PETITION FOR APPOINTMENT OF CONSERVATOR FILING FEE: $175.00

Download and print out the Application Form (PC 639)  

You may need the form for the Acceptance of Appointment (PC 571

Please type or print neatly in black or blue ink. Items A through S must be read and filled in (when required) before your petition can be filed with the court. Please read the instruction for each item. Then fill in the correct information for that item on the form.

(A) Enter the full legal name of the individual who you believe needs a conservator.

(B) Enter your full legal name in the first line. Enter your relationship to the individual (or your interest) in the second line.

(C) Enter the date the individual was born; what county the individual is a resident of; the address of the place where the individual normally lives, and the county the individual's property is in.

(D) Check this box if there is or has been a case in the family division of the circuit court involving the individual in (A). Examples of a family division case are personal protection, abuse or neglect, or a name change. If you have checked this box, enter the name of the court, the case number of the action, the name of the judge assigned to that case. Then place a check in the box indicating whether that case is still pending or not.

(E) Check the boxes that apply and provide the name(s) and address (es). If the individual has a power of attorney and you have a copy of the document, make a copy for the court.

(F) Check the boxes that you believe apply to the individual.

(G) Explain in as much detail as possible the specific facts about the individual's conduct or condition that lead you to believe he or she needs a conservator. Give specific examples of his or her conduct that supports what you checked in (F) and that demonstrate the need for a conservator. This information is extremely important for the court in making a decision about the need to appoint a conservator. If you are the guardian asking for authority to sell or otherwise dispose of your ward's real property, state the reasons why it is in the ward's best interest to do so.

(H) Specify the approximate value of any real property, personal property, insurance, and monthly income of the individual. An example of real property is a house. Examples of personal property are home furnishings, bank accounts, and checking accounts.

(I) Check whether the individual is currently receiving benefits from governmental agencies and the amount(s).

(J) - (K)  Check all the boxes that apply and enter the names, relationships, addresses and telephone numbers of each relative of the individual. If any of the adults named in (J) are under legal incapacity, enter the names in (K). 

(L) Enter the address where the individual is currently located. This address may or may not be the home of the individual. For example, if the individual is currently in the hospital, enter the name and address of the hospital.

(M) If there is an emergency that requires that a preliminary protective order be entered before the hearing, enter the reason(s).

(N) Enter the name, address, and telephone number of the person you want to be appointed as conservator of the individual. Enter the relationship, if any, that this person has to the individual. If you are the guardian asking for authority to sell or otherwise dispose of your ward's real property, leave this blank and complete.

(O) Check this box only if you checked (M).

(P) Check this box if you want the individual's property protected but you do not want a conservator appointed.

(Q) Check this box if you want the guardian appointed special conservator to dispose of real property.

(R) Enter today's date, sign your name, and enter your address and telephone number.

(S) If the individual wants to nominate someone to be the conservator, check the box and enter the name, address, and telephone number of the person the individual is nominating. The individual must sign and date the form

WILLS FOR SAFEKEEPING

Wills

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Wills - a written instrument whereby a person makes a disposition of his or her property to take effect after his or her death.

 Testator - A person who has made a will.

 Wills held for safekeeping:  For a $25.00 fee, a testator may deposit a will with the court for safekeeping.  The will must be in a sealed envelope, on which must be written the testator’s full name, date of birth, address, and social security number.

 During the testator’s lifetime, the will is not a public record and may only be removed by the testator or by his/her designee.  Designees must use the Authorization to Release Will held for Safekeeping (PC 548).

 After the testator’s death, a will may be deposited with the court at no charge, provided a copy of the death certificate is filed.  Upon filing of a death certificate, the will becomes a public record and the court will retain the original will.  Copies of the will may be obtained for $1.00 per page.  

INVOLUNTARY MENTAL COMMITTMENTS

Involuntary Commitment of an Individual with Mental Illness

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Lapeer Probate Court requires you to start with

Lapeer County Community Mental Health

1505 Suncrest Drive

Lapeer, Michigan 48446

810-667-0500 

They will assist in the process and completing documentation and if the indivudal is in need of an assessment and treatment.

The Probate Court assists with mentally ill patients when a Petition/Application for Hospitalization  (PCM 201) is filed with the Court requesting a transport order for an individual to be examined by a physician or licensed psychologist. A Supplemental Petition for Application for Hospitalization and Order for Examination (PCM 209) is also required to be executed by the Petitioner.

