Is there a time limit in Michigan for opening a probate estate?

Asked 6 months ago - Lansing, MI

My father died almost 3 years ago and a probate was never opened or established. My siblings and I had a feeling that there was some malpractice involved in his death. We have been told by two different sources that in Michigan the deadline for opening an estate is two years or three and a half years. We know that to establish a malpractice suit, there has to be a open probate case. Has the time limit expired?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Julie Aletta Paquette

    Contributor Level 15


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You do not have to worry about a time limit for opening probate, but you should be very concerned about the statute of limitations for a malpractice claim. I can have you speak with an attorney in my office who does malpractice to determine whether you can still bring a claim and whether you have a viable one. The consultation is free.

  2. James P. Frederick

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . There is no time limit for opening probate, but there IS a statute of limitations on malpractice claims and that is 3 years. As you indicated, you cannot file a malpractice claim without first opening a probate estate. The Personal Representative is the only person who can make such a claim. Given the time it takes to get medical records and investigate the circumstances, you are really late in the game, here, if it is not already too late.

    You should meet with an attorney to review the circumstances, if you have any interest in pursuing this.

    James Frederick

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ******... more
  3. Peter L. Conway

    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . From Health Care Provider Malpractice (Chapter 28 of Michigan Causes of Action Formbook)
    Claims must be brought within two years of the date of the negligent act or omission that is the basis for the claim or within six months after the plaintiff discovers or should have discovered the existence of the claim, whichever is later. MCL 600.5838a(1), (2); see also MCL 600.5805(6).
    Wrongful death claims involving malpractice

    The statute of limitations governing the underlying claim applies, but a savings provision, MCL 600.5852, tolls the statute of limitations in survival-type actions brought under the Wrongful Death Act. If a person dies before the limitation period has run or within 30 days after it has run, his or her personal representative may bring suit within two years after the letters of authority are issued. However, the action must be filed within three years after the limitation period has expired. As noted above, the saving statute does not toll the running of MCL 600.5838a's six-year statute of repose.
    YOU SHOULD RETAIN A LAWYER WHO HANDLES MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASES. Call me if you need a referral to lawyers in this field.

    I am licensed to practice law in Michigan and Virginia and regularly handle cases of this sort. My answering... more

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