616-698-0000

4920 Broadmoor SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49512

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Probate

Grand Rapids Probate Attorney Helping Michigan Families During a Difficult Time

Last will and testamentSuccessfully handling probate litigation and guardianship matters

At the Van Den Heuvel Law Office, our legal team is able to efficiently and effectively guide clients through the probate process. We understand this is a difficult time, so we approach your family matters with compassion and professionalism. Administering an estate involves resolving the financial matters of the deceased, including assessing assets, paying debts and distributing remaining assets to the intend beneficiaries. We have the knowledge and skill to assist you each step of the way. Don’t carry this burden by yourself. Let us help.

What is probate?

Probate is the administration of a deceased person’s estate.  If a person dies leaving a valid will, then the estate is distributed in accordance with the provisions in the will. If a person dies without a will, this is called dying “intestate,” and the property must be distributed in accordance with the provisions of the state’s “intestate succession” law.

When the estate is opened, a personal representative (formerly called the executor or administrator) is appointed to administer the estate, which means sign the documents, pay the deceased’s debts and distribute the property.

The probate process

Probate is the court-supervised legal procedure that determines the validity of wills. It affects some, but not all, aspects of your estate. Nonprobate assets, like a life insurance policy, are paid directly to the beneficiary designated in your policy. Upon your death, your will is filed with the probate court and its validity determined. All property, debts and claims of the estate are inventoried and appraised. All valid claims of the estate are collected and the remainder is distributed to beneficiaries according to the will.

The probate process can be time consuming and expensive. With proper estate planning, you can avoid the probate process and save your family from having to deal with this burden.

Prepared to handle all types of probate litigation

Beneficiary disputes and probate litigation can involve a wide array of issues such as:

  • Forgery of a deed or other document
  • Coercion of an elderly person
  • Issues involving mental capacity
  • Confusion regarding the interpretation of a will
  • Misallocation of family assets
  • Questions regarding a will’s validity
  • Mismanagement of a trust
  • Abuse of fiduciary responsibilities

If you are looking for an attorney who is there to assist you with the emotional turmoil of fighting with family members, contact the Van Den Heuvel Law Office. Whether you have a fiduciary dispute or a will contestation, we use every resource available to achieve a positive result for you.

Guardianships in Michigan

Guardianship is the need to appoint a responsible person to look after the personal care and financial affairs of someone who is unable to do so on his or her own. These procedures are most often used in connection with an elderly person whose medical condition has made independent decision making impossible. A guardian can be appointed by the probate court to manage the interests of an accident victim, a developmentally disabled adult or a minor who comes into a substantial amount of money in his or her own name. A guardian is responsible for making the best decisions involving the ward’s financial, physical and mental protection.

Schedule an initial consultation with a probate attorney

The legal team at the Van Den Heuvel Law Office is prepared to assist you with your probate or guardianship matter. Please contact as 616-698-0000 or online. We are also available on Skype by appointment.