Small Estates

Petition and Order for Assignment Estate Not Exceeding $24,000 (adjusted annually)

**You may NOT deduct liens on real estate in order to qualify the estate for Petition and Order procedure.

The term “Small Estate” is started by filing a Petition and Order for Assignment PC 556 which allows an individual to transfer assets of a decedent.  The funeral bill must be paid first and remainder being split equally between decedent’s heirs.  In order to qualify for the Small Estate, the value of decedent’s assets must not exceed $24,000.  If the value of a decedent’s property minus the funeral and burial expenses is less than the above value, it may qualify as a small estate.

The applicable statue requires any person who paid the funeral bill be reimbursed first.  IF the bill has not been paid, the funeral home would be assigned the amount of the bill owed and the remaining assets would be divided equally among the heirs.  An heir may assign his/her share to another person.  Except for the share of a surviving spouse or minor child, the share of each heir, for 63 days from the date of the Order for Assignment, shall be subject to any unsatisfied debt of the decedent up to the value of the property received through the Order for Assignment.

For this type of filing, the following documents are required:

  • Petition for Assignment, PC 556m – Petition for Assignment
  • Order for Assignment, PC 556o – Order for Assignment
  • MC 97 – Protected Personal Identifying Information
  • Copy of Death Certificate
  • Copy of funeral bill
    • Receipt to confirm the bill is paid
    • Invoice of amount still due
  • Documentation supporting assets of the estate
    • For example, a tax statement /bank statement
  • Filing fee of $25.00, certified copy $11.00 and a statutorily mandated inventory fee based on the value of the estate

If the decedent left a Last Will and Testament, it would not be admitted to Probate by filing a Petition and Order for Assignment.  However, any person in possession of an original will must deliver it to the Probate Court in the county of residence of the decedent.

This list of forms is designed to give you an overview of probate proceedings and it is for information purposes.  It is not a substitute for legal advice.  Lapeer Probate Court staff cannot tell you what to do and forms to use.  If you need legal advice and/or help with understanding the forms, you should speak with an attorney.

Transfer by affidavit
Depending on the assets involved PC 598 Affidavit of Decedent’s Successor for Delivery of Certain Assets Owned by the Decedent, may be used to transfer personal property to a Successor who is entitled to that property.  Please note this is not a Probate Court procedure and the form referenced above does not get filed with the Court.

Pursuant to MCL 700.3983, this form may be used when all of the following apply:

  • Estate does not include real property
  • Estate value, minus liens and encumbrances does not exceed $15,000
  • 28 days have passed since the decedent’s death
  • An estate is not pending, or has not already been opened
  • The claiming successor is entitled to payment or delivery of the property
  • The name and address of all individuals are entitled to a share must be listed on the form, along with his/her portion