Probate Court is a division of the Circuit Courts of the State of Michigan responsible for proceedings involving wills, trusts, estates, guardianships, conservatorships, divorce, child custody, child support, and mental health actions. The probate court is an essential part of the social safety net that helps to protect the health, safety, and individual rights of minors, the elderly, and other vulnerable individuals. A Jackson probate attorney can help you understand what your legal rights and duties are in probate court, so you can have the best chance of success with your probate court matter.
When a person dies, their personal rights and responsibilities that survive death become part of their probate "estate." The estate has the right to sue and be sued, and is represented by a "personal representative." Often if a person dies leaving assets, it is necessary to "probate," or administer the estate after death.
Probating a decedent estate involves the following steps:
In summary: a Jackson probate attorney can give you personalized advice on how to understand your decedent estate, and how best to be successful in administering the estate.
A trust is a conveyancing document where one person (i.e., a settlor) gives legal ownership of property to another person (i.e., a trustee), with instructions to hold the property for the benefit of one or more people (i.e., beneficiaries).
I can assist with the administration of trusts, including appointment, supervision, or removal of a trustee; actions for accountings and information to be provided to interested persons; actions to construe trust provisions; actions to approve settlements and distributions; and other actions necessary to administer a trust under its terms.
A guardianship is a legal procedure to appoint a legally-responsible person (the "guardian") to make physical care and custody decisions on behalf of a person who is completely incapable of taking care of him or herself, whether due to a person's age, chronic alcohol or drug intoxication, physical or mental infirmity, or some other reason. A court cannot appoint a guardian unless it finds by clear and convincing evidence that the person is not competent to care for themselves, and appointment of a guardian is necessary for the person's protection.
A conservatorship is a legal procedure to appoint a legally-responsible person (the "conservator") to make financial and property decisions on behalf of a person who needs assistance in taking care of his or her property, without which assistance the person's income and assets would be dissipated or wasted. A conservatorship can be imposed due to a person's age, chronic alcohol or drug intoxication, physical or mental infirmity, or some other reason, or simply because the person desires the help. There is no need for a court to find a person incompetent to have a conservatorship. A court can appoint a conservator if it finds by clear and convincing evidence that the person has income or assets, and these would be wasted or dissipated if a conservator is not appointed.
If you need help with a probate matter but you're not sure what, feel free to reach out for a complimentary 30-minute consultation. We'll figure out what you need together.