WHEN IS PROBATE REQUIRED?
Generally speaking, probate is only necessary when a person dies leaving property solely in his or her own name (such as a house titled only in the name of the decedent) or having rights to receive property (such as wrongful death claim or a debt owed to the decedent). However, not all property in which the decedent has an interest will be subject to probate. There are 4 kinds of property which pass to a new owner on death without going through probate. Property Transferred Without Probate
PRINCIPAL RESIDENCE EXEMPTION & DECEDENT'S REAL PROPERTY:The principal residence exemption may need to be rescinded on the decedent's real property. For additional infromation see the Grand Traverse County Treasurer and the Michigan Department of Treasury websites.
READ BELOW TO DETERMINE WHICH TYPE OF ESTATE WOULD BEST SUIT YOUR NEEDS:
a. Unsupervised - Informal probate - permits the Personal Representative (PR) to act in a manner independent of the court unless intervention is requested by the PR or an interested person (such as an unpaid creditor or an estate beneficiary). This form of administration is generally preferred unless there is a specific reason to request the court’s supervision of the estate. In addition, since there is less court involvement, fewer details concerning the estate's administration will be in the court file and available for inspection by the public and the media. Unsupervised administration offers some privacy for the decedent's family.
b. Supervised - Formal probate - requires the probate court's review and approval of much of the estate activities. For example, in supervised administration the court would be required to (i) approve the sale of the decedent's real estate (unless the decedent's will authorizes the PR to do so), (ii) authorize the payment of PR and attorney fees, (iii) review the PR's accounting of all receipts and disbursements, and (iv) prior approval of all distributions to heirs (people receiving property from the estate if there is no will) and devisees (people receiving property under a will). While the court's involvement frequently adds to the time and expense of administering an estate, the court's supervision will likely afford greater protection to the PR and the other interested persons against losses and claims.
c. Estate under $21,000 (Small Estate) - All of the real and personal property owned by the decedent has a total value equal to or less than the sum of the following: (1) the funeral expenses plus (2) $21,000. Upon presentation of a petition and payment of the filing fee, the probate court may order that the funeral expenses be paid, if they have not been paid, or that the person who paid them be reimbursed. The balance of the property will be assigned to the surviving spouse or, if none, to the decedent's heirs under Michigan's law of intestate succession. No court hearing is held. If the decedent had a will, please note that in this process, the terms of the will are not carried out. (However, if the decedent had a will, by law, it must be filed with the Probate Court, per MCL 700.2516) If you want the terms of the will carried out, you must file an informal or formal probate. See "Small Estate (Petition and Order for Assignment)" for more information.
d. Affidavit of Decedent's successor for delivery of certain assets owned by decedent - If an estate is under $21,000 in value, has no real property, and it has been more than 28 days after a decedent's date of death, you may be able to use this form, PC598, to present to an institution to obtain the funds (i.e., bank, stock company).
e. Medical Records - Informal probate - This process is for access to medical records only. The Court will be appointing the nominated personal representative in the will (if any), the surviving spouse, or other person with priority to serve as Personal Representative. See "Instructions for Opening an Informal Estate to Obtain Medical Records", for more information.
Inventory Fee Calculator (Kalamazoo County)
The Inventory Fee is caculated based on the total value of the decedent's assets at the time of death, as follows:
- In an estate of value of less than $1,000.00, $5.00 plus 1% of the amount over $500.00.
- In an estate of value of $1,000.00 or more, but less than $3,000.00, $25.00.
- In an estate of value of $3,000.00 or more, but less than $10,000.00, $25.00 plus 5/8 of 1% of the amount over $3,000.00.
- In an estate of value of $10,000.00 or more, but less than $25,000.00, $68.75 plus 1/2 of 1 % of the amount over $10,000.00.
- In an estate of value of $25,000.00 or more, but less than $50,000.00, $143.75 plus 3/8 of 1% of the amount over $25,000.00.
- In an estate of value of $50,000.00 or more, but less than $100,000.00, $237.50 plus 1/4 of 1% of the amount over $50,000.00.
- In an estate of value of $100,000.00 or more, but less than $500,000.00, $362.50 plus 1/8 of 1% of the amount over $100,000.00.
- For each additional $100,000.00 value, or larger fraction thereof, over $500,000.00, $62.50.
- For each additional $100,000.00 value, or larger fraction thereof, over $1,000,000.00, $31.25.
Rounded down to the nearest dollar if less than .49 cents and up to the nearest dollar if equal to or greater than .50 cents.Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA)
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