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The Probate Process

Last Updated March 4, 2009
Probate is a court-supervised legal proceeding in which a deceased person's property is collected, his debts settled, and the assets of the estate transferred to his beneficiaries or heirs.

Avoiding Probate

Last Updated August 11, 2009
A person's estate can be structured in such a fashion that one's assets pass outside of probate. This saves time, frustration, and most importantly, money. A good estate plan can accomplish all of this and distribute a person's property according to his wishes while minimizing income, estate, and inheritance taxes, attorney's fees, and administrative costs.

Wills and Estates - Selected State Laws

AlabamaAlabama Code > Title 43 - Wills And Decedents' Estates
AlaskaAlaska Statutes Title 13 - Decedents' Estates, Guardianships, Transfers, Trusts, And Health Care Decisions
ArizonaArizona Laws > Title 14
CaliforniaCalifornia Probate Code
DelawareDelaware Code Title 12 - Decedents' Estates and Fiduciary Relations
FloridaFlorida Statutes > Title XLII - Estates and Trusts
HawaiiHawaii Revised Statutes Title 29 - Decedents' Estates
Hawaii Revised Statutes Title 30 - Guardians And Trustees
Hawaii Revised Statutes Title 30A - Uniform Probate Code
IdahoIdaho Code Title 14 - Estates Of Decedents
Idaho Code Title 15 - Uniform Probate Code
IllinoisIllinois Compiled Statutes > Chapter 755 - Estates
Illinois Compiled Statutes > Chapter 760 - Trusts and Fiduciaries
KansasKansas Statutes > Chapter 59 - Probate Code
LouisianaLouisiana Revised Statutes > Title 9 > Chapter 5 - Of Forced Heirs
MaineMaine Revised Statutes Title 18 - Decedents' Estates And Fiduciary Relations
MarylandMaryland Code > Estates and Trusts
MassachusettsMassachusetts General Laws > Part II > Title II - Descent And Distribution, Wills, Estates Of Deceased Persons And Absentees, Guardianship, Conservatorship And Trusts
MichiganMichigan Laws > Chapter 555 - Uses and Trusts
Michigan Laws > Chapter 556 - Powers of Appointment
Michigan Laws > Chapter 700 - Estates and Protected Individuals Code
Michigan Laws > Chapters 701-713 - Probate Code
Michigan Laws 710.21 - Short title of act; Michigan adoption code
Michigan Laws 710.21a - General purposes of chapter
Michigan Laws 710.21b - Court order or decree issued in another country; rights and obligations of parties
Michigan Laws 710.22 - Definitions
Michigan Laws 710.22a - Adoption placement or issuance of order prohibited; convictions
Michigan Laws 710.23 - Hearing appeal brought under MCL 400.115k; powers of court
Michigan Laws 710.23a - Direct placement by parent or guardian of child for adoption; temporary placement; formal placement; selection by parent or guardian not delegated; information to be provided by prospective adoptive parent, adoption attorney, or ch
Michigan Laws 710.23b - Placement of child by child placing agency or department of social services; written authorization from parent or guardian for temporary placement; assistance; involvement of parent or guardian in selection of adoptive parent; vali
Michigan Laws 710.23c - Placement of child by court
Michigan Laws 710.23d - Temporary placement; procedures
Michigan Laws 710.23e - Temporary placement; hearing to determine custody; petition; ex parte order to return child to parent or guardian; petition requesting court jurisdiction; temporary disposition; powers of court; act as exclusive remedy
Michigan Laws 710.23f - Preplacement assessment
Michigan Laws 710.24 - Petition for adoption; filing; jurisdiction; verification; contents; preplacement assessments; omission of certain identifying information
Michigan Laws 710.24a - Interested parties; appointment of guardian to defeat parent's status as interested party
Michigan Laws 710.25 - Proceedings; priority; disposition; adjournment or continuance
Michigan Laws 710.26 - Documentation required; informing adoptee and adoptive parents of MCL 710.27a, 710.27b, 710.68, 710.68a, and 710.68b; applicability of subsection (2); providing adoptee and adoptive parents with list of adoption support groups; appl
Michigan Laws 710.27 - Nonidentifying information to be provided prospective adoptive parent; time of submission; supplemental information; compilation; maintenance; transmission; destruction of information as misdemeanor; forwarding adoption records; ado
