Supervised probate requires a judge to review and give approval of any activity that can impact the estate.
Unsupervised probate is less complex because no court approval is required in most scenarios.
Michigan Informal Probate can take less time than Formal Probate because informal estate proceedings take place in front of a probate register rather than a judge.
Informal can sometimes be just as complicated as Formal Probate, so it is best to discuss your matter with an experienced Michigan Probate Lawyer.
Simplified Probate for Small Estates
How long probate takes in Michigan can also be dependent on the size of the estate.
In 2021, an estate is considered a “small estate” if it is worth less than $24,000. If you have a small estate, there is a simplified process your family may qualify for.
This process bypasses Probate Court, so it is generally shorter and cheaper.
A small estate does not require the assistance of an attorney which helps reduce the total cost.
Additional Factors That Impact How Long Probate Takes In Michigan
3. Intestate Succession
If someone dies without a Will, their estate is known as “intestate”. This means that their estate passes to their family by Michigan intestate succession laws.
These laws state how a decedent’s assets will be distributed if they did not create a Will.
Having an estate that needs to pass according to intestate succession laws can significantly increase how long probate takes in Michigan.
4. Contested Will Can Increase How Long Probate Takes In Michigan
If a family member disagrees with the decedent’s Will, they may contest the Will in probate court.
To contest the Will, eligible family members may ask the court to declare the Will invalid. This process may take months, or even years, extending how long probate takes in Michigan.
A Will contest may happen if a family member suspects the following:
The decedent was forced to sign the Will against their wishes
The decedent signed a fraudulent Will
The decedent was incapacitated when they signed the Will
The Will was not signed in accordance with Michigan Law
According to Michigan law, all assets in the estate are to be included in the inventory.
If the estate has a lot of property and assets, preparing the inventory can be very complicated. This can extend how long probate takes in Michigan.
Estate debts can also affect how long probate takes in Michigan if there is a dispute in the amount of debt.
7. A Large Tax Burden Can Impact How Long Probate Takes In Michigan
Your estate may be subject to estate taxes depending on the size of the estate. Preparing the taxes can be time consuming and may increase how long probate takes in Michigan.
8. Ancillary Probate
Ancillary probate is required if your loved one owned property outside of Michigan solely in their name. You may need to open multiple ancillary probates depending on if there was property owned in multiple states. This may increase the length of the probate process.
How To Speed Up How Long Probate Takes In Michigan
If you need to go through Probate, it is highly recommended to hire an experienced Michigan Probate Lawyer to reduce how long probate takes in Michigan.
Probate is a notoriously long, stressful, and confusing process.
An attorney can help you speed up the process so that you can distribute your loved one’s money and property in the manner they would have wanted.
At Rochester Law Center, our compassionate and dedicated Michigan Probate Lawyers are experienced in all matters of Probate Administration and serve every county in the state of Michigan.
We make Probate fast, easy, and stress free by acting as your guide through the complicated paperwork and legal proceedings you’ll undoubtedly be facing throughout the Michigan probate process.
We understand the intricacies and nuances involved with Probating an Estate and can help you navigate every step of the way while keeping costs as low as possible.
Call us today at (248) 613-0007 for a free consultation.