Probate Estates

Probate is a court procedure by which a will is proved to be valid or invalid. Today, we use the term "probate" to describe the process of distributing assets to beneficiaries or heirs through a procedural administration by the court. If there is a will, this is referred to as a Testate Estate. If no will has been left by the decedent, then the decedent’s property will descend by Intestate Succession.

probate attorney

Probate Specialists

If real estate and/or assets in excess of $18,000 are involved, Probate Administration is required with the appointment of a Personal Representative, the publication of Notice to Creditors, the filing of Inventories, and Accountings with the Court. The Court will enter an Order of Discharge of the Personal Representative once the Personal Representative has completed the administration and fulfilled his/her fiduciary duties.

Michigan probate law also allows for a small estate procedure, at a lower cost to the families, depending on the value and type of asset. Small estates are generally used to collect the money left in a decedent’s bank account when there was no joint owner or beneficiary listed on the account.

Probate Litigation

There are many types of cases that end up in litigation in the Probate Court.  Our office represents both fiduciaries and beneficiaries in the event that there are disputes and or discrepancies in the administration of a particular estate.  These matters can include interpretation of Trust language, Will and Trust contests involving lack of capacity, undue influence, forgery, improper execution, and tortious interference with an inheritance.

Audra B. Woods represented the family of Leonard Doman, whose caregiver assisted him during a period of incapacity in changing his Last Will and Testament, executing a Quit Claim Deed, and changing ownership of all of his bank accounts to herself.  This undue influence and conversion case went up to the Michigan Court of Appeals and was affirmed on all but the Fraud count.  Find the Full Court Opinion here. Our efforts paid off in this Macomb Elder Care case.

Months after the civil litigation, the caregiver made the plea agreement with the Macomb County Circuit Court in Mount Clemens on the day she was scheduled to go on trial on a charge of embezzlement of more than $20,000 from a vulnerable adult, a crime that’s punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Most issues regarding probate are time-sensitive and may need immediate attention. The Woods Law Office is very experienced in all areas of probate law and we are in touch with all of the sensitive matters surrounding probate estates.

Eldercare Accredited Attorneys

We can assist you in all of your long term care planning needs:

  • Asset protection and management
  • Elder law
  • Elderly crisis management
  • Elder abuse: physical, mental, emotional, and financial exploitation
  • Estate administration and disputes (will contests and probate)
  • Estate planning - wills and trust attorneys
  • Guardianships
  • Long term care planning
  • Medicaid planning
  • Power of Attorney
  • Designation of patient advocate
  • Revocable and irrevocable living trusts
  • Maximization of income and assets
  • Make an application for governmental benefits
  • Veteran's Aid and Attendance Benefit
  • Understand what to do after a loved one passes away

Successfully planning for the long-term care of either yourself, your spouse, or an aging parent brings with it a sense of relief and liberation from the uncertainty of what may happen in the years ahead. At Woods Law Offices, our experience and thorough working knowledge of all aspects of long-term care planning allow us to help you make the arrangements that best fit your circumstances and give you peace of mind for the future. Please call 586.532.8970 today to schedule a consultation or click here for more contact information.  Please indicate your status as a UAW or FOP member.

Get Assistance from the Best Elder Care Attorney Michigan

The Woods Law Office focuses on all areas of Michigan elder law. Contact your Michigan Elder Law Attorneys today by calling (586) 532-8970 to learn how we can help. Our office is located in Shelby Township, Macomb County, Michigan.