Estate Planning


What is Probate?

This is the legal process to administer your estate and distribute your assets upon your death. Who your assets go to is determined by a will, if you left one, or according to Michigan’s intestacy laws. The court oversees the entire process to ensure that it is carried out according to the law.

What Assets are Involved?

Only certain assets are required to go through a probate court proceeding. Assets that have a joint owner, a designated beneficiary, or that are titled in the name of a trust will avoid probate. Your loved ones can also avoid probate for other assets by using appropriate transfer forms, for instance the Secretary of State has a transfer method for motor vehicles under a particular value.

The Probate Process:

Initially, for informal probate an application is filed with the county probate court. The court will appoint a personal representative to manage the estate. Interested parties, including beneficiaries and creditors, are notified about the probate proceedings. The personal representative compiles an inventory of the deceased’s assets, pays any debts, taxes, and administrative expenses from the assets of the estate, and accounts to the interested parties. Once all debts and expenses are settled, the remaining assets are distributed to the beneficiaries or heirs according to the guidelines of the will or to the family members from Michigan intestacy law.

Probates can also be supervised, with more involvement from the court, where the judge would oversee each aspect. Probates can also be contested where the court must determine if an individual has a legitimate challenge to the proceedings.

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What People Say About Us

Matt Ferri is a wonderful Attorney! He was very professional and makes you feel like family! The prices are good. Whether I call or send an email, Matt gets back very quickly. I would highly recommend him and his firm. I feel Matt is one of the best attorneys around.

Debbie Robinson

Matt has done a complete estate package for me including a Trust, a Will, a Power of Attorney, and instructions. I have been very pleased with his services and his thurogh coverage on all aspects of a Trust. The pricing was very reasonable and I like the fact that Matt has a yearly follow-up plan in place so the Trust will always be up to date. I would recommend Matt to anyone looking to protect their assets and to assure your property goes to who you want.

Al Phillips

Matt Ferri has been a huge help for my small business and my family trust. He helps make it easy to understand and follows up regularly to make sure our trust is always up-to-date. Highly recommended.

Brenda Loveday

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