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Understanding the Uniform Probate Code: Common Questions

17.02.2015 by Law Firm of Seglund Gabe Pawlak Groth & Kelley in Probate

Probate attorneys can help clients better understand and navigate the probate process under the Uniform Probate Code (UPC) which has now been adopted in many U.S. States, including Michigan.

The probate process can range from being very clean-cut and simple to a highly complicated legal procedure depending on the amount of planning and that exists in relevance to the deceased person’s estate and the level of cooperation between those who may have a claim on the estate. A professional probate lawyer can help families work through the details of the probate process in an organized manner to ensure all aspects of the process are carried out correctly and in a timely fashion.

In recent years, many states have adopted the Uniform Probate Code which outlines the probate process in a more standardized way. Drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on the Uniform State Laws, the act was developed to streamline, modernize and standardize the probate process when dealing with wills, trusts, intestacy and guardianship and conservatorship.

Is the Uniform Probate Code (UPC) adopted in all 50 states?

No, the UPC was originally adopted by just sixteen states. Since it was first created in 1969, additional states have adopted the code or parts of the code. It is important to contact a state office or probate attorney to see if your state is covered by the UPC. It is important to note that each state may have adopted certain parts of the code differently – including deadline or process details so it is still necessary to understand if or what unique specifications your state has made in regards to the UPC.

What parts of the probate process are governed by the UPC?

There are seven separate articles that outline laws for different parts of the probate process. These include:

  1. General Provisions, Definitions, and Probate Jurisdiction of Court
  2. Intestacy, Wills, and Donative Transfers
  3. Probate of Wills and Administration
  4. Foreign Personal Representatives and Ancillary Administration
  5. Protection of Persons under Disability and their Property
  6. Nonprobate Transfers on Death
  7. Trust Administration

If I am the named the personal representative of a will, where can I learn more about UPC requirements?

As the personal representative or executor of a will, you are responsible for administering the probate process. It is recommended that you contact a probate attorney or probate lawyer. They can offer professional advice on following through with the probate process to ensure you complete all necessary processes and adhere to specific laws, deadlines, and tax and documentation requirements If your state has not adopted the UPC, you are responsible for learning what specific probate laws govern the process in your state. Again, a probate attorney can be very helpful with this process.

How do I begin the probate process under the UPC? 

If you live in a UPC state, it is relatively simple to begin the probate process. However, each state may still have specific rules and regulations relating to UPC so it is imperative that you understand these variations within your own state or county. In addition, each state typically adopts certain approved forms to use in the probate process.

In general, within UPC states, there are three variations of the probate process. These include:

  • Informal
  • Unsupervised Formal
  • Supervised Formal

With each process, you will be required to file an application with the probate court, but you may or may not be required to actually appear in court for the proceedings.

Michigan Legal Solutions

image001Our experienced attorneys are committed to providing our clients with the guidance and support that they need to resolve their estate and probate issues. With over five decades serving clients in Southeastern Michigan, the attorneys of Michigan Legal Solutions (Seglund Gabe Quinn Elowsky & Pawlak, PLC) have the knowledge and resources to resolve your legal matters.

The laws pertaining to estates, administration of trusts, guardianship and other cases in Probate Court are complex and ever changing. Experienced legal counsel can help navigate the maze of procedures involved in handling a decedent’s estate, guardianship, conservatorship or trust. Contact our team today to set up an initial consultation.

Michigan Legal Solutions
28345 Beck Road, Suite 401
Wixom, MI 48393
Phone: (248) 869-0030
Fax: (248) 869-0039

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