What Is Small Estate Probate And Why Should You Care?

Posted by smith clea on August 8th, 2022

You’ve heard the term probate thrown around, but what exactly does it mean? If you’re confused about the meaning and importance of small estate probate, we can clear up your confusion in this article.

Whether you are an executor or are being asked to be an executor, knowing how to handle small estate probate properly can be crucial to you and your loved ones. 

Let’s take a look at what small estate probate is and why it matters to you.

What Is Small Estate?

When a person dies, their assets must go through the process of probate before they can be distributed to the beneficiaries. 

Small estate probate is a streamlined version of this process that is available when the deceased person's assets are valued at less than a certain amount.

Generally, it is less than ,000. 

This process is generally quicker and simpler than regular probate, and can often be done without the help of an attorney.

Introduction To Small Estate Probate

If you die without a will or other estate planning documents in place, your assets will go through the probate process. 

Small estate probate is a simplified version of this process that's available in some states for estates valued at less than a certain amount. 

While it's not right for everyone, it can be a good option if you want to avoid the time and expense of traditional probate. 

For example, there are no formal court proceedings or attorney fees with small estate probate. Instead, most people handle these matters themselves.

How To File Small Estate Probate In Michigan

The process of probating a small estate in Michigan is relatively simple. 

The first step is to file a petition with the probate court in the county where the decedent resided at the time of their death. 

Once the petition is filed, the court will issue an order appointing a personal representative to oversee the administration of the estate. 

At this point, the estate’s assets must be collected and documented so that they can be transferred to heirs or beneficiaries. Some of these assets may include:

  • property (real or personal),
  • stocks or bonds,
  • life insurance policies,
  • annuities,
  • bank accounts, and
  • retirement funds.

A list of all assets must be submitted to the court within 60 days after appointment as a fiduciary (personal representative).

How To Avoid Probate When Someone Dies?

No one likes to think about what will happen after they die, but it's important to have a plan in place in case the worst happens. 

One way to avoid leaving your loved ones with a headache is to set up a small estate probate

This allows your assets to be distributed without going through the traditional probate process. It can be costly and time-consuming. 

If this sounds like something that might work for you, talk to an attorney who specializes in these matters. 

They'll help walk you through the steps and make sure everything goes smoothly when it comes time for them to handle all of your affairs. 

With many other types of estates, like living trusts or joint property agreements, there are still things you'll need to take care of yourself. 

With small estate probate, however, there are no more worries on your end.

About The Author

Clea Smith is a USA-based author on Legal issues related to estate planning, will & trust, business law, and elder law. Clea Smith does her best writing on these topics that help users to find the best solutions to their FAQ on estate planning attorney, probate, living trust vs will, and more about legal family issues.

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smith clea
Joined: February 6th, 2020
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