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Cost of Probate in Michigan

Curious about the cost of probate in Michigan? Read our guide that covers everything about Michigan probate fees.

Byron Ricardo Batres

Byron Ricardo Batres, @ByronBatres

General Manager, Probate, Trust & Will

Probate is the formal, legal process that appoints a Personal Representative (Executor) to oversee the distribution of an estate after a decedent's death. The Personal Representative is responsible for paying all taxes and debts the estate may owe, and then transferring asset ownership to the new beneficiaries and heirs. The average cost of probate in Michigan will vary based on a number of factors, including:

  • The size of the estate and how complicated it is

  • Whether or not anyone plans to contest the Will

  • What Estate Plans are valid

  • Whether or not a probate attorney is retained 

  • Etc. 

[Need help with probate? We offer helpful probate services and will work with you to find the plan that meets your needs. Learn more.]

Common Probate Fees in Michigan

Despite the fact that probate fees in Michigan can differ, there are some costs you can pretty much bank on needing to pay. 

  • Court/Filing fees  

  • If you use one, attorney fees  

  • Appraisal, Land Survey and Accounting fees

  • Executor fees/compensation - Michigan is a reasonable compensation state

  • Executor/Probate Bonds (if required; not always necessary)

  • Etc.

Common Questions About Probate in Michigan

How Long Does Probate Take in Michigan?

In very simple cases, or for unsupervised probate, the process could last at least seven months. Sometimes it can take a year or longer.

What is UPC in Michigan?

The Uniform Probate Code (UPC) has been adopted by 18 states (including Michigan). The code tried to create a universal probate process, but it has failed to really make things any easier. The UPC dictates there are three types of probate proceedings:

  • Informal

  • Unsupervised

  • Supervised formal 

How Much Does a Probate Lawyer Cost in Michigan?

Probate attorney fees in Michigan depend on the specific details of the estate and how complicated the proceedings will be. Attorney fees in the state can cost anywhere from four to eight percent of the estate value.

How to Avoid Probate in Michigan

There are a handful of ways to avoid probate in the state of Michigan.

  • Establish a Revocable Living Trust

  • Check your beneficiaries are named and up-to-date

  • Use Joint Ownership to title property and assets

  • Gift property while you are alive

  • Create a Lady Bird Deed

Finally, small estates in Michigan might be able to avoid probate if they don’t meet a certain threshold. 

What is Considered a Small Estate in Michigan?

In Michigan you can use a summary probate procedure or an Affidavit. The summary probate procedure could work for estates valued at less than $15,000. The Affidavit procedure can be used only if the estate does not have any real property and the entire value equals less than $15,000. To use the Affidavit process, there is a 28-day wait period.

Who Pays Probate Fees in Michigan?

Many people wonder about how probate is paid. Keep in mind that all the fees and costs, including probate lawyer fees in Michigan, can be covered using funds from the estate.