How to get Letters of Authority
The home was in a Trust which the deed has already been transferred. Does an Inventory need to be done?
One bank account had no beneficiary mentioned & the bank wants PR papers. Any guidance will be
5 attorney answers
Yes, you can get letters of authority by going to court and filing paperwork. No, a lawyer is not required. If you want to handle the situation yourself, you'll have to figure out what paperwork you need, how to fill it out, who gets a copy of it, etc., etc.
I have taught estate administration and estate planning classes to college-level students. There is a fair amount of overlap between the two topics and there is no way I could have taught all these topics in one session. And I definitely could not have explained all the material in one internet post. I mention this to illustrate the wisdom of the other replies.
Because you ask so many questions and you seem to contradict yourself (probably unintentionally) it seems you'd be much better off hiring an experienced probate attorney to help you. Any good probate attorney knows how to do these things. It's part of being a probate attorney.
I say that you seem to contradict yourself because your post indicates that a notice of creditors has been published. That does not normally happen until after the estate is actually open and a specific individual has been named personal representative in a letter of authority. What I mean is you open the estate first, then publish the notice. You may well have to publish the notice again.
All this illustrates the need to hire counsel. Even my statement on that topic is qualified; without seeing documents it's not possible to say anything more definite.
Please note that answering this question does not make me your attorney. If you want to hire me and you live in Michigan, call me and let's talk.
This is the case of a simple probate estate. Letters of Authority are issued by the probate court upon proper filing on an estate by an interested party. Was there a will? Are you a legal heir of the deceased? Were you named by the deceased to handle such an estate? The trust, as you mention, is a separate adminstration from the probate court matter. Whether there were transfers of assets after death within the trust, will determine if a trust inventory, as opposed to the probate court inventory, is required. As to the bank account, it appears you will need to probate that asset for transfer.
You need a probate cournsel to assist you through things to assure all is handled properly. The court staff is precluded from giving you legal advice.
You get letters of authority from the probate court, but first you need to have an estate opened up.
It sounds to me that what you really need help with is probate, start to finish. And for that you should really consult with an attorney. If money is an issue, most of us make available options to be paid out of the estate once the estate is wrapped up.
You have a lot of questions and there is not enough information to fully answer them. If the account in question is the only asset that would otherwise need probate, depending on the amount involved, you may be able to use a non-probate and/or small estate process that would be relatively easy and inexpensive. The threshold for small estates in Michigan is $22k. There are proceedings, however, which DO involve the court, where you can use small estate proceedings, even if the gross estate is over $22k, provided the net estate is not.
If the account is over the small estate level, then probate will be necessary. There is a lot of information online, as to what is involved. You can check our website for a description of the process. There is also information on many of the county Probate Court sites. Having the assistance of an attorney is not required, but it is often a good idea and can result in less frustration and often lower cost than trying to handle things on your own.
Presumably, there is an attorney advising the Trustee. I would contact that attorney to determine how best to proceed.
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You seem to have questions about the entire probate/trust administration process. The only way to answer all your questions is to meet with an estate planning attorney to go over your situation in some detail and advise you on all the things that need to be done.