Navigating through the probate process can be scary, frustrating and confusing. It is especially challenging during a pandemic. During the pandemic, the Wayne County Probate Court remains closed to the public. It is not physically accessible to “go into the probate court” and no in-person filings are being accepted. We hope that this is a great guide to help with the Wayne County Probate Court.
The Wayne County Probate Court website states on its Home page that “The vision of the Wayne County Probate Court is to provide leadership for the continuous improvement of a justice system that is responsive to the diverse and changing needs of the public and accountable for the efficient and effective use of public resources.” Sadly, the pandemic has caused the Wayne County Probate Court to reaffirm its commitment to the public by adapting to meet the “changing needs of the public.” As the busiest probate court in Michigan, it is continually adapting to meet these extraordinary times.
Wayne County Probate Court Help: Resources
Most people contact us and ask whether they need to hire a lawyer to navigate through the probate court. The question of whether to hire a lawyer does not always have a simple answer. There are times in which people proceed without a lawyer. However, we urge everyone to work with a skilled, competent, experienced probate attorney since it is difficult and confusing to navigate through the process.
The probate court forms are available to download here with a video instruction on how to complete the forms.
An additional resource is the Wayne County Probate Bar Association which provides a lawyer referral service in which your initial consultation is free: 1-800-357-7090. The Michigan Legal Help is a website with several articles covering probate topics and you can also search for legal aid organizations that serve your area or topic.
Wayne County Probate Court Help: Hearings
All hearings are being conducted remotely via ZOOM, until further notice of the Wayne County Probate Court. These extraordinary measures are in place to protect the public and the court’s staff.
Use of technology to conduct hearings of all types remotely during this health crisis is based on the Administrative Order 2020-6 issued by the Michigan Supreme Court.
For many, using technology can be confusing and intimidating. If you are a beginner, Zoom hosts daily training webinars to help get you started using Zoom Meetings. The State Court Administrator’s Office or SCAO has many helpful resources for participating in remote hearings and other materials related to court capacities around the state.
The Wayne County Probate Court has a link that also provides instructions for the ZOOM hearings.
Another option is to participate in the court hearing without ZOOM. Participants can call into the probate court with their telephone. As of the writing of this article, the following are the telephone instructions provided by the Wayne County Probate Court.
- Call (646) 876-9923 or (669) 900-6833
- Enter the appropriate Meeting ID (from the Notice of Hearing)
- Press # – since no password or participant ID is needed
Wayne County Probate Court Help: Filings
Since during the pandemic, the Wayne County Probate Court is closed to the public and no in-person filings are being accepted it can be confusing on how to file guardianships, conservatorships, trusts and probate estates with the probate court.
Click here for contact information regarding questions and resolving issues related to filing with the probate court.
Currently, the filing process is taking some time because of the court’s limited staff. As of the writing of this, non-emergency filings are currently being processed 3-5 weeks after submission (whether by email, fax, or regular mail).
Please let The Probate Pro know if you need any additional information on the Wayne County Probate Court. Call us at 1 (833) PROBATE.