Decedent Estates & Wills

Please read before proceeding

This information is not intended to be legal advice, but a brief explanation of the basic procedure that is required.  Probate Court personnel cannot give legal advice about your particular situation or complete your forms for you. You are not required to have an attorney; however, the Court cannot act as your attorney. If you do not understand process or have questions on what to do, you will need to obtain other assistance.


small estate affidavits:

May only be used if there is not real property in the Estate and the total assets are $15,000 or less (plus cost of living adjustment. That value is $24,000 if the date of death occurred in 2020.

Small Estate Affidavit Packet Forms
Self Help Legal Resources Handout - Small Estate Affidavit (PDF)
Affidavit of Decedent's Successor for Delivery of Certain Assets Owned by Decedent (PDF)PC 598


Small Estates 

May be used if the total assets of the Estate are $15,000 (plus cost of living adjustment) or less after funeral expenses are paid. That value is $27,000 if the death occurred in 2023 or $28,000 if the death occurred in 2024. The Will should be turned in to Probate, but will not be Probated. A personal representative is not appointed.

Small Estate Packet Forms
Petition for Assignment (PDF)PC 556m
Protected Personal Identifying Information (PDF)MC 97
Order for Assignment (PDF)PC 556o


Informal Proceedings

Informal Proceedings occur in front of the Probate Register and are unsupervised. A Personal Representative is appointed by Register’s Statement and Letters of Authority are issued. A Will may be admitted in an Informal Proceeding as long as the Will is original and valid. The Probate Register cannot admit a copy of a Will.

Informal Packet Forms
Self Help Legal Resources Handout - Informal Estate Proceedings (PDF)
Notice of Intent to Request Informal Appointment of Personal Representative (PDF)PC 557
Application for Informal Probate and/or Appointment of Personal Representative (PDF)PC 558
Testimony to Identify Heirs (PDF)PC 565
Supplemental Testimony to Identify Non-Heir Devisees (PDF)PC 566
Renunciation of Right to Appointment, Nomination of Personal Representative and Waiver of Notice (PDF)PC 567
Protected Personal Identifying Information (PDF)MC 97
Addendum to Protected Personal Identifying Information (PDF)MC 97a
Acceptance of Appointment (PDF) PC 571
Register's Statement (PDF)PC 568
Letters of Authority for Personal Representative (PDF)PC 572


Formal Proceedings

Formal Proceedings occur in front of the Judge and can be unsupervised or supervised. The Personal Representative is appointed by the Judge and Letters of Authority are issued. A Will may be admitted to Probate by the Judge. If the Will is not original, the Petitioner may request the Judge admit the copy at the hearing.

For an Overview of Formal Probate, visit the Michigan Legal Help Website.

Formal Estate Proceedings Packet Forms
Petition for Probate and/or Appointment of Personal Representative (PDF)PC 559
Testimony to Identify Heirs (PDF)PC 565
Supplemental Testimony to Identify Non-Heir Devisees (PDF)PC 566
Proof of Service (PDF)PC 562
Renunciation of Right to Appointment, Nomination of Personal Representative and Waiver of Notice (PDF)PC 567
Protected Personal Identifying Information (PDF)MC 97
Addendum to Protected Personal Identifying Information (PDF)MC 97a
Acceptance of Appointment (PDF) PC 571
Order for Formal Proceedings (PDF)PC 569
Letters of Authority for Personal Representative (PDF)PC 572


Petition & Order to Open Safe Deposit Box

If you are an interested party and you believe that a Will or Burial Deed is located in a safe deposit box, but the Bank/Financial Institution does not allow you access to the box, you may need to file a Petition and Order Open Safe Deposit Box.

Small Estate Affidavit Packet Forms
Self Help Legal Resources Handout - Petition & Order to Open Safe Deposit Box (PDF)
Petition and Order to Open Safe-Deposit Box to Locate Will or Burial Deed (PDF)PC 551
Safe-Deposit Box Certificate and Receipt (PDF)PC 552