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Probate & Estate Planning Counsel
Call Christenson & Fiederlein, PC!

Flint Probate Attorney

Helping Clients in Genesee County with the Probate Process

Facing probate after the death of a loved one can be a long and complicated process. Distributing wealth, assets and property is only a small part of it. You also may have to deal with any debts or other unsettled legal issues.

Because of all the complexities that go along with probate, it is always a good idea to get an experienced probate lawyer to help you navigate the legal process. In addition, if you are interested in arranging a trust that can help your loved ones avoid probate altogether, our team can make sure that everything is in order.

No one should have to deal with probate matters alone. Reach out to our probate lawyers at our office in Flint, MI at (810) 292-3115.

Ways to Avoid Probate in Michigan

Many people want to know how they can avoid the probate process entirely. There are certain assets that automatically bypass probate, including:

  • Life Insurance
  • Retirement Accounts
  • Pensions
  • Wages or salary due to the deceased person
  • Bank accounts with a Payable-on-Death, or POD, designation
  • Stocks and bonds registered in a Transfer-on-Death, or TOD, form

Additionally, assets owned jointly with a spouse will generally not require probate.

For any assets that don't automatically avoid probate, you have the option to set up a living trust. These assets will pass to your named beneficiaries without needing to involve probate court.

Guidance Through the Probate Process

If you find yourself going through the probate process, it's important to understand the steps involved.

First, the courts will need to authenticate the last will and testament of the decedent or deceased person. If no will was left, the person is considered to have died " intestate" and their estate is subject to state intestacy laws when distributing assets.

Next, the courts will appoint an executor or personal representative, if one wasn't specified in a will. At this stage, a bond would be posted, serving as an insurance policy if the executor does not correctly perform their duties.

The executor will be responsible for locating the deceased person's assets and determining their values. They will also need to reach out to creditors and pay the remaining debts in the estate. They will file any tax returns, and any due taxes will be paid out of the estate.

Finally, the executor will distribute the estate to the beneficiaries. This is a part of the probate process that can be contentious and emotional, which is why both executors and beneficiaries should consult with a probate attorney at all stages.

Let Us Help You Navigate Probate

Whether you want to know how you can protect your estate from probate proceedings, or you need help understanding your rights and responsibilities as an executor or beneficiary, the attorneys at Christenson & Fiederlein, PC are prepared to assist you.

We provide personalized legal counsel on probate matters for clients throughout Genesee County. Call our Flint office today at (810) 292-3115.

Every Case Deserves Individual Attention Recent Reviews From Clients

  • Thanks for your efforts and hard work on my case.

    “Thanks for your efforts and hard work on my case. Also, thanks to all your staff for their professionalism. ”

    Megan Clark

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    “I was the previous owner/manager of Quality Rental Management, LLC, a residential property management company and, as such, used the services of Christenson & Fiederlein, PC to handle my landlord/tenant matters including appearances for non-payment of rent, termination of tenancy matters, as well as procuring Orders of Eviction and coordinating the removal of hold-over tenants. Since selling my interest in Quality Rental Management, LLC, I have continued to use the law firm of Christenson & Fiederlein, PC as my attorney for other business and personal needs including evictions. I have found the staff of Christenson & Fiederlein, PC to be knowledgeable and efficient with regard to the execution of these matters and I will continue to use those services if necessary. Curt McIntosh is the owner at McIntosh Building, LLC. ”

    Curt McIntosh

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    “I have retained the law firm of Christenson & Fiederlein, PC on numerous occasions over the last several years to handle my landlord/tenant evictions in the Flint area. I have found the attorneys and their staff to be efficient and knowledgeable in handling these matters on my behalf. I would not hesitate to use and/or recommend this law firm in the future. ”

    John Fotenakes

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    “I so much want to thank Christenson & Fiederlein for their help. I needed professional representation to help me with a difficult situation. They were very approachable and listened to my case. With their help my case was dismissed. What a relief. Thank you all for your help. You made all the difference!”

    Mary