If the Court receives a Petition/Application for Hospitalization (PCM201) and 2 Clinical Certificates (PCM 208) from a hospital, an attorney is appointed to represent an individual who is the subject of the Petition for the Court proceedings.  The attorney will assist the individual in understanding their rights and process.  The individual may defer and agree to the commitment to the hospital or request a hearing of which shall be set within 7 days of filing of the petition.

Estates under $22,000 -   all of the real and personal property owned by the decedent has a total value equal to or less than the sum of the following: (1) the funeral expenses; plus (2) $22,000.  Upon presentation of a petition and payment of the filing fee, the probate court may order that the funeral expenses be paid, if they have not been paid, or that the person who paid them be reimbursed.  The balance of the property will be assigned to the surviving spouse, or if none, to the decedent's heirs under Michigan's law of intestate succession.  No court hearing is held.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR FILING A PETITION AND ORDER FOR ASSIGNMENT OF AN ESTATE UNDER $22,000

  • A funeral bill marked "Paid" which show the amount paid and who paid it.  If the funeral bill is not paid, you must have a copy of the bill showing the amount due;

  • A copy of the death certificate showing the residence at the time of death is Lapeer County;      
  • A completed petition (PC 556)  typed or printed legibly in blue ink;  

  • The completed petition (PC 556) must show the value of all assets as of the date of death; 

  • List all information about the assets that is available.  For bank accounts, show the name of the bank, the account number(s), and the balance at the time of death.  For stocks and bonds, show the name of the corporation, number of shares, price per share, and total value.

PLEASE NOTE:  If the only asset to probate is a motor vehicle (i.e.: automobile, truck, motorcycle, boat, mobile home, etc.) the Secretary of State office may be able to transfer the asset directly to the entitle heirs without the need of an Order of the court. 

Estates and Trusts:   FEES   
Small Estate $22,000 or less (plus inventory fee & order fee)  $25.00
Petition for Commencement of Proceedings $175.00
Petition to Reopen a Closed File  $175.00
Civil Action (summons and complaint) $175.00
Inventory  -–No fee for filing –-An inventory fee, set by MCL 600.871 is due with the final account or within one year of commencement, whichever occurs first.
Account (any type: annual, amended, final, interim, supplemental, including account with zero receipts and disbursements) $20.00
Claims (statement and proof)  $20.00
Each Additional Petition, Motion, Objection or other Paper, no matter how titled, which requests relief or requires a hearing or ruling of the court $20.00
Proceedings Involving Testamentary or Inter Vivos Trusts:
Initiating a Proceeding Involving a Testamentary Trust $175.00
Petition to Commence a Proceeding Relating to an Inter Vivos Trust  $175.00
Registration of Trust $25.00 
Each Additional Petition, Motion, Objection or other Paper, no matter how titled which requests relief or requires a hearing or ruling of the court. $20.00
Conservatorship/Guardianship of Estate:
Petition for Conservator/Protective Order $175.00
Account (any type: annual, amended, final, interim, supplemental) $20.00
Civil Action $175.00
Motions in Civil Actions $20.00
Any Petition if the subject of the proceeding is the Petitioner No Fee
Each Additional Petition, Motion, Objection or Paper, no matter how titled which requests relief or requires a hearing or ruling of the court $20.00
GUARDIANSHIPS (Legally Incapacitated Persons & Minors):
Petition for Full or Limited Guardianship $175.00
Annual Report on Condition of Ward No Fee
Each Additional Petition, Motion, Objection or other Paper, no matter how titled, which requests relief or requires a hearing or ruling of the court. $20.00
GUARDIANSHIP (Developmentally Disabled):  
Petition for partial or Plenary Guardianship NO FEE
Annual report on Condition of Person with Developmental Disability NO FEE
Certified Letters of Guardianship $11.00
OTHER Specific Proceedings:
Petition to Open Safe Deposit Box $10.00
Wills Filed for Safekeeping $25.00
Performing a Marriage $10.00
Delayed Registration of Foreign Birth $175.00
GENERALLY APPLICABLE PROCEDURES:
Demand for Jury Trial $30.00
Motion to Change Venue $20.00
Answer, Brief, Response No Fee
Motion to Show Cause $20.00
Amended Petition (any kind) $20.00
COPY FEES (Certified or Exemplified Copies)
Letters of Authority $11.00
Certified Copies of any Other Paper
  -- Certification $10.00
  -- Each Additional Page or per page cost for non-certified copies     $1.00

