Probate Lawyers for Grosse Point Park, MI

Probate Lawyers for Grosse Point Park, MI

Do you need help managing a deceased loved one’s estate in Grosse Point Park, Michigan? It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by your legal obligations when going through the complex, high-stakes probate process. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone, as an experienced probate lawyer with Bingham Legal Group can manage your duties on your behalf, allowing you to move forward without stress or worry. Contact us today for an initial case review with a knowledgeable probate law attorney and learn more about our legal services. 

Understanding Probate Law

Probate law in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, governs the court-supervised process by which families manage deceased loved ones’ estates and distribute their property following their deaths. In the probate process, an appointed individual gathers a deceased person’s assets, pays their remaining debts and taxes, and transfers the decedent’s assets to their heirs and beneficiaries.

Trusts and estates law also gives individuals and families options for managing their financial affairs and preparing for the future, such as establishing trusts, joint tenancies, or powers of attorney or making beneficiary designations. When disputes over a will, trust, or another estate planning tool arise, the law also determines heirs’ or beneficiaries’ rights. 

Types of Estate Planning and Probate Matters We Can Help You With

For decades, the estate planning attorneys Bingham Legal Group have assisted individuals and families in Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, with crafting tailored estate planning tools, including:

  • Wills: With a will, you can nominate people to administer your estate after your death and determine to whom you want to give your estate property. You can also use a will to nominate someone to serve as guardian of your children if both you and your partner or spouse pass away.
  • Trusts: Individuals and families frequently use trusts to manage and protect property and wealth. These instruments allow the passing of assets outside of probate. 
  • Powers of Attorney: You can use a durable power of attorney to select a trusted friend or family member to manage your affairs if you become incapacitated. 
  • Advance Care Directives/Living Wills/Healthcare Powers of Attorney: A healthcare power of attorney allows you to select a proxy to make medical decisions if you cannot do so yourself. You can also communicate your treatment and end-of-life care preferences through an advance care directive or living will. 
  • Beneficiary Designations: Beneficiary or TOD/POD designations allow you to identify people you want to own or control an account or receive funds from a financial account or insurance policy. 
  • Special Needs Trusts: With a special needs trust, you can protect a loved one who needs long-term care for physical or developmental disabilities by ensuring they have the financial resources to afford care. 
  • Medicaid/Long-Term Care Planning: Individuals can prepare for their final years by undertaking long-term care planning to meet Medicaid’s eligibility requirements or otherwise afford nursing home or assisted living care. 

probate law attorney from our firm can also help you and your family with estate and trust matters, such as:

  • Probate and estate administration
  • Probate litigation, including will contests, accounting, removals of personal representatives
  • Trust administration/litigation
  • Matters of guardianship/conservatorship

Why Choose Bingham Legal Group for Your Probate Needs?

Estate planning and probate can help you and your loved ones protect your wealth and prepare for the future. However, evaluating your family’s rights, options, and obligations can be overwhelming. Hiring seasoned estate planning and probate lawyers can give you the advice and information you need to make the best decisions for yourself and your family. For decades, families in Grosse Point, Michigan, have turned to Bingham Legal Group for estate administration legal assistance because of our:

  • Personalized attention: We’ll take the time to get to know you and understand your needs, goals, and concerns to create legal solutions and strategies tailored to you. You can expect to work directly with your attorney throughout your case so that you have the support you need. 
  • Flexibility: As a small firm, we can provide our clients with close support and take a collaborative approach to working on cases, giving our clients the benefit of our collective legal knowledge and experience. 
  • Efficient approach: Our attorneys can provide practical solutions without the unnecessary additional layers of cost that some larger law firms may impose. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Probate and Estate Planning

Here are the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about the probate process in Michigan.

What are the steps of the probate process in Michigan?

The probate process in Michigan involves several steps to ensure the orderly distribution of a deceased person’s assets. It begins with the filing of a petition in probate court to either admit the will to probate and appoint an executor or, if there’s no will, appoint an administrator. The next steps include notifying heirs and creditors of the estate proceedings, taking inventory and appraising the estate assets, and settling any outstanding debts and taxes owed by the estate.

Once these obligations are met, the executor or administrator seeks the court’s approval to distribute the remaining assets to the rightful heirs or beneficiaries according to the will or, in the absence of a will, according to Michigan’s intestacy laws. The final step involves filing a closing statement with the court, indicating that the assets have been properly distributed and closing the estate.

What property gets included in my estate?

Probate property includes most assets a deceased individual owned at death, including assets for which automatic succession (such as a beneficiary designation) failed. However, various types of assets do not get included in a probate estate, such as:

  • Property that an individual owns in a tenancy by the entirety or a joint tenancy with right of survivorship
  • Assets with valid beneficiary or transfer/pay-on-death designations
  • Assets that a decedent placed in a trust before their death.

How long does probate take?

In Michigan, the probate process typically takes at least six or seven months, although smaller estates with only a few thousand dollars of assets may take less time to probate. However, larger or more complex estates can take a year or longer to probate. Some of the factors that can affect the duration of the probate process include:

  • The size of an estate and the complexity of the assets
  • Whether any party launches a will contest to challenge the will’s validity
  • Whether the decedent died without a will
  • Whether the decedent left significant debts or whether the amount or liability for debts remains in dispute
  • Whether the estate owes any tax liabilities
  • Whether the decedent owned property outside of Michigan

How can I avoid probate?

You may have several avenues for passing your assets on to a loved one after your death while avoiding the time and expense of probate. First, you can put assets you want to keep out of probate into a trust and name the people you want to leave the property to as the trust’s beneficiaries. You may also place titled assets like real estate into a joint tenancy with right of survivorship or a tenancy by the entirety, which automatically passes ownership of the property to the surviving tenant(s). Finally, you can use beneficiary or transfer/pay-on-death designations with financial accounts or life insurance policies to automatically pass funds or benefits. 

Contact Our Estate Planning Attorneys Today

If you need help with estate administration and other probate matters, turn to Bingham Legal Group today. Contact our firm for legal consultation in probate matters to discuss your options and rights with a knowledgeable probate lawyer. 

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