If your Michigan home, a bank account or other assets remain in your estate when you pass away, they may need to be probated. In many cases, probate is a relatively easy and timely process. However, there are many reasons why a probate proceeding may be delayed.
Are there issues with a will?
Probate is designed to validate a deceased person’s will, which is a document that stipulates how assets should be distributed. It also allows a parent to dictate who cares for a minor child in the event of his or her death. If there is a will challenge, it could extend a probate proceeding for several months. The same may be true if the estate representative needs to be removed or replaced for any reason.
Is a beneficiary allowed to inherit assets?
As a general rule, minors are not allowed to inherit assets. Instead, they must be transferred to an adult who will serve in a custodial capacity until the beneficiary reaches the age of majority. It’s not uncommon for parents or grandparents to name a young family member as a beneficiary to their estates assuming that they won’t die until that person is much older. It may be a good idea for those who are planning on giving property to a minor to establish a trust for that individual.
Assuming that your estate plan is constructed properly, it should be fairly easy to settle your affairs in a reasonable amount of time. If you have a small estate, it may be possible to get through probate in a matter of weeks. However, most estates will remain in probate for several months to ensure that anyone who has a claim has sufficient time to make it.