LAPEER COUNTY PROBATE COURT

HONORABLE JUSTUS C. SCOTT
PROBATE JUDGE
255 CLAY STREET
LAPEER, MICHIGAN 48446
810-667-0261

What is Probate Court?
Probate Court has jurisdiction over the administration of estates of deceased persons and matters pertaining to trusts. The Court also hears cases pertaining to guardianships and conservatorships for incapacitated adults, minors, and individuals with developmental disabilities. The Court also hears petitions for the involuntary hospitalization and treatment of persons with mental illness. The Probate Court follows the rules outlined in the Estates and Protected Individuals Code (EPIC) that took effect on April 1, 2000, and the Michigan Mental Health Code. In addition, the Court also handles miscellaneous issues that include unpublicized marriages, delayed registration of foreign birth, and Drain Appeals.

       WHEN IS PROBATE REQUIRED?

Generally speaking, probate is only necessary when a person dies leaving property in his or her own name (such as a house titled only in the name of the decedent) or having rights to receive property (such as wrongful death claim or a debt owed to the decedent).  However, not all property in which the decedent has an interest will be subject to probate.  There are 4 kinds of property which pass to a new owner on death without going through probate.  Note that personal representatives must file a letter of authority annually and remit the inventory fee in the first year.  If the letter is not updated annually the case will be administratively closed.  A $100 fee will be required to reopen the case.

READ BELOW TO DETERMINE WHICH TYPE OF ESTATE WOULD BEST SUIT YOUR NEEDS: 

a.    Unsupervised - Informal probate - permits the Personal Representative (PR) to act in a manner independent of court intervention unless supervision is requested by the PR or an interested person (such as an unpaid creditor or an estate beneficiary).  This form of administration is generally preferred unless there is a specific reason to request the court’s supervision of the estate.  In addition, because there is less court involvement, unsupervised administration offers some privacy for the decedent's family, as fewer details concerning the estate's administration will be in the court file and available for inspection by the public and the media.

b.    Supervised - Formal probate  - requires the probate court's review and approval of much of the estate activities.  For example, in supervised administration the court would be required to (i) approve the sale of the decedent's real estate (unless the decedent's will authorizes the PR to do so), (ii) authorize the payment of PR and attorney fees, (iii) review the PR's accounting of all receipts and disbursements, and (iv) approve all distributions to heirs (people receiving property from the estate if there is no will) and devisees (people receiving property under a will).  While the court's involvement frequently adds to the time and expense of administering an estate, the court's supervision will likely afford greater protection to the PR and the other interested persons against losses and claims.

c.     Estate under $22,000 * -   all of the real and personal property owned by the decedent has a total value equal to or less than the sum of the following: (1) the funeral and burial expenses; plus (2) $22,000.  Upon presentation of a petition and payment of the filing and inventory fee, the probate court may order that the funeral and burial expenses be paid, if they have not been paid, or that the person who paid them be reimbursed.  The balance of the property will be assigned to the surviving spouse, or if none, to the decedent's heirs under Michigan's law of intestate succession.  No court hearing is held, no will is probated, and no personal representative is appointed.

d.     Affidavit of Decedent's successor for delivery of certain assets owned by decedent -   if an estate is under $22,000 in value, there is no real property, and it has been more than 28 days after a decedent's date of death, you may be able to use this form to present to an institution to obtain the funds (i.e., bank, stock company).

 

There are 4 kinds of property which pass to a new owner on death without going through probate. 

  1. Property which is owned by the decedent and another person as joint tenants with right of survivorship will pass automatically to the surviving joint owner without going through probate (except in the case of certain joint bank accounts which are established with another person who is to act as agent for the decedent). 
  2. Beneficiary designated properties (such as life insurance, pension benefits, and IRAs) are payable on death, without probate, to the beneficiary designated by the decedent (or, if none, as designated in the contract or plan itself).  
  3. Properties owned by a revocable trust do not go through probate but instead are disposed of after death in accordance with the instructions written into the trust document.  
  4. There are even some forms of property owned solely by the decedent which would otherwise require probate that are exempt in certain instances. Those notable exceptions include the following

a. Unpaid wages.  An employer in Michigan may pay the wages due a deceased employee to the employee's spouse, children, parents or siblings in that order unless the employee filed a request to the contrary with the employer. 

b. Cash up to $500 and wearing apparel. A hospital, convalescent or nursing home, morgue, or law enforcement agency in Michigan holding cash not exceeding $500 and wearing apparel of the decedent may deliver that property to the decedent's spouse, child, or parent who provides (i) suitable identification and (ii) an affidavit which states the person's relationship to the decedent and that there are no pending probate proceedings for the decedent's estate.

