The Probate Pro has the great privilege of appearing before probate courts throughout the state of Michigan.  Kent County Probate Court is one of the most enjoyable courts to practice in. The Kent County Probate Court has experienced and knowledgeable judges that understand probate law. They are staffed by friendly and experienced personnel.

Fun Facts about Kent County

It is named for New York jurist and legal scholar James Kent who represented the Michigan Territory in its dispute with Ohio over the Toledo Strip. As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 602,622 people residing in Kent County.

Mission of the Probate Court

The mission of the Kent County Probate Court is to secure the sound and efficient resolution of matters within an accessible and person-centered venue where every individual is treated with dignity and respect.

The Kent County Probate Court is a court of statutory jurisdiction, primarily concerned with

the protection of incapacitated or mentally ill individuals and their assets, and

the proper transfer of assets at death.

Maps and Directions

The Kent County Probate Court is located in Suite 2500 at 180 Ottawa Avenue NW in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Kent County Probate Court Judges

The Court is staffed by four experienced and knowledgeable judges that understand and are committed to probate law.

  • The Honorable David M. Murkowski is the Chief Probate Judge. Judge Murkowski was appointed to the probate court in 2006 and is a graduate of Marquette University and Western Michigan University’s Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
  • The Honorable Terence J. Ackert is the Chief Probate Judge Pro Tempore and is assigned to the Family Division of the Circuit Court. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and University of Toledo College of Law.
  • The Honorable Patricia D. Gardner is the Presiding Judge of the Family Division. She received her bachelor’s degree and JD from the University of Michigan.
  • The Honorable G. Patrick Hillary is assigned to the Family Division of Circuit Court. Judge Hillary was appointed to the probate court in 2001 and is a graduate from Thomas Cooley Law School.

Kent County Hours and Operations

The hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Filings are accepted until 4:30 pm. The Kent County Probate Court is closed during most major holidays.


From 2008 through 2017 there was an overall 43% increase in the caseload (number of new cases) of the Kent County Probate Court, with the largest increases in adult guardianships, mental commitments, mental commitment cases for other counties and small estates. These increases may in part be attributable to the aging of our population and the expansion of medical and psychiatric hospitals in the County.

Security Requirements

An important consideration before entering the court are the security requirements. You will be subject to building security before you enter the court and must pass through a metal detector. The entrances to the 82 Ionia Avenue Courthouse and 180 Ottawa Avenue Courthouse are monitored by security equipment and security personnel. Weapons are always banned, as well as any food or drink (except for identified jurors and staff). Cellphones and other electronic devices must be placed in silent mode, and are never permitted inside courtrooms.

Important Considerations When You Go To Court

The Court specifically addresses on its website that inappropriate attire, such as t-shirts with swear words, depicting violence or sexual acts, promoting drug or alcohol use; hats (except those worn for religious purposes) are prohibited. Disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. Security staff may remove offenders from the building and judges may hold violators in contempt of court.

Kent County Probate Website

For many probate related issues, there is no need to venture all the way to the courthouse. You can do it from the warm, cozy confines of your home. The Kent County Probate Court has a terrific website. The website has tons of valuable information including probate forms that can be downloaded free of charge. Yes, free court approved probate forms! Another great feature on the Kent County Probate Court website is the free Inventory Fee calculator that can be used to compute the Inventory Fee owed to the probate court.

The website also allows for the online ordering of certified court records without having to appear at the courthouse.  This can be very helpful when ordering updated certified Letters of Authority.

A probate record or file search can be done online for the fee of $6.00 per search.  In addition, a copy of the docket and register of actions is $2.50 per case.

Online Resources

Probate Lawyer Near Me for the Kent County Probate Court

The Probate Pro is grateful to be able to practice law in the Kent County Probate Court. The Probate Pro is here to help you navigate this journey by focusing on your goals.  If you have any questions concerning any aspect of the law, let me know. My direct line is 248-399-3300 or toll free: 877-YOUR-FIRM.

Let our exceptional legal team help you . . .