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PROBATE 47: Out-of-state decedent whose Michigan property passes intestate.

In this case, E Sr. died in California where he was domiciled, without a will, survived by his wife, MH and two sons, including E Jr. The sons are not MH’s children. MH was appointed personal representative of the estate in Michigan, but the parties soon began to contest the proper disposition of a condominium located in Michigan.

MH filed a petition for complete estate settlement, requesting that the condominium be distributed to her.

Evidentiary Hearing

At an evidentiary hearing, it became clear that MH had not investigated certain potential assets in California. The probate court told MH she should have listed all estate assets in her Michigan inventory, even if they were located in California.

In a situation such as this, involving an out-of-state decedent whose Michigan property passes intestate, Article II of EPIC controls, possibly except for the rules regarding spousal election. But MH was not requesting to make a spousal election.

The trial court should determine who the heirs are under EPIC’s rules of intestate succession as regards all Michigan property, and the share of each such heir as provided for by EPIC. Assuming that MH is a surviving spouse for purposes of MCL 700.2102, her share is to be calculated, at least under some circumstances, based on the entire intestate estate. The entire intestate estate necessarily includes the California property.

Property Located Out-Of-State

If an estate has been opened in California, then, MCL 700.3919(1) controls, provided that the California personal representative is willing to receive the Michigan property and otherwise comply with the applicable requirements of EPIC. Then you marshal the Michigan assets, liquidate them, and send them over to California.

Facing Probate and Estate Administration?

Aldrich Legal Services offers comprehensive guidance throughout the probate process. We offer probate services for clients whose loved ones died with or without a will. If disputes arise, we also have experience with litigating probate matters.

Contact Aldrich Legal Services

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PROBATE 51: Trust filed a petition to determine title to credit union account.

The probate court explained that the owners of the account are S and J. When S passes, J becomes the owner of the account. J is the one who had the authority to make the designation. Nowhere in any documents is there a designation by J that SJ be the owner -- or the beneficiary of the account. The designation made by his father was no longer binding because he was no longer the owner at the time J passed away.

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For joint custody to work, parents must be able to agree with each other on basic issues in child rearing including health care, religion, education, day to day decision making and discipline and they must be willing to cooperate with each other in joint decision making. If two equally capable parents are unable to cooperate and to agree generally concerning important decisions affecting the welfare of their children, the court has no alternative but to determine which parent shall have sole custody of the children.

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The sentencing guidelines are advisory, and although a trial court must determine the applicable guidelines range and take it into account when imposing a sentence, the court is not required to sentence a defendant within that range.

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