c. Traveler's checks.  Most issuing companies (such as American Express) will redeem unused travelers checks following the death of the owner without requiring the appointment of a PR on submission of the checks, a death certificate, and an appropriate affidavit by the next of kin indicating to whom payment should be made. 

d. Motor vehicle transfers.  If the combined value of one or more of the decedent's motor vehicles does not exceed $60,000 and there are no probate proceedings for the decedent's estate, registration of title may be transferred by the Michigan Secretary of State to the surviving spouse or next of kin upon submitting a death certificate, an affidavit of kinship, the vehicle's certificate of title, and certain other Michigan Secretary of State documents.

e. Watercraft transfers.  If the combined value of all of the decedent's watercraft does not exceed $100,000, and there are no probate proceedings for the decedent's estate, registration of title may be transferred by the Michigan Secretary of State to the surviving spouse or next of kin upon submitting a death certificate, an affidavit of kinship, and the certificate of title for the watercraft. 

          f.  Income tax refund claims.  These may be collected without probate by filing IRS or       Michigan Form 1310.      

                             g.  Transfer by affidavit.  Personal property with a value not exceeding $15,000 may be                                            transferred to a decedent’s successor by presenting a death certificate and an affidavit                                               stating who is entitled to the property.

Informal Probate is a method of administering an estate of a deceased individual without the intervention of the Probate Judge. The Probate Register handles all Independent Probate files. Since inventories and accounts are not required to be filed with the Court, Informal Probate preserves privacy. Administration of this type of estate should be simpler, faster, and less expensive.         

Estates must be administered by the Informal Personal Representative or an attorney representing the Personal Representative. The Court cannot give legal advice, therefore, employees cannot assist in administering the estate. Court employees can provide direction and forms which would be required to probate an estate.    

     

How to Start an Informal Probate Estate

ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS TO BE FILED:        

  • File the original Application for Informal Probate and/or Appointment of Personal Representative (PC 558).
    (NOTE:  File in the probate court in the county where the deceased individual resided) 
  • Testimony, Interested Persons (PC 565)  
  • Original Will (if testate) 
  • Consents of all interested persons or set for hearing if no will is available
  • Acceptance of Appointment   (PC 571) and Bond of Fiduciary   (PC 570) if required by the Will 

If there is a Will or Codicil involved, the original must be filed with the Probate Court. If there are issues which require the Judge’s ruling or order, you may file a Petition for Supervised Administration after Previous Adjudication (PC 560), along with a $20.00 filing fee to convert the estate to a Supervised Estate.

                             There are numerous documents which are required to be filed within the Court file in an Informal Estate. These documents are:

$175.00 filing fee payable to: Lapeer County Probate Court

  • Application for Informal Probate and/or Appointment of Personal Representative (PC 558). 
  • Testimony, Interested Persons (PC 565).
  • Acceptance of App(PC 571). 
  • Original Will and/or Codicil (if testate).
  • Proof of Service (PC 564) for Notice of Appointment and Duties of Personal Representative (PC 573). 
  • Proof of Service (PC 564) for Notice Regarding Attorney Fees (PC 576) (if an attorney is assisting in probating the estate).
  • Inventory (PC 577) (the original does not have to be filed, but it must be reviewed by the Probate Register to determine any inventory fee required).
  • Affidavit of Publication.
  • Sworn Statement to Close Unsupervised Administration (PC 591). 

The Notice to Creditors form (PC 574) must be completed and mailed to the local newspaper, along with the required publication fee. The Personal Representative shall publish notice in a local newspaper notifying creditors of the estate to present 

their claims within 4 months after the date of publication of the notice or be forever

barred. The earliest an estate can be closed is 5 months from the date of

commencement, provided the claims period of 4 months has elapsed.

Any Michigan estate or inheritance taxes shall be handled by the Personal Representative. The Lapeer County Probate Court does not handle any aspect of this requirement.

There may be other documents which may be required to be done depending on the nature of the assets or matters which need to be administered in each individual estate. The Court has other estate forms which may be helpful in assisting the administration of the estate.

 

 

Justus C. Scott
 
Family Court
     
Motion Day Mondays Domestic Docket 9:00 am
    PPO Docket 10:30 am
    Juvenile Docket 1:30 pm
Motion Day Tuesday Probate Docket 9 a.m.
    Criminal Docket 1 p.m.