As a service to the community, The Probate Pro is committed to providing up-to-date, free probate forms for the community. You can access the probate forms here and watch videos on how to complete the forms. The Michigan State Court Administrator’s Office (SCAO) created these probate forms to make the probate process uniform. Each probate form has a corresponding step-by-step video explaining how to complete it. Below is an explanation on how to use the free probate form website.
How to Get Free Forms
The probate forms can be accessed by clicking here – These forms are in Adobe PDF form. They can be printed, downloaded and filled-in, or completed digitally. They can be signed electronically, and you can easily view PDF files using Windows or Mac OS with the free Acrobat reader.
Please note that there may not be an SCAO form for every type of filing or situation. However, MCR 5.113(A) requires that if there is an approved SCAO form for that particular purpose, it must be used. For situations where such a probate form does not exist, a legal pleading must be drafted that conforms with the minimum file standards.
- MCR 1.109(D) notes the filing standards for pleadings, including information about the form and caption of documents, as well as the verification requirement.
- MCR 2.113 offers information regarding the Form, Captioning, Signing, and Verifying of Documents.
- MCR 5.113(B) lists the requirements for the contents of a petition.
- MCR 8.119(C) allows the clerk to reject documents that do not meet the minimum filing requirements detailed in MCR 1.109.
Probate Court Forms: How to Complete Forms
The probate forms should be carefully and accurately completed. Most of the forms are signed at the bottom with a penalty of perjury declaration that states:
“I declare under the penalties of perjury that this application has been examined by me and that its contents are true to the best of my information, knowledge, and belief.”
The probate court is prohibited by law from providing legal advice and/or assisting people in completing the forms. Probate proceedings of all types can be complex and difficult to understand. Be aware that clerks, by judicial decision of the Supreme Court of the State of Michigan, are not permitted to practice law or give legal advice. So, hiring a skilled, competent probate attorney is advisable. To assist in completing the probate forms, note that at bottom right corner of each form the relevant state statutes and court rules are listed (for example MCL 700.3609).
Deceased Probate Estate Forms
A deceased probate estate must be opened if a person dies with property or assets in their individual name with no joint owner or beneficiary designation. A personal representative is appointed by the court to handle the administration of the decedent’s estate. A petitioner or applicant would file a decedent’s estate in the county in which the decedent was domiciled at the time of death. If the decedent was domiciled outside of Michigan, but had property in Michigan, the petitioner or applicant may file an estate in the county where decedent’s property was located at the time of death.
A personal representative may be appointed informally by filing an application directed to the probate register. An applicant seeking appointment in an informal proceeding must give notice and a copy of the application to each person having a prior or equal right to appointment who has not renounced the right.
A personal representative may be formally appointed by a probate judge after a petition is filed in the Probate Court. The petition can be filed by an interested person to the decedent’s estate. When the petition is filed, unless waivers and consents from all interested persons are attached, a hearing will be held. On the date of the hearing, the petitioner and anyone else who wants to take part goes before the Judge and explains the need for a personal representative.
Guardian and Conservator Estate Forms
A guardian and/or conservator may be appointed by the probate court after a petition is filed. The petition may be filed by anyone interested in the well-being of the adult. After the petition is filed, a hearing will be scheduled.
The law states that a guardian may be appointed if a court determines that a person is an incapacitated individual. The law defines an incapacitated individual as:
“…one who is impaired by reason of mental illness, mental deficiency, physical illness or disability, chronic use of drugs, chronic intoxication, or other cause, not including minority, to the extent of lacking sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate informed decisions.”
A conservator may also be appointed if the person is unable to manage his or her property or finances effectively.