Probate Stories

Birmingham & Bloomfield Hills, MI Estate Planning & Probate Stories

Michigan lawyer Dean Patrick has proven to ease his clients through the probate process with his understanding manner and unbeatable intelligence that allows him to assess your situation accurately.

Follow married couple Aaron and Barbara through common probate issue scenarios that The Law Office of Dean E. Patrick, PLLC have identified.

Scenario A: Keeping Control

Aaron and Barbara stopped talking with their surviving siblings after a bitter probate court fight. With a modest estate and an intention that certain individuals are kept out, they knew they needed to plan accordingly but decided to put it off for a few years. Unfortunately, when Aaron and Barbara passed away within a few months of each other several years later, they had never handled their estate. With no living parents or children to succeed them, their estate was distributed to the very people they did not want to take from their estate – their surviving siblings.

Take-Away: If you do not plan for your estate, the probate process makes one for you. If Aaron and Barbara would have created wills, they could have maintained control when they were gone.

Scenario B: Maintaining Control

Aaron and Barbara were married for several years before Aaron became incapacitated. Unable to maintain their property and in need for extra finances for Aaron’s care, Barbara secured buyers for the family home. However, when it came time to close on the sale, the agent would not let Barbara sign on behalf of Aaron. The real estate agent explained that Barbara would have to petition the probate court for control of Aaron’s finances. The nightmare didn’t stop there for Aaron and Barbara. With the help of an attorney, Barbara petitioned the probate court to be the conservator of her husband’s finances. However, the court did not feel Barbara had the ability to act on behalf of her husband and nominated a court-appointed conservator. To be expected, Barbara was devastated, but at least the house could be sold. Because Aaron was deemed an incapacitated individual by the probate court, his assets, and the assets held jointly by the couple, became a matter of public record for the neighbors or anyone else to view as they pleased.

Take-Away: Because Aaron and Barbara didn’t plan in case of an accident, the probate courts became involved with their estate. If Aaron and Barbara had nominated a conservator or created a durable power of attorney for finance while they had the ability to do so, they could have maintained full control of their estate.

Contact The Law Office of Dean E. Patrick, PLLC today for a free consultation and a chance to communicate with one of the brightest probate attorneys in the State of Michigan. Mr. Patrick will fight aggressively for your rights in the convoluted probate court. You may call ourt Southfield, Michigan office at (248) 663-2566 or click here to arrange your free initial consultation regarding any estate planning or administration matters you may have.