He should contact the utility. Find out what sort of proof they require for him to show that the debt is not his. With some utilities showing documents with the purchase date will be enough for them to release the debt.
If he has been living there and the bill is his, he needs to call DTE and set up a payment plan or make arrangements with them immediately. Otherwise they will turn off the power to the house, a dead person doesn't need power. They may insist on him changing it to his name and showing them the lease, purchase, whatever papers that give him the right to have the power turned on in his name.
If you like this answer the best, please check so. I am licensed to practice in Michigan, but this is general advice and you should consult your own attorney before taking any further actions.
I would advise your friend to contact DTE and place the account in his/her name. Thereafter he/she can ask for a payment plan to make up the difference -- and potentially get credit/help from authorities if he/she cannot afford it.
Otherwise DTE will disconnect AND may still go after her for fraud
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