When someone dies, the probate issues concerning his or her estate can be difficult and confusing. Likewise, guardianship or conservatorship can often be difficult for to understand. That is why it is important, when dealing with the probate court, that you hire an attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable on the subject. At Seglund Seglund Gabe Pawlak & Groth, PLC we have qualified probate attorneys that can assist you with all of your estate, guardianship or conservatorship needs as well as all other probate matters.
The Probate Court is the judicial system that takes care of all decedent estates, guardianships or conservatorships within a particular county. This court system takes care of all the legal action that is necessary when minors or adults with special needs, such as those with developmental disabilities, are in need of someone to act as their guardian for their care and custody or someone to act as conservator and manage their financial affairs. This court is also responsible for taking care of trusts, involuntary commitments and other miscellaneous issues that were not taken care of while the deceased individual was still alive. The probate court applies the law that is contained in Michigan’s Estates and Protected Individuals Code.
Probate is often referred to as the process of taking care of a decedent’s estate. A Decedent is a person who is no longer living. A personal representative is appointed by the probate court to take care of administering the decedent’s property that was left behind. This title was formerly referred to as an estate executor. If the decedent left a Will, that document will be presented to control the probate administration. If the decedent had no Will, then Michigan law will control how the estate passes.
A Conservator is a person who is appointed by the probate court to protect an individual’s assets and financial affairs, whether he or she is a minor or an adult, during the time of their incapacity. This is referred to as a Conservatorship. A Guardian is a person who is appointed by the court to handle the care, custody and control a minor or an adult who is either incapacitated or has a developmental disability (the Ward). The guardian possesses the power to make decisions on behalf of the ward regarding their medical care, housing situation or overall wellbeing.
Trusts can be a necessary, but sometimes confusing, part of estate planning. The attorneys and paralegals in our firm are here to help you understand the overall purpose of a trust and how it can benefit you. A trust can offer many benefits which include estate tax avoidance, probate avoidance, Medicaid planning and protection of beneficiaries, to name a few. Trust property is held in the trust name for the benefit of another (called the beneficiary). Trusts are created by individuals or couples (the settlers) normally through a written document that establishes the trust and sets forth the terms under which its assets will be handled during the life of the settlors and distributed after death to the beneficiaries. A trustee is named in the trust and serves as a fiduciary whose job is to oversee and administer the terms of the trust.
Within the past several years, the state of Michigan has adopted a new Trust Code that contains a series of default rules for the establishment and administration of trusts. We here at Seglund Gabe Pawlak & Groth, PLC understand these recent changes to the rules and can guide you on the correct path to assisting you with your Trust plans and amending your existing trust to take maximum advantage of the new Trust Code.
Our Probate attorneys have the knowledge and experience in all the different aspects of probate law that are needed in order to assist our clients with the preparation for, or the handling of, their loved ones final wishes. If you are in need of some assistance with a decedent’s estate, guardianship, conservatorship or trusts, feel free to contact Bruce R. Seglund, or any of his staff, in order to arrange an initial consultation at (248) 869-0030.