Informal Probate - Estate

These are the basic instructions on what you will need to file regarding an informal probate, which is an estate over the amount of $25,000. At the bottom of this instruction page will be a list of forms that are required to be filed.

INFORMAL proceedings are probate proceedings in which there is very little Court involvement or supervision. INFORMAL proceedings are initiated by the filing of an Application and a $187.00 filing fee. The ORIGINAL Last Will & Testament, if there is one, must be filed at the time of the filing of the Application. A copy of the death certificate must also be filed. Only a person with priority may be appointed immediately upon the filing of the Application. If there are parties with higher or equal priority, Waivers must be obtained or Notice of Intent must be filed with the Court along with a Proof of Service.

The Testimony of Interested Parties must also be filed upon the filing of the Application. If there is a Will, Supplemental Testimony must also be filed.

An Acceptance of Appointment must also be completed by the proposed Personal Representative.

Notice To Creditors must be published one time in the local newspaper with a Proof of Publication sent to the Court. Notice To Known Creditors must be sent to any creditor that the Personal Representative is aware of.

Notice of Appointment and Duties of Personal Representative must be served upon all interested persons within 14 days of date of appointment. The personal representative must give the names of all heirs in an intestate estate and the names of all devisees in a testate estate to the Friend of the Court. The address for Friend of the Court is: 328 Washington Street, Traverse City, MI 49684.

Notice to Spouse of Rights of Election must be sent to a surviving spouse within 28 days from the date of appointment.

The Inventory must be either filed with the Court within 91 days of appointment or provide to the Court sufficient information to determine the inventory fee, and pay the inventory fee within one year from the date of appointment. If real estate is included in the inventory, a recent tax statement must be provided. Property value is 2 X the SEV.

Unless waived, a copy of the Account, including, but not limited to fiduciary fees and attorney fees charged to the estate, must be provided to all interested persons.

If the estate is not ready to be closed after 1 year, the Personal Representative must send to interested persons Notice of Continued Administration within 28 days after the anniversary date of the appointment.

When the estate is ready to be closed, the Sworn Statement To Close must be filed along with a Proof of Service.

If you feel that you will have problems in the procedure or that issues might arise that you are not able to understand, the Court strongly urges you to contact an attorney.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Court.

NOTE: The forms under the 'Required' column are required to be filed when you file an Informal Probate. There are other forms that may also be required to be filed when filing an Informal Probate, depending on the situation. These forms can be found in the 'Forms that may be required' column. If you have any questions or concerns about which forms to complete, please contact the probate court for further instructions.