Probate Topics

What is Probate?

Probate Court is a division of the Circuit Courts of the State of Michigan responsible for proceedings involving wills, trusts, estates, guardianships, conservatorships, divorce, child custody, child support, and mental health actions. The probate court is an essential part of the social safety net that helps to protect the health, safety, and individual rights of minors, the elderly, and other vulnerable individuals. 

What Types of Actions Are Brought in Probate Court?

Many types of actions to protect individuals and their property are brought in Probate Court. These can include, for example:


  • Decedent Estates: administration of the estates of persons who die leaving a will (testate estate), or persons who die without a will (intestate estate).
  • Trusts: administration of trusts, including appointment, supervision, or removal of a trustee; actions for accountings and information to be provided to interested persons; actions to construe trust provisions; actions to approve settlements and distributions; and other actions necessary to administer a trust under its terms.
  • Guardianships: A guardianship is a legal procedure to appoint a legally-responsible person (the "guardian") to make physical care and custody decisions on behalf of a person who is completely incapable of taking care of him or herself, whether due to a person's age, chronic alcohol or drug intoxication, physical or mental infirmity, or some other reason. A court cannot appoint a guardian unless it finds by clear and convincing evidence that the person is not competent to care for themselves, and appointment of a guardian is necessary for the person's protection. 
  • Conservatorships. A conservatorship is a legal procedure to appoint a legally-responsible person (the "conservator") to make financial and property decisions on behalf of a person who needs assistance in taking care of his or her property, without which assistance the person's income and assets would be dissipated or wasted. A conservatorship can be imposed due to a person's age, chronic alcohol or drug intoxication, physical or mental infirmity, or some other reason, or simply because the person desires the help. There is no need for a court to find a person incompetent to have a conservatorship. A court can appoint a conservator if it finds by clear and convincing evidence that the person has income or assets, and these would be wasted or dissipated if a conservator is not appointed.
  • Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, and Mental Health proceedings: These types of actions in Michigan are brought in the Probate Court. Note however, these areas of law are not areas in which Crossroads Legal, PLLC currently serves clients. If you are in need of an attorney in one of these areas of law, please ask us: we can provide you a referral to several qualified attorneys in the area that you can talk to and choose from.

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Probate FAQs

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