An employer in Michigan may pay the wages due a deceased employee to the employee's spouse, children, parents or siblings in that order unless the employee filed a request to the contrary with the employer. Each employer will have its own procedure on how to make this claim. Contact them for details.
If the combined value of all of a decedent's motor vehicles does not exceed $60,000 registration of title may be transferred by the Michigan Secretary of State to the surviving spouse or next of kin. The person seeking the transfer needs to submit: • a death certificate, • an affidavit of kinship, • the vehicle's certificate of title certificate, • a statement that there is no probate pending or planned and • occasionally certain other Michigan Secretary of State documents. Contact us, or check the secretary of state's website (listed below) for more details.
Cash/jewlery/clothing held by 3rd parties
A hospital, convalescent or nursing home, morgue, or law enforcement agency in Michigan holding cash under $500 and wearing apparel of the decedent may deliver that property to the decedent's spouse, child, or parent if that person provides: (i) suitable identification and (ii) an affidavit stating the person's relationship to the deceased and that there are no pending probate proceedings for the deceased's estate.
Most issuing companies (e.g. American Express) redeem unused travelers checks following the death of the owner without requiring probate on submission of the checks, a death certificate, and an affidavit by the next of kin indicating to whom payment should be made.
Boats and other Watercraft
If the combined value of all of all watercraft is less than $100,000, and there are no probate proceedings for the decedent's estate, registration of title may be transferred by the Michigan Secretary of State to the surviving spouse or next of kin. The person seeking the transfer must submit: • a death certificate, • an affidavit of kinship, and • the certificate of title for the watercraft.
Income tax refund
Income tax refund claims may be collected without probate by filing IRS or Michigan form 1310.
Personal property with a value not exceeding $15,000 may be transferred to a decedent’s successor by presenting a death certificate and an affidavit stating who is entitled to the property. This process is frequently discouraged, but if done properly can make transfers far easier. ccasionally a person holding property will insist on some Probate Court Order, and if that is the case, there is a 'simplified' 'one step' probate process available for estates under $20,000. If you need help with this, or have questions about these ways to avoid probate, seek legal advice.