Depending on circumstances, when someone dies in Michigan, his or her estate may have to go through probate, which is the process involved in authenticating a will and transferring assets to certain people. Whether an estate must go through probate depends on certain circumstances. Also, even if an estate does have to go through probate, not all assets must go through the process.
Per the State Bar of Michigan, there are two main circumstances under which an estate must go through probate.
When an estate has to go through probate
First, an estate has to go through probate when someone dies and owns property in only his or her name. Second, an estate must go through probate when someone dies and the deceased individual was set to inherit property or assets sometime later on.
What assets are exempt from probate
Not all of a deceased individual’s assets have to go through probate. There are three specific types of assets that do not. The first is any property co-owned with someone else, as it then becomes the property of the surviving owner. The second is property for which the decedent already named a beneficiary, such as a retirement account with a beneficiary named. The third is when the decedent placed property into a trust. Many people choose to establish certain types of trusts, such as revocable living trusts because they know any assets they place inside bypass probate.
It is the duty of the personal representative to oversee probate and cover all bases when it comes to closing the estate. Sometimes, the decedent names a personal representative in his or her will. In other cases, the court may have to appoint someone to serve in the personal representative role.