How to Administer an Estate in Michigan

by | Aug 14, 2017 | Family Law | 0 comments

If you were named as executor in the estate of a loved one, a Michigan probate lawyer is the best resource to explain the probate process and how to begin administering decedent’s estate. If the deceased person had a will, you would begin by opening the estate in the county where the decedent lived at the time of death. This process gives the executor the authority to start acting on behalf of the estate and distributing assets in accordance with the will. Prior to distributing property, however, the executor must make certain debts and expenses are paid out of the estate corpus.

Paying Debts

Under Michigan law, debts must be paid before assets are distributed. These debts are listed in order of priority in the Michigan code and must be satisfied in the following order:

  • Costs to administer the estate.
  • Reasonable funeral and burial expenses.
  • Homestead allowance (otherwise known as a spousal share of $15,000).
  • Family allowance.
  • Exempt property.
  • Debts and taxes arising under federal law.
  • Reasonable medical expenses associated with the decedent’s final illness.
  • Other debts and taxes in order of priority as under state law (e.g., secured debts are paid first, followed by unsecured debt).

Your Michigan probate attorney will advise you that creditors have a limited amount of time to make a claim for debts. Once notice of death is posted in a public newspaper, as required by state law, creditors have just four months to make a claim against the estate. If notice is not posted in accordance with protocol, creditors have three years from the date of death.

Distributing Assets

Assets must be distributed to heirs in accordance with the will. In order for a will to be valid under Michigan law, it must be executed by one with sound mind, who is over 18 years of age and must be in writing. It must also contain a signature of the testator and at least two witnesses who saw the testator sign the document. Wills that do not comply with these basic requirements could be contested by heirs concerned with validity. For this reason, it is always best to work with a Michigan probate lawyer when executing a will.

Contact a Knowledgeable Probate Attorney Today

Attorney Chris Trainor of the Law Offices of Chris Trainor and Associates is a competent and compassionate legal advocate who can help you during this difficult time. Call his office today: 800-961-8477.


Christopher Trainor and Associates Featured on WXYZ

Recently Christopher Trainor and Associates was featured on WXYZ 7 Action News in Detroit regarding a client's case against the Detroit Police Department in which the client was wrongly arrested and held in jail. The full article and can be found on the WXYZ website.

St Joseph, MI – Injuries Result from Wreck on I-94 near Martin Luther King Dr

St Joseph, MI (March 25, 2022) - A major car crash happened on an interstate in St Joseph on the afternoon of March 20. At approximately 5:10 p.m., an unspecified number of vehicles collided on Interstate 94. Reports show the accident happened on I-94 near Martin...

Zeeland, MI – Auto Accident on Fairview Rd at Washington Ave Ends in Injuries

Zeeland, MI (March 25, 2022) - An auto accident happened on the morning of March 25 in Zeeland that resulted in injuries. The wreck occurred shortly after 8:00 a.m., according to reports.  Sources say the collision took place on Fairview Road near Washington...

Paw Paw, MI – Major Car Crash on M-43 between 37th & 40th St

Paw Paw, MI (March 25, 2022) - A motor vehicle accident occurred in Paw Paw on the morning of March 23 that required an emergency response. The incident was reported to authorities in the area at around 12:21 p.m. Various responders were observed at the scene of the...

Romulus, MI – Motor Vehicle Collision Causes Injuries on I-94 near Vining Rd

Romulus, MI (March 25, 2022) - At least one person was hurt in a crash reported in Romulus on March 25. At approximately 12:55 p.m., police were dispatched to the scene of the wreck located on Interstate 94.  Responders including paramedics, fire crews, and...

Holland, MI – Injury Accident on Waverly Rd at 48th St Requires EMT Dispatch

Holland, MI (March 25, 2022) - On the morning of March 25, at approximately 6:55 a.m., a car accident in Holland required an emergency dispatch.  Reports indicate that a vehicle collided with a pole near 48th Street on Waverly Road.  To assist the injured...

Jackson, MI – Serious Car Accident on M-106 near Deweese Rd and Hawkins Rd

Jackson, MI (March 25, 2022) - Police officers in Jackson were dispatched to the scene of a major car crash on Friday, March 25. According to local officials, the collision happened at approximately 4:00 p.m. on M-106. While emergency personnel rendered aid to those...

Detroit, MI – Police Dispatched to Crash Scene on I-96 near Davison St

Detroit, MI (March 25, 2022) - On March 25, at least one person was injured in a car accident in Detroit. The wreck was reported to officials in the area at approximately 10:50 p.m. According to information from reports, the accident occurred on I-96 near Davison...

Wyoming, MI – Major Accident on 28th St near Clyde Park Ave

Wyoming, MI (March 24, 2022) - Highway patrol officers and first responders were called to the scene of a vehicle collision on March 24 on 28th Street in Wyoming. Reports show that an unspecified number of vehicles collided in the area, resulting in the injury of at...

St Clair, MI – Siblings Killed in Wreck on Kinney Rd near Burt Rd

St Clair, MI (March 24, 2022) - A brother and sister were killed in a two-car crash on Thursday, March 24 in Riley Township. The incident was reported north of Interstate 69 on Kinney Road near Burt Road.  Three people were also hospitalized with injuries,...