Michigan Probate: The Basics
UPDATED: January 10, 2020
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When a person dies in Michigan, the collection and distribution of their assets and property (collectively termed their “estate”) is governed by Michigan probate law. The probate process can seem daunting and complicated, but the good news is that for many estates, the probate process can be avoided. Here’s how to approach Michigan probate law on your own.
How to Bypass Michigan Probate
There are two types of Michigan property that can bypass the Michigan probate courts altogether: joint trusts and property owned in joint tenancy by more than one person. This means that joint homes, cars, or bank accounts can bypass probate, as well as living trusts that clearly designate a beneficiary. Due to the tax ramifications of living trusts, you should consider consult an experienced Michigan estate planning attorney before opting for a trust when planning your estate.
Additional Michigan Probate Resources
Michigan Probate Law (search “probate” in MCL Key Word Search)
Grand Traverse County
St. Joseph's County
Also, see our article on Michigan Probate Procedure