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When a person dies, his or her survivors will have to handle the administration of the estate. This includes filing federal and state tax forms on behalf of the estate, as well as transferring title of property to any beneficiaries. In Michigan, the probate court supervises the probate process, which includes the following:
- proving the validity of the will;
- appointing a legal representative to represent the decedent;
- itemizing and appraising the decedent’s property;
- paying outstanding debts and taxes, and
- distributing any remaining property.
Will Contests and Creditor’s Claims
Will contests occur when a person is unhappy with his or her share of the estate. This may happen when a child discovers that a parent had not updated the will to include a bequest to him or her, or the spouse of the deceased may discover that the decedent has bequeathed all his property to a former spouse. Additionally, if caretakers or other persons had improperly influenced the deceased to amend a will so that the estate is left to them instead of the deceased’s close friends or family members, the natural heirs may contest the will alleging that the amendment was obtained by undue influence or fraud.
If the deceased owes you money, you must file a creditor’s claim with the court within the prescribed time limits. You will have to indicate the amount that the deceased owes you, as well as provide proof supporting the creditor’s claim.