If you lost a loved one, having to sort out the details of their estate can be emotional, confusing, and overwhelming. Ager Law Office provides probate and estate administration services throughout Washtenaw County to help families with all the complexities involved in the probate process. Offering a full range of legal services, Michigan probate attorney Bill Ager handles a full range of probate matters and estate administration including opening estates to have a personal representative appointed, and ensuring the estate's assets are distributed according to the will or trust —or Michigan law if there is no will.
Having served the Ann Arbor community and surrounding areas for more than thirty years, Bill has the experience and knowledge necessary to advise clients on all matters related to the Michigan probate process and estate administration. He holds a Certificate for Probate and Estate Planning from the State Bar of Michigan and the Institute for Continuing Educations.
Michigan probate laws deal with the handling of a person's assets and property when they pass away. Navigating the legal requirements of the probate process can be complicated, and it's critical to have the guidance of an experienced attorney. Bill helps families determine whether it’s necessary to open an estate and if so, the type of probate administration that is needed and the amount of assistance required to administer it.
The first thing to do in the probate process is to determine whether or not your loved one left behind a will. If the deceased left behind assets that need to be distributed, it is often necessary to open an estate with the local probate court. If an estate is opened, the probate court will appoint a personal representative who will have the authority to inventory the deceased person's assets, pay outstanding debts, and distribute the proceeds of the estate to the beneficiaries of the will, or by state law, if the deceased didn't leave a will. In addition, at various stages of the probate process, heirs and or beneficiaries will have to be notified about the administration of the estate.
Whether a person passes away with or without a will or with all of their property in a trust, an experienced attorney who focuses on probate matters can be a valuable resource. Bill can assist with all aspects of the Michigan probate process, including:
Bill Ager is a skilled and experienced probate attorney who regularly appears in the Washtenaw County Courts, drawing upon decades of experience and knowledge. No matter what probate or estate administration questions or concerns you have, Ager Law Office is dedicated to providing high-quality counsel and superior legal services for those going through the Michigan probate process.
Ager Law Office has been serving as a trusted Ann Arbor probate lawyer who has assisted families with wills, trusts, probate, and estate administration matters since 1982. Ensuring that every matter gets the attention it deserves, Bill provides comprehensive guidance and advice for all aspects of probate and estate administration.
Ager Law Office offers a wide range of probate and estate administration services, as well as estate planning services, at reasonable flat fees for clients throughout Washtenaw County, including Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Saline, Chelsea, and Dexter. To schedule a consultation with Bill, call (734) 649-0784, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or use our online contact form.
With respect to the probate process, what is the first thing to do when a family member passes away?
This is a very critical time of the probate process and one of the first steps should be to determine if the family member left a will or a trust. If there is a will, it should be located and kept in a safe place until a decision is made about whether it is necessary to open an estate with the probate court.
If a deceased person’s will is located, it must be submitted with a probate court petition in order to open an estate. If a trust was left, it should be located and the trustee or successor trustee notified. At this point, it is wise to consult with an experienced attorney about what are the next steps.
Is it always necessary to open an estate with the probate court when a family member passes away?
If all the assets of the deceased person were held jointly with another person or if the deceased person had a trust, it may not be necessary to open an estate with the probate court. In addition, there are certain non-probate assets, such as assets from a life insurance policy, that are paid directly to the beneficiary without going through the probate process.
Nevertheless, it is often necessary to open an estate with the local probate court if the deceased person left assets behind that needed to be distributed according to a will or, if no will was left, according to state law.
The primary reason for opening an estate with the probate court is to have the court appoint a personal representative who will have the authority to inventory the deceased person’s assets, pays the outstanding debts and distribute the remaining proceeds of the estate to either the beneficiaries of a will or, if there is no will, to the heirs according to state law.