Estate Contests

Estate Contests

If you feel the need to contest an estate, allow 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.  

Michigan Probate

Estate contests are considered a part of probate litigation. These court hearings typically take place after the death of loved one and can last anywhere between several months and a year. In Michigan, a person is named as the personal 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  

Contesting Process 

There are several different paths to take when involved in estate contests. Together, we can gather evidence for: 
  • Coercion 
  • 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.   
  • Fraud 
  • In this path, an attorney will need to prove that the party was dishonest in order to gain an advantage.  
  • Mental Incapacity  
  • If the party was not deemed to be in a stable, conscious state of mind, a case for mental incapacity may be present, noting that chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s do not qualify.  
  • Improper Execution 
  • 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.   
  • Forgery  
  • 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 set, 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. Instead, it would be considered an affidavit. If a probate court is necessary for a small estate, the assets can be distributed to the surviving spouse, family, or designated heir.  

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