Probate and Estate Administration

Probate and Estate Administration

If your loved one has passed away and you are faced with the prospect of sorting out the details of the estate, Bill Ager can help. Bill works with all aspects of the probate process, from opening an estate, identifying beneficiaries, distributing an estate’s assets according to the will or trust or, if there is no will, according to state law.

Probate laws deal with the handling of a person’s assets and property when he or she passes away. Probate laws and the requirements for opening and administering an estate can be complex. An experienced attorney should at least be consulted to determine if an estate needs to be opened and if so, the amount of help that will be needed to administer the estate. Bill Ager has the experience to help you with this process for a reasonable flat fee. Bill has received a Certificate for Probate and Estate Planning from the State Bar of Michigan and the Institute for Continuing Educations.

Areas of service include:

  • Probate and Estate Administration
  • Contested Estate Proceedings
  • Conservatorships
  • Guardianships

Contact Bill Ager at (734) 649-0784 or at bill@agerlawoffice.com for more details on reasonable flat fees for these services: 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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.

About Bill

Bill Ager's Profile Image
Born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Bill Ager graduated from the University of Michigan and then served in the U.S. Army. He graduated from the Defense Language Institute and worked at the Army’s Freedom of Information Center in Washington… Read More

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