Michigan Laws 710.27a - Statement consenting to or denying release of identifying information; statement providing notice that former parent deceased; statement releasing adult former sibling's name and address; presumption of release of certain identifyi
Michigan Laws 710.27b - Central adoption registry; establishment; maintenance; statements to be kept on file; forms; transmission of clearance reply; attachments; transmission of statement releasing former adult sibling's name and address
Michigan Laws 710.28 - Release; persons authorized to execute; release to child placing agency or department; advising parent or guardian of child placing agencies; advising agencies of child's availability for adoption; release of child by agency to depa
Michigan Laws 710.29 - Release; separate instrument; persons before whom release executed and acknowledged; execution in another state or country; investigation; explaining legal rights to parent or guardian; order terminating rights; order committing chi
Michigan Laws 710.31 - Child born out of wedlock; inability to obtain release or consent of natural father; release by mother; petition of dependency or neglect; order authorizing temporary care; delaying formal execution of mother's release
Michigan Laws 710.33 - Notice of intent to claim paternity
Michigan Laws 710.34 - Ex parte petition evidencing intent to release or consent; notice of intent to release or consent; form
Michigan Laws 710.36 - Hearing to determine whether child born out of wedlock and to determine identity and rights of father; filing proof of service of notice of intent or acknowledgment; copy of notice of intent to claim paternity; notice of hearing; co
Michigan Laws 710.37 - Termination of rights of putative father
Michigan Laws 710.39 - Inquiry into fitness of putative father; determining best interests of child; termination of rights of putative father; order granting custody to putative father and legitimating child; fee; report
Michigan Laws 710.41 - Conditions to placing child in home for purpose of adoption; adoption by foster parent or by petitioner married to parent having legal custody
Michigan Laws 710.43 - Consent to adoption; persons authorized to execute
Michigan Laws 710.44 - Consent to adoption; separate instrument; persons before whom consent executed and acknowledged; execution in another state or country; investigation; explaining legal rights of parent or guardian; conditions to execution of adoptee
Michigan Laws 710.45 - Withholding of consent by representative or court; motion by petitioner; decision by court; termination of rights; entering orders; appeal
Michigan Laws 710.46 - Investigation; considerations; report; waiver
Michigan Laws 710.51 - Order terminating rights of parents or person in loco parentis; extension of time; conditions; child as ward of court; termination of jurisdiction; marriage of petitioner to parent having legal custody; placement without making chil
Michigan Laws 710.52 - Supervision of child; reports
Michigan Laws 710.54 - Prohibitions as to money or other consideration or thing of value; statement; compensation for certain activities prohibited; payment of charges; documents filed with court; assuring compliance; approval of fees and expenses; violat
Michigan Laws 710.55 - Persons authorized to place child for adoption or solicit biological or adoptive parents; violation as misdemeanor; penalty;
Michigan Laws 710.55a - Representation by attorney
Michigan Laws 710.56 - Order of adoption; time; waiver; extension of time; hearing; effect of filing petition for rehearing or appeal from order terminating parental rights; conditions; adoption of adult
Michigan Laws 710.58 - Order of adoption; certified copies
Michigan Laws 710.58a - Information to be forwarded by court;
Michigan Laws 710.59 - Changing name of adopted child; effect on order of adoption and exemplification of record
Michigan Laws 710.60 - Adoptee to be known and called by new name; status and liability of persons adopting adoptee; rights and duties of adopted person; adopted person as heir at law; order for grandparenting time
Michigan Laws 710.62 - Effect of denying order of adoption
Michigan Laws 710.63 - Denial of petition or motion or failure to issue order; statement by court
