There are two primary ways in which probate estate is opened in the State of Michigan. Why are there two different ones? Because there’s an informal process and a formal probate process. Each one has different steps and requirements. Which one you use is going to depend on your situation. Let’s cover the informal and formal processes.

Informal Probate Administration

An informal probate administration is done by application. When filling out the application for informal probate, you’re required to have certain criteria in place before the court accepts your application. You will need to have the person with the highest priority to serve as the personal representative to be nominated. If the person with highest priority is not named within the statute or will, then every person above will have to sign in agreement for the person to serve as personal representative.

There is another way in which you can utilize an informal probate administration, and that is the notice of intent process. The notice of intent process is when you give notice of the opening informally. After two weeks pass, you will be able to open the estate.

Formal Probate Administration

A formal probate administration requires the filing of a petition. The formal probate administration involves an individual going to the court and requesting that the estate is opened, to name or nominate a personal representative and ask for the admission of the will. If there is no will, then the individual will need to ask the probate to be opened intestate.

Generally, a formal probate administration will require a court hearing. This takes place several weeks after the filing of the petition. The individual will stand before the judge and have the proceeding, such that he or she gets the letter of authority.

Darren Findling talks more about these forms for opening probate estates, including the advantages and disadvantages.

If you have questions on opening a probate estate, or need to know whether an informal or formal probate administration is more appropriate for your situation, give The Probate Pro a call at (877) YOUR-FIRM. Our legal team is ready to answer your questions and help you with all your probate needs.