Michigan Last Will and Testament

Michigan Last Will and Testament

Last updated September 11th, 2023

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Michigan last will and testament conveys an individual’s final wishes for their estate’s distribution. It appoints the personal representative responsible for carrying out the will’s instructions, including settling the estate’s debts, resolving claims, and distributing assets. When a will is created, the testator avoids having their estate subjected to state inheritance laws, and minimizes the potential of disputes between heirs.

Individuals must be 18 years or older and of sufficient mental capacity to draft a will.[1]

Probate Process in Michigan (5 steps)

An application to start the informal probate process (i.e., unsupervised by the court) must be sent within 28 days of the death of the testator (will creator). If after 28 days, no one applies, anyone with a claim to the estate or issue that would require probate can start the process.[4]

  1. Filing Application
  2. Accept Appointment
  3. Post Bond (If Applicable)
  4. File Inventory
  5. Notice to Creditors
  6. Close Estate

1. Filing Application

It’s not necessary for estates with a total value of $15,000 or less to go through probate; eligible estates may be distributed with an Affidavit of Decedent’s Successor for Delivery of Certain Assets Owned by Decedent.[6]

Wills are administrated through either formal or informal probate. Formal proceedings involve the court in settling disputes between interested parties. If there are no disputes, the more common informal probate process can be used.

To begin informal probate and appoint a personal representative, an interested person (e.g., an individual designated in the will, a beneficiary, or creditor) must file the following with the probate court of the county where the decedent lived:[7],[8]

If the applicant doesn’t have priority of appointment, they must file the below forms:

2. Accept Appointment

Once confirmation of the accepted Application has been received, the personal representative should complete and file the Acceptance of Appointment.[12] The court will execute a Register’s Statement and Letters of Authority of Personal Representative as well, giving the personal representative full authority to administer the estate.

3. Post Bond (If Applicable)

Anyone with an interest in the estate that is greater than $2,500 can demand that the personal representative post bond. The will can also state this demand.[13] If a demand is made, the personal representative must refrain from their duties until a bond is posted and the Bond of Fiduciary is filed.

If bond is not posted within 29 days of the demand, the personal representative may be discharged from their position.

4. File Inventory

The personal representative is responsible for filing the Inventory and providing copies to interested parties.[14] Based on the estate’s value as documented in the Inventory, the court will determine the inventory fee to be paid.[15]

The Inventory and Proof of Service with the served parties’ information must be submitted to the probate court within 91 days of the personal representative’s appointment.[16] The inventory fee must be paid before the estate’s closing or within one year of the appointment (whichever is sooner).

5. Notice to Creditors

After filing the Inventory and Proof of Service, the personal representative must deliver the following notices to the appropriate parties:

  • Account of Fiduciary – This form tracks the estate’s assets and transactions and must be served on interested parties and filed with the court.[17]
  • Notice to Friend of the Court – This form must be provided to a “Friend of the Court” (an entity advising the court).[18]
  • Notice of Appointment – This notice must be served on interested parties within 14 days of the personal representative’s appointment.[19]
  • Notice to Creditors – This document must be submitted to a local newspaper for publication.[20]
  • Notice to Known Creditors – The personal representative must serve copies of this form on known creditors and file the original with the court.
  • Notice of Continued Administration –This form must be filed yearly within 28 days of the appointment date’s anniversary if the estate has been open for over a year.[21]

A Proof of Service demonstrating that the Account of Fiduciary, Notice to Friend of the Court, and Notice of Appointment were served on interested parties must be submitted to the probate court.

6. Close Estate

The personal representative will need to settle the estate’s bills, debts, and claims (using the estate’s funds), as well as file the decedent’s final tax return. Due to changes in federal law, estate taxes no longer apply.[22]

The estate may then be closed once five months have passed since its opening and the time limit for creditors to present claims has expired (four months from the Notice to Creditors‘ publication).[23]

To close the estate, the personal representative must file and serve the Sworn Statement to Close Unsupervised Administration on all interested parties. The court will issue the Certificate of Completion to confirm that the Sworn Statement has been processed and that the estate is formally closed.[24]


  1. § 700.2501
  2. § 700.2502
  3. § 700.2507
  4. § 700.3301
  5. § 700.3203(g)
  6. § 700.3983
  7. § 700.3201
  8. § 700.1105(a)
  9. Rule 5.302
  10. Probate Court Fee Tables
  11. § 700.3310
  12. Unsupervised Probate Packet Informal
  13. § 700.3605
  14. § 700.3706
  15. § 600.871
  16. Rule 5.307
  17. § 700.3954
  18. § 700.3705(6)
  19. Rule 5.304(A)
  20. Rule 5.208
  21. § 700.3951
  22. Estate Tax Forms
  23. § 700.3803
  24. § 700.3958