Michigan Laws 710.64 - Rehearing; modifying or setting aside order; entering order with respect to original hearing or rehearing of contested matters
Michigan Laws 710.65 - Appeal to court of appeals; staying court order pending appeal; priority
Michigan Laws 710.66 - Adult adoptee; rescinding adoption by stepparent and restoring parental rights of parent; rescission petition; filing new certificate of birth; hearing; certified copies; effect of entry of order of rescission
Michigan Laws 710.67 - Disposition of adoption records; copying or inspecting records; petition; notice and hearing; granting or denying petition; disclosing names of biological or adoptive parents; certified copy of new birth certificate; powers and duti
Michigan Laws 710.68 - Nonidentifying and identifying information; request; availability; release; request for adoption record information; identity of court or child placing agency; counseling; list of adoption support groups; transmitting information of
Michigan Laws 710.68a - Providing information pamphlet, list of adoption support groups, and information about MCL 710.27a, 710.27b, 710.68 and 710.68b; placement of requester's current address in adoption files
Michigan Laws 710.68b - Definitions; petition to appoint confidential intermediary to search for and contact former family member; approval; training; oath of confidentiality; duties of confidential intermediary; acceptance of money or other value; failur
Michigan Laws 710.69 - Violation of MCL 710.41 as felony
Michigan Laws 710.70 - Prior adoption proceedings or orders of adoption
Michigan Laws 711.1 - Order changing name of adult, minor, or spouse and minor children
Michigan Laws 711.2 - Fee; certified copy of order
Michigan Laws 711.3 - Publication or availability of record of proceeding; placement of individual in physical danger; violation as misdemeanor; exemption;
Michigan Laws 712.1 - Short title of chapter; definitions
Michigan Laws 712.2 - Newborn surrendered to emergency service provider; court jurisdiction; effect of other provisions of law; immunity from civil action
Michigan Laws 712.2a - Confidentiality
Michigan Laws 712.3 - Conduct of emergency service provider
Michigan Laws 712.5 - Transfer of newborn to hospital; physician report of abuse, neglect, or child not a newborn; notice to child placing agency
Michigan Laws 712.7 - Duties of child placing agency
Michigan Laws 712.10 - Custody action by surrendering or nonsurrendering parent; filing; hearing; determination of paternity or maternity
Michigan Laws 712.11 - Blood or tissue typing or DNA identification profiling; presumption; costs; dismissal of custody petition
Michigan Laws 712.14 - Determination of custody; basis; newborn's best interest; factors
Michigan Laws 712.15 - Court order
Michigan Laws 712.17 - Release or termination of parental rights to newborn
Michigan Laws 712.20 - Safe delivery program; establishment
Michigan Laws 712A.1 - Definitions; proceedings not considered criminal proceedings; construction of chapter
Michigan Laws 712A.2 - Authority and jurisdiction of court
Michigan Laws 712A.2a - Continuing jurisdiction beyond maximum age; voluntary foster care; definitions
Michigan Laws 712A.2b - Violation of vehicle code or corresponding ordinance; procedure
Michigan Laws 712A.2c - Court order authorizing apprehension of juvenile; contents of order; interference with execution of order; penalty
Michigan Laws 712A.2d - Juvenile to be tried as adult; designation by prosecuting attorney or court; factors; probable cause hearing; setting case for trial; proceedings as criminal proceedings; disposition or imposition of sentence;
Michigan Laws 712A.2e - Waiver of jurisdiction over civil infractions; agreement
Michigan Laws 712A.3 - Criminal charge against person under age 17; transfer of case to family division of circuit court
Michigan Laws 712A.3a - Prior order of another court affecting child's welfare; notice, filing, service, disclosure
Michigan Laws 712A.4 - Waiver of jurisdiction when child of 14 or older accused of felony
Michigan Laws 712A.5 - Jurisdiction over juvenile after 18 years of age
Michigan Laws 712A.6 - Jurisdiction; adults
Michigan Laws 712A.6a - Hearing; attendance by parent or guardian required; exception; failure to attend
Michigan Laws 712A.6b - Order affecting nonparent adult
