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Does the surviving spouse have to formally request homestead allowance and family allowance from a probated estate?

Sterling Heights, MI |

Widowed Decedent died with a will written before second marriage. The will named children as heirs. Surviving spouse has rights of election plus (possibly) rights to a homestead allowance and family allowance. Probate form PC581 is used to notify/select eletive rights. How does surviving spouse elect to receive homestead allowance and family allowance?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Has the will been admitted to probate? First you have to open a probate estate, notice the heirs, appoint a personal rep and then the widow takes her elections and allowances.
    I would believe that it would greatly speed the process if you engaged a probate practioner, either from my office or elsewhere. Good luck.

    To the PROSPECTIVE client, please call myself or another attorney for you choice with more detaiils and an appointment. My PRELIMINARY answer to your question(s) is for general purposes and based upon what little information you have conveyed. It is based on such limited information that the general answer should never be relied as a reason for your action or inaction. My response does NOT establish an attorney-client relationship and such may only be established by mutual agreement, and the signing of a written retainer agreement, which will generally require payment for our services, as this is what we do for a living and, just like you, we must get paid for our work.. .


  2. Whenever we have taken these rights, we have always filed the form with the court. It is relatively unusual that this is necessary, because most of the time, the assets are joint. There is also an exempt property allowance which the spouse can claim. Proving title to assets can be a challenge. The spouse, if not acting as PR, should send the form to the PR and to the court. This can be very tricky, as Attorney Brennan observed, and it usually calls for retaining an attorney. Attorney Brennan is on your side of town. He would be an excellent resource, if you do not have an attorney in mind.

    James Frederick

    *** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.


  3. I would agree with the two other answers and also that you should retain an attorney to assist you. The form should be sent to the pr and the court.

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