Probate Process: Simplified!

Probate Process Simplified

Almost all estates will go through probate of some type following death.


The process differs significantly based the existence of a valid will or if the decedent passes intestate. The purpose of probate is to distribute the decedent’s property according to state law under the direction of the court system, including creditors. Depending on the structure of the estate, only certain property may be available for claimants. This is a time period in which a will may also be contested, which is common in certain situations. These potential legalities are why it is important to retain a Michigan probate attorney like Simon Stella & Zingas PC for advice and representation through this time period even when a family member is in designated by the court.

Assigning Administration

All estates will have an executor or administrator to ensure that all instructions are followed regarding a valid will. The executor is also the official contact for unknown creditors and other claimants coming forward following the estate opening. This is also a hearing that will allow input from those who are contesting a will with reference to who should actually be the executor. All Michigan probate lawyers understand this can be a contentious process, and having legal counsel beforehand can help in some cases.

Contacting Creditors

Estate executors are responsible for contacting all known parties that may have a claim against the estate. This includes public postings as well in certain cases when there are those who may not be already identified. An inventory of all personal property should be taken, including property that is held jointly with other individuals. This can provide a general idea on the amount of funds that may be available to pay claims against the estate.

Paying Claims

The estate executor is required after completing the inventory to pay all of those claims that are determined as valid. This can include negotiating with creditors who may take a lesser amount or accept family members for assumption of outstanding loans.

Distribute Property

The final responsibility in a probate process is distributing all remaining property to inheritors based and the terms of the will. The court will then make final assignment of property according to state inheritance law.

Anyone in Michigan needing advice regarding an estate probate matter should contact Simon Stella & Zingas PC for a full evaluation of the estate.