Unsupervised administration of an estate may be conducted using informal or formal proceedings. While very similar to informal proceedings, probating a decedent’s estate using formal proceedings provides the security of a court order deciding issues within the estate.
Some of the features of an informal proceeding are that no court hearings are necessary, a personal representative (sometimes referred to as an executor) is appointed by the court and given authority to probate the estate, and most of the activities involved in probating the estate are done without court involvement.
Michigan law provides a streamlined process for distributing the assets in a decedent’s estate if the balance of the estate after the payment of the decedent’s funeral and burial expenses is less than a specified amount that is set by the State on an annual basis. The process is quick, inexpensive, and no court hearings are necessary.
Supervised administration of an estate is available in some limited circumstances and provides for close oversight by the court over the probate process. Only a very small percentage of decedents estates go through supervised proceedings.