Michigan Laws 712A.7 - Juvenile division of probate court; register of probate; appointment, duties, salary
Michigan Laws 712A.8 - County agent; creation of office; duties; assistants
Michigan Laws 712A.9 - Probation officers; appointment, compensation, duties; notification to social welfare office
Michigan Laws 712A.9a - Probation
Michigan Laws 712A.10 - Designation of probation officer or county agent as referee; duties of referee
Michigan Laws 712A.11 - Preliminary inquiry; petition; effect of juvenile attaining seventeenth birthday; fingerprints; amendment of petition or other court record; offer of court services
Michigan Laws 712A.12 - Examination of child; hearing; summons
Michigan Laws 712A.13 - Service of summons
Michigan Laws 712A.13a - Definitions; petition; release of juvenile; order removing abusive person from home; placement of child; foster care; conditions; duty of court to inform parties; criminal record check and central registry clearance; family-like s
Michigan Laws 712A.13b - Change in foster care placement
Michigan Laws 712A.14 - Officers or county agent authorized to take child into custody; notice; detention facility; release of child; preliminary hearing; order; placement of child; foster care home services
Michigan Laws 712A.15 - Detention of child pending hearing; release of child; petition; limitation on custody of child pending hearing; detention in secure facility, cell, or other secure area designed to incarcerate adults; exception
Michigan Laws 712A.16 - Detention and care of juvenile
Michigan Laws 712A.17 - Hearing; informality; adjournment; transcript; jury; giving security for appearance of juvenile; appearance by prosecuting attorney; legal consultant or legal representation; admitting foster care review board member to hearing; cl
Michigan Laws 712A.17a - Hearings; record, tape recordings, transcription
Michigan Laws 712A.17b - Definitions; proceedings to which section applicable; use of dolls or mannequins; support person; notice; videorecorded statement; shielding of witness; videorecorded deposition; special arrangements to protect welfare of witness;
Michigan Laws 712A.17c - Advising child or respondent of right to attorney; appointment of attorney; waiver; appointment of lawyer-guardian ad litem; costs; service until discharged by court; assistance to court
Michigan Laws 712A.17d - Lawyer-guardian ad litem; powers and duties
Michigan Laws 712A.18 - Orders of disposition; reimbursement; hearing; guidelines and model schedule; restitution; condition of probation; community service; fingerprints; report to state police; payment of assessment; registration of juvenile provided in
Michigan Laws 712A.18a - Placement or commitment of ward of the court to out-of-state institutions
Michigan Laws 712A.18b - Reimbursement order; failure to comply, contempt of court; assignment of wages
Michigan Laws 712A.18c - Retention of jurisdiction of child committed under MCL 712A.18(1)(e); effective date of subsection (2); annual review; release of child
Michigan Laws 712A.18d - Juvenile committed under MCL 712A.18(1)(e); review hearing; burden of proof; determination; notice; legal counsel; costs; commitment reports; section nonapplicable to juvenile convicted of crime under chapter
Michigan Laws 712A.18e - Application for entry of order setting aside adjudication; filing; contents; submitting copy of application and fingerprints; report; fee; serving copy of application on attorney general and prosecuting attorney; contesting applic
Michigan Laws 712A.18f - Report; preparation and contents of case service plan; order of disposition; updating and revising case service plan; rules; review by child's physician in case of abuse and neglect
Michigan Laws 712A.18g - Commitment under MCL 712A.18(1)(e)
Michigan Laws 712A.18h - Commitment to department of corrections prohibited; exception
Michigan Laws 712A.18i - Delay in sentencing
Michigan Laws 712A.18j - Escape by juvenile from facility or residence; notification;
Michigan Laws 712A.18k - DNA identification profiling; providing samples for chemical testing; disclosure; definitions
Michigan Laws 712A.18m - Payment of costs; minimum amounts; disposition; definitions
Michigan Laws 712A.19 - Termination of cause; supplemental order of disposition; review hearing; notice of review hearing; factors to be reviewed; modification of plan; determination as to placement; order; determination as to review; issuance of order wi
