WASHTENAW COUNTY <br>TRIAL COURT

Probate Court
101 East Huron St. - Rm 314, PO Box 8645
Ann Arbor, MI 48107-8645
(734) 222-3072
probate@ewashtenaw.org  

 

Small Estates

Michigan Compiled Law MCL 700.3982 states that a person wishing to file a small estate must provide evidence, satisfactory to the court, of payment of the expenses for the decedent's funeral and burial. Typically this can be done by filing the paid funeral or burial statement with the Probate Court office. Along with such evidence of payment the person should fill out and file a Petition and Order for Assignment (PC 556). The filing fee is $25 plus inventory fees.

If the Petition and Order for Assignment shows that the balance of a decedent's gross estate consists of property worth $18,000 or less, the Court may order that the property be turned over to the surviving spouse or, if there is not a spouse, to the decedent's heirs.  Before filing a petition please read How to file a Small Estate Petition.

If the Petition and Order for Assignment shows that the decedent's funeral or burial expenses are unpaid or were paid by a person other than the estate, and if the value of the estate after payment of the expenses would be less than $20,000, the Court must order that the property in the estate be first used to pay the unpaid funeral and burial expenses, or to reimburse the person that paid those expenses, and may then order that the balance be turned over to the surviving spouse or, if there is not a spouse, to the decedent's heirs.

Other than a surviving spouse or minor children of the decedent, an heir who receives property through an Order under this section is responsible, for 63 days after the date of the Order, for any unsatisfied debt of the decedent up to the value of the property received through the Order.

Currently the maximum value an estate can have and still qualify as a small estate is $20,000, however this amount could change on a yearly basis. For annual updates on this limit, visit the Michigan Department of Treasury website and view the cost-of-living adjustment factor.

MCL 700.3983 contains a very similar provision that may be used to distribute estates of this size when no real property is involved. 


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