What is Probate?
Probate is the legal process through which a deceased person’s estate is settled, debts are paid, and assets are distributed to beneficiaries. This process is typically supervised by a court. The process can be complex, and individuals involved in the administration of an estate, whether as personal representatives or beneficiaries, may benefit from seeking legal guidance to navigate the requirements of Michigan probate law.
Roles in Probate
The Personal Representative, often named in a decedent's will, is appointed by the court to oversee the probate process. This individual is entrusted with managing the estate, ensuring debts are paid, and overseeing the fair distribution of assets
Beneficiaries are those individuals designated to inherit assets from the estate. They may include family members, friends, or charitable organizations named in the decedent’s will or determined by state law.
Family members are entitled by Michigan law, to be informed of the contents of the estate.
Asbestos Litigation and Probate
There are instances where probate is needed in conjunction with asbestos lawsuits. For example, if your loved one died of asbestos cancer, the cause of action continues to the family as a wrongful death claim. To move forward in the process, a probate estate must first be opened in the probate court in the county where the individual lived at the time of their date of death. A Personal Representative will be appointed by the probate court. The Personal Representative will then be able to file the lawsuit for wrongful death in the circuit court.
The Personal Representative is the person named in the decedent’s Last Will and Testament to serve in that role. If the decedent had no will, the appointment is governed by Michigan law with priority first going to the surviving spouse. If there is no spouse, then priority goes to the children. In most cases, probate is usually commenced informally, without a hearing, and unsupervised by the court. If you need probate done in conjunction with your lawsuit, we will handle all of it for you. We have tremendous experience in probate, handling hundreds of cases in probate courts around the State of Michigan. It would be our pleasure to assist you in the probate process.