Probate administration is a process whereby one’s estate is settled. This means that the debts of the deceased are to be paid from the deceased assets. One factor that impacts how much court involvement is required and the length of time that is required to complete the process, is whether or not the deceased left a will. The person named in the will as the personal representative/administrator/executor is in charge of managing the estate. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, paying estate bills, selling estate assets (if required) and distributing the assets of the estate to the individuals that the deceased named in his or her will.
It is important to note that that the personal representative is generally not personally liable for the debts of the estate (even if there are insufficient assets to cover all estate debts) provided that the personal representative has not mishandled the estate. The personal representative of the estate is required to do an estate inventory and provide creditors, heirs, and beneficiaries of the estate notice of action being taken on behalf of the estate.
If the deceased did not leave a valid will additional time, expense and court involvement is required than if the deceased had left a valid will. In such instances Michigan’s probate code governs to whom the estate assets are to be distributed and how much each is to receive. Also, if the deceased passes away without a will the court must decide who will oversee the administration of the estate.