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Probate

  • A legal procedure that is supervised by the court to determine the validity of your will.
  • It affects some, but not all aspects of your estate.
  • Non-probate assets, like a life insurance policy, are paid directly to the beneficiary.

What exactly is probate?

Probate is the legal process that begins with a "petition" (a request) to open the estate and name a personal representative who is responsible for the administration of the deceased's property. The next step is when an official Notice of Creditors is printed in a local newspaper and Notice of Administration is sent to other involved parties. Creditors then have a set amount of time to file their claims from the first date of publication. Then the personal representative can pay the debt and distribute the remaining estate. Finally, a petition for discharge is filed, and the estate is closed.

How it works:

Upon your death, your will is filed with the probate court and its validity determined. All property, debts, and claims of the estate are inventoried and appraised. All valid claims of the estate are collected, and the remainder is distributed to beneficiaries according to the will.

© 2013 Kulas Law Offices | 250 Monroe Avenue NW, Suite 400 | Grand Rapids, MI 49503 | (616) 717-5797 | All Rights Reserved | Disclaimer | pmkulas@kulaslawoffice.com