Michigan Personal Representative

Michigan Personal Representative Duties and Responsibilities Explained

When someone passes away in Michigan, their debts need to be settled and their remaining money and property need to be distributed to their loved ones. The person who does this on behalf of the deceased known as the Michigan Personal Representative.

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What Is A Personal Representative In Michigan?

A Michigan Personal Representative is appointed by the Probate Court to guide a decedent’s estate through the Michigan Probate process.

They are in charge of managing and distributing the estate to the decedent’s heirs.

The estate includes the debt, money, and property the decedent owned at the time of their death.

A Personal Representative may be appointed in the decedent’s Last Will and Testament to carry out all of the wishes dictated in the decedent’s Last Will and Testament.

If the decedent did not leave a Will, you may petition the court to become the Personal Representative and settle the estate based on Michigan Law.

What Is The Difference Between An Executor And Personal Representative?

A Personal Representative in Michigan is the same thing as an Executor.

Other states refer to the Personal Representative as the Executor, so it can create some confusion.

You also may see this role referred to as “Executor of the Estate” or “Estate Administrator”.

What Are The Responsibilities Of The Michigan Personal Representative?

A Michigan Personal Representative is responsible for:

  • Carrying out the decedent’s wishes regarding the distribution of the estate
  • Locating the decedent’s assets
  • Paying creditors
  • Preparing an Inventory
  • Paying any estate expenses
  • Closing the estate

Who Can Serve As A Personal Representative?

A Michigan Personal Representative must be over the age of 18, and not a legally incapacitated individual. The appointment of a Personal Representative has a specific order of priority according to Michigan Probate Law:

  • An individual appointed as Personal Representative in the decedent’s Will
  • The surviving spouse, if the spouse is a beneficiary under the Will
  • Other beneficiaries of the Will
  • The surviving spouse if he or she is not a beneficiary under the Will
  • Other heirs of the decedent 
  • If no one is named after a certain period of time, a creditor may be appointed with approval of the probate judge

Can You Be Appointed Michigan Personal Representative If You Are Not On This List?

If you don’t have priority to open an estate based on the above list, there are other ways to be appointed as Personal Representative in Michigan.

Under Michigan Law, there are a few options:

  • You may send a Notice of Intent to Request Informal Appointment of Personal Representative to each individual with equal or higher priority than you.
  • You may ask each person who has equal or higher priority than you to sign a renunciation waiving their right to become personal representative. The renunciation has no effect on the individual’s share as a beneficiary of the estate.

Who Cannot Serve?

Any person under the age of 18 cannot serve as Personal Representative in Michigan, as well as anyone who is legally incapacitated, or a protected individual.

The court may also find an individual unsuitable to serve as Personal Representative in a formal proceeding.

Can You Receive Compensation?

Yes, a Michigan Personal Representative may receive compensation for their role in administering the estate. 

The fee varies in each Probate estate depending on the size of the estate, the complexity, and the amount of work completed by the Personal Representative.

It is important that the Personal Representative keeps track of their time for their work on the estate so they may be compensated accordingly.

If the Personal Representative does not want to receive compensation from the estate, they may waive their right.

Can Authority As Personal Representative Be Taken Away?

Yes, the court may take away your authority as Personal Representative if you do not perform the duties as required by Michigan law.

Any interested party, or the court, may remove you as Personal Representative. They can also make you perform any tasks that you are required to do by law.

The Probate process is complex, but an experienced Michigan Probate Lawyer can assist with the performance of Personal Representative duties. 

Summary of Michigan Personal Representative

A Michigan Personal Representative is responsible for guiding a decedent’s estate through Probate. 

Normally the Personal Representative is named in the decedent’s Last Will and Testament. 

However, if the decedent did not leave a Will, you can petition the court to become the Personal Representative.

The Michigan Probate process is long, stressful, and complicated.

A Probate Lawyer can help you easily navigate the process so that your loved one’s money and property can be properly distributed to their heirs.

At Rochester Law Center, our compassionate 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. 

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