After a death in Michigan, most estates are settled in Michigan probate court. The probate court process can be a time consuming one. As you cope with a death, it can also be confusing to deal with the necessary legal steps that must be taken during probate proceedings.
You need to make sure you fulfill your obligations and protect your rights during probate. One of the best ways to do that is to get help. Biddinger, Bitzer & Estelle, PLLC offers assistance to those who have a role to play during the probate process. We can advise you, advocate for you, and help you get through probate as quickly and easily as possible.
Because different people have different roles to play during the probate process, you may be wondering if you need the services that our legal team can offer. The fact is, most people do need help during probate. Here are three of the individuals – or groups of individuals- who can benefit from legal help and who our firm can represent.
It is vitally important for an executor to get legal advice before going to Michigan probate court. The executor has the most complicated technical responsibilities during probate. Some of the many things an executor must do include:
- Filing forms with the probate court.
- Getting appointed executor by the probate court (the will names an executor, but the court actually has to officially appoint the executor to the role).
- Providing notice of probate to heirs or beneficiaries.
- Taking care of the estate assets during probate.
- Notifying creditors of probate, and taking steps to collect debts owed to the estate.
- Addressing all required tax issues during probate.
- Facilitating the transfer of assets to the new owners, which could involve changing titles and deeds.
- Taking responsibility for defending the will against a will contest
Obviously, with so many important and highly technical tasks, an executor should get the proper legal help to ensure he or she can fulfill his role. An executor has a fiduciary duty, so failure to live up to his obligation has serious consequences.
Heirs or Beneficiaries
Heirs or beneficiaries actually don’t have as much responsibility as an executor in most cases. However, they have a lot more at stake. If your inheritance is the one on the line during the probate process, it just makes sense for you to have a lawyer who can protect your interests.
When an estate works its way through probate court, Biddinger, Bitzer & Estelle, PLLC can provide assistance to heirs and beneficiaries in understanding how probate works, in ensuring the executor is living up to his or her duties, and in making certain that the process moves forward as quickly as it can.
Anyone Contesting a Will
There are times when a will was made under conditions of duress or because the person who created the will was defrauded. There are other circumstances when a person may have made a will even though he was not of sound mind any more.
When a will was made under inappropriate conditions- like when the creator is under duress- it shouldn’t be probated as a valid will. A interested party who does not believe that the will is a valid one can go to probate court and contest the will, but it will be up to the person contesting the will to provide evidence.
Making a strong case to show a will is not valid can be complicated. You need to ensure that you have the right legal help to put together the best possible arguments to contest the will. Our firm can help you to identify the arguments to make and to present the strongest case you can so you can fight to ensure an invalid will doesn’t deprive the deceased of his true legacy.
Finding the Right Lawyer to Represent You in Michigan Probate Court
Biddinger, Bitzer & Estelle, PLLC can provide invaluable help in Michigan probate court to executors or estate administrators who take on the difficult, important task of seeing a will through probate. If you stand to inherit, our legal team will also help you to ensure the probate process is going as smoothly as possible so your inheritance is safe. Finally, if you believe a will isn’t a true reflection of the wishes of the deceased, our legal team is here to help you prove why the will should not be declared valid.
To discover more about how our Michigan probate lawyers can help you, whatever your role is during probate, join us for a free seminar. You can also contact us online or call us today at (989) 872-5601 for personalized advice throughout the entirety of the estate planning or probate process. Call today so our legal team can get to work for you.