Yes you or your brother can petition to become personal representative of your mother's estate. Since she lived in Oakland County, that is the proper county to file the paperwork. The Oakland County Probate Court maintains a website that may answer many of your questions. If I can be of further assistance to you, please call me.
I am licensed to practice law in Michigan and Virginia and regularly handle cases of this sort. You should not rely on this answer. You should consult a lawyer so you can tell the lawyer the entire situation and get legal advice that is precisely tailored to your case.
You can certainly request it, but you would probably need to give notice to the nominated personal representative if you can. Check the state bar website for his current address.
If you would like to discuss the costs involved in hiring an attorney to represent you, feel free to contat me.
I agree with the two posts above. If you are able to track down the attorney (if he is still alive), you can get him to sign off on his priority to act as executor, which would save some time, too. If he is deceased, you would need to provide proof of that to the court as well. The website for the member directory should have information regarding whether he is alive or deceased as well and if not, the state bar could get you that information if you call them.
Very truly yours,
Information provided on this website is not legal advice but is for general informational purposes only. Each legal matter requires further inquiries into the facts before a conclusive legal opinion can be generated. No attorney-client relationship is established by my participation in this forum.