If you feel the need to contest an estate, let Martin Foldie Law to stand with you and assist you in your legal battle. Our years of expertise and dedication make us the best option when handling your estate needs.
Estate contests fall under the purview of probate litigation. These proceedings typically take place following the death of loved one and can last anywhere between several months to over a year. In Michigan, a person who is named as the personal estate representative must be able to:
- Take inventory and gather the deceased’s belongings
- Appraise their assets
- Pay taxes and any outstanding debts
- Distribute the remaining property as outlined by either a will or the state
There are several different paths to take when involved in estate contests. Our attorneys will work closely with you to gather evidence that helps make a case for:
- In order to make a case for coercion, an attorney must be able to prove that there was an immediate threat of death or bodily injury that caused the party to act uncharacteristically.
- In this path, an attorney will need to prove that the party was dishonest in order to gain an advantage.
- If the party was not deemed to be in a stable, conscious state of mind, a case for mental incapacity may be made, noting that chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s do not qualify.
- An attorney can also examine evidence that might prove that the designation of the estate has been carried out improperly in regards to the original party’s intent.
- If there is reasonable belief that the argued document has been forged, an attorney can gather the evidence and make a case proving its inauthenticity.
Once a path has been decided upon, there are several options to take in order to successfully complete your legal battle. The first option is to go directly to a probate court. These courts have specific rules and regulations in order to make the process go as smoothly as possible. The second option is to opt for mediation rather than a court hearing to argue the contested estate.
Michigan Probate Court
In Michigan, estates are considered either small or large. This difference allows the probate courts to process smoothly and with specific rules. For example, if an estate is valued at less than $15,000, the estate is considered small and would not have to enter into the probate court system. If a probate court is necessary for a small estate, the assets can be distributed to the surviving spouse, family, or designated heir.