Michigan Laws 712A.19a - Permanency planning hearing; conditions; time limitation; reunion of child and family not required; purpose; obtaining child's views regarding permanency plan; consideration of out-of-state placement; notice; statement; return of
Michigan Laws 712A.19b - Termination of parental rights to child; petition; hearing; record; findings; opinion or order; notice of hearing; suspension of parenting time; grounds for termination;
Michigan Laws 712A.19c - Review hearing of child's placement after termination of parental rights; appointment of guardian; applicability of section
Michigan Laws 712A.20 - Temporary or permanent custody
Michigan Laws 712A.21 - Petition for rehearing; affirming, modifying, or setting aside order; conduct of rehearing; order for supplemental disposition; applicability of section to criminal proceeding;
Michigan Laws 712A.22 - Annual report
Michigan Laws 712A.23 - Use of evidence against juvenile
Michigan Laws 712A.24 - Placement in institutions; summary of information; conveyance of child; progress report
Michigan Laws 712A.25 - Payment of expenses
Michigan Laws 712A.26 - Contempt of court; punishment
Michigan Laws 712A.27 - Quarters, equipment and supplies for use of juvenile division
Michigan Laws 712A.28 - Case records; opening records; order in respect to payments by parent; copy; publicizing action taken against parents or adult; administration of court; reports; form; copies; definitions
Michigan Laws 712A.29 - Allocation and application of money collected;
Michigan Laws 712A.30
Michigan Laws 712A.31 - Determining amount of restitution; factors in disposition report; disclosure of matters described in subsection (1); burden of demonstrating amount or type of restitution
Michigan Laws 712A.32 - Order to appear for identification; notice of right to attorney; appointment of attorney
Michigan Laws > Chapter 720 - Probate
MinnesotaMinnesota Statutes - Fiduciaries; Powers of Attorney
Minnesota Statutes - Estates of Decedents; Guardianships
MissouriMissouri Laws > Title XXXI
MontanaMontana Code Title 72 - Estates, Trusts, And Fiduciary Relationships
NebraskaNebraska Statutes > Chapter 30 - Decedents' Estates; Protection Of Persons And Property
NevadaNevada Revised Statutes > Title 13 - Guardianships; Conservatorships; Trusts
New MexicoNew Mexico Statutes Chapter 45 - Uniform Probate Code
New Mexico Statutes Chapter 46 - Fiduciaries and Trusts
New YorkNew York Laws - Estates, Powers & Trusts
New YorkNew York Laws > Estates, Powers &Trusts
OregonOregon Statutes > Title 13 - Protective Proceedings; Powers of Attorney; Trusts
South CarolinaSouth Carolina Code > Title 21 - Estates, Trusts, Guardians and Fiduciaries
South Carolina Code > Title 62 - South Carolina Probate Code
South DakotaSouth Dakota Laws > Title 29A - Uniform Probate Code
TexasTexas Estates Code
Texas Probate Code
Texas Probate Code 10A - Necessary Party
Texas Probate Code 11 - Applications and Other Papers to Be Filed With Clerk
Texas Probate Code 12 - Costs and Security Therefor
UtahUtah Code > Title 75 - Utah Uniform Probate Code
VermontVermont Statutes Title 14 - Decedents' Estates and Fiduciary Relations
VirginiaVirginia Code Title 55 > Chapter 2 - Educational, Literary and Charitable Gifts, Devises, etc
Virginia Code Title 64.1 - Wills and Decedents' Estates


Questions & Answers: Wills and Estates

Is there an allowance in the VA Code for a qualified estate executor to be allowed to charge for time & material (fuel, postage, etc) used to discharge their duties? Thank you....
guardianship! agency of aging...have a judge revoke his power if he has any. press charges. ...
has this section on notice requirement changed as of Jan 2014? If so what is the new code section in Estates Code?...
need small estate form to get small savings account husband deeased and left everything to me but didn't put me on small savings account ...
I have a friend who just died without a will, no surviving relatives that I know of, but had a POA for Health and an ex-wife. My friend rents an apartment in WI and had money in ...
What does it mean...failure to file an interim account, regarding wills ?...

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