How Much Does Probate Cost in Michigan?
The 5 Probate Cost Factors Explained
Losing a loved one is one of the most stressful experiences a family can go through.
Unfortunately, dying without the proper Estate Plan can make the situation even more difficult.
That’s because without the proper legal documents in place, your family may have to spend months, even years going through the Probate Court process.
Probate is the public process through which the court ensures that, when you die, your debts are paid, and your money and property are distributed to your loved ones.
If you are going through Probate for the first time, you may have some questions with respect to who you need to talk to and how much Probate costs in Michigan.
How Much Does Probate Cost in Michigan?
There are 5 major factors that can impact how much Probate costs in Michigan.
– The value of the estate
– The type of Probate required
– If the decedent owned properties outside of Michigan
– If it is a contested Probate
– The duration of the Probate
Now that you know the factors that impact how much Probate costs in Michigan, we will outline each in more depth below.
But first, let’s talk about when Probate is required in Michigan.
When Is Probate Required In Michigan?
There are a few situations when it may be necessary to open a Probate in Michigan.
1. If your family member passes away without a Will. The Probate Court will distribute your loved one’s money and property according to Michigan Law.
2. They had a Will, but not a more broad Estate Plan like a Living Trust.
3. They had a Living Trust, but there are family members or creditors contesting it.
How Does The Value of the Estate Impact How Much Probate Costs in Michigan?
The value of the estate can have a serious impact on how much Probate costs in Michigan.
If the estate is larger than $24,000, the Probate process is generally much more complex, time consuming, and expensive.
That’s because the estate has to go through longer, more in depth proceedings in order to get the decedent’s money and property distributed to their heirs.
However, if the estate is below $24,000, there is a much simpler, and cheaper, process your family may qualify for, sometimes referred to as “Probate for small estates”.
In the next section, we will discuss the different types of Probate.
What Are The Different Types of Probate In Michigan?
One of the biggest factors that determines how much Probate costs in Michigan is the type of Probate required.
Formal Probate is typically needed if an estate is really large and complex, or if a Will is contested. It can be supervised or unsupervised. Supervised Probate means that a judge has to review and give the courts approval of any transactions or activities that can impact the estate. Unsupervised Probate is usually simpler because the administration process does not require the court’s approval for most activities that impact the estate. In general, Formal Probate is the most complicated, time consuming, and expensive type of Probate. Using a Michigan Probate Lawyer is highly recommended in order to speed up the process and ensure that the estate is administered and settled efficiently and effectively.
Informal Probate is usually faster than formal proceedings because they happen in front of a Probate register instead of a judge. However, Informal Probate can be equally as complicated and difficult to navigate as Formal Probate, so it is still recommended that you consult with an experienced attorney in these instances.
Simplified Probate for Small Estates
If an estate is worth less than $24,000, there is a simplified process that can almost entirely bypass the Probate Court Process. In general, this type of Probate is shorter than the others and usually doesn’t require the help of an attorney which both help reduce the cost.
How Does the Duration of the Process Impact The Cost of Probate in Michigan?
In Michigan, the Probate Process lasts a minimum of 5 months. However, in our experience, it typically takes 9 months to a year in order to complete the simple cases. In general, the longer the case, the higher likelihood that the Probate will cost more.
Why Does Owning Property In Other States Increase The Cost of Probate in Michigan?
If the decedent owned a property in other states outside of Michigan, you may need to open multiple Probates, each one according to the laws in that state.
For example, if the decedent owned a home and resided in Michigan, but also owned a winter home in Florida when they passed away, a Probate may need to be opened not only in Michigan, but Florida as well.
This is called an Ancillary Probate.
Typically, this requires retaining the services of an attorney in the state the property is owned in, which can increase the cost of Probate in Michigan.
What is a Contested Probate and How Does it Affect the Cost of Probate in Michigan?
The entire Probate process is public, so anyone is able to see the size of the estate, who was owed a debt, who will receive any assets, and when the assets will be distributed.
Essentially, there is no privacy.
The process invites family members to contest the Will and may expose your family to creditors and potential fraudsters.
If any of these people are unhappy, they can contest a Will in court.
This means there will be an extended litigation that will require an attorney, which can make Probate more expensive.
Summary of Probate Costs in Michigan
There are 5 major factors that impact how much Probate costs in Michigan. They include the value of the estate, the type of Probate required, if the decedent owned properties outside of Michigan, if it is a contested Probate, and the duration of the Probate.
Working through the complexities of Michigan Probate can be daunting, especially when grieving the loss of a loved one.
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 case evaluation.