Reopen Decedent Estate

Reopening a Decedent Estate

 

When is it necessary to reopen an estate for a decedent?

A decedent estate case may have to be re-opened for a variety of reasons.  These could include:

  • After discovered assets of deceased person at time of death (i.e., new property, such as stocks, bonds, real estate) found after the estate was closed.
  • The estate was improperly closed without the administration being completed (i.e., property not deeded to the heirs, etc.).
  • Who can file to reopen an estate for a decedent?

    An Application to reopen estate can be filed by any interested person, including the prior personal representative.

    A Petition to reopen estate can be filed by any interested person, including the prior personal representative.

    Note: If the case was closed as a supervised estate, only a petition to reopen requesting supervised administration may be filed.

     

    What are the duties of a personal representative in an estate that has been reopened?

    1. To determine if the decedent had a will that was not offered for probate in the previous administration.  If they did, copies must be given to all interested persons. Either consents from all interested persons must be filed or a hearing must be conducted so the Judge can determine whether the will is valid.
    2. Gather the estate’s newly discovered assets and determine what they are worth.  This includes obtaining appraisals, if necessary.

      Within 91 days of being appointed, the personal representative for an estate reopened in supervised administration is required to file a Supplemental Inventory with the court listing all the decedent’s newly discovered assets.  For unsupervised administration, the personal representative must provide all interested persons with a Supplemental Inventory within 91 days.
    3. Determine if there are any unpaid taxes, including inheritance/estate tax.
    4. The estate’s assets must be preserved and distributed to the heirs according to the will, or if none, by the laws of intestate succession. 
    5. The personal representative must keep careful records of all income of the estate and all disbursements of the estate’s funds.  The personal representative must keep the estate’s assets separate and never “borrow” from them.
    6. The estate must be reclosed within 1 year from the day it is reopened.
    7. In supervised administration, file a Petition for Complete Estate Settlement, Schedule of Distribution, and Final Account when the reopened estate is closed. Signed consents from all interested persons or a hearing is required to grant the petition.

      The Account must list receipts (monies in) and disbursements (monies out).  Save your receipts; one must be presented to the court for each disbursement.  In unsupervised administration the Accounts do not have to be filed with the Court, but they must still be served on interested persons.
    8. Ensure that all taxes on the estate are paid.  You must also see that the decedent’s final federal, state and city income taxes are paid and the returns filed.

    Do I need an attorney?

    If you have questions that this website item did not answer, please seek legal advice from an attorney. By law, court employees are not permitted to give legal advice.

     

    Filing Procedures -
    Reopening Decedents Estate
    Checklist

    1. Gather the following documents:
      Will of decedent, if one was discovered that was not offered for probate when the estate was originally opened ( the original will must be submitted via mail to the court within 14 days of submitting the electronic copy of the will)
    2. Fill out the following forms:
      i. PC 607, Application/Petition to Reopen Estate
      ii. PC566, Supplemental Testimony, Interested Persons, Testate Estate (use only if decedent died with a will and named nonheirs as devisees)
      iii.. PC571, Acceptance of Appointment

      Important Note: You MUST use these forms; you cannot draft your own document.
    3. Click here to find out how you can file your pleadings
    4. Submit your documents to the Court in the following order (as one PDF if submitting electronically):
      i. MC 97, Protected Personal Identifying Information
      ii. PC 607, Application/Petition to Reopen Estate
      - Note: Addresses of all interested persons must be listed on petition. If missing addresses for any interested persons, after you receive the hearing information, you must arrange for publication. Click here for more information.
      iii. PC566, Supplemental Testimony, Interested Persons, Testate Estate (may not be required in every case)
      iv. PC571, Acceptance of Appointment
      v. MC 97a, Addendum to Protected Personal Identifying Information
      vi. Will of decedent (only if applicable) – if you are submitting a copy of the Will by email but you have the original Will in your possession, you MUST mail it to the court within 14 days of emailing your documents. Mail Will to:
      • Wayne County Probate Court
        Attn: Probate Counter
        1305 Coleman A. Young Municipal Center
        Detroit, Mich. 48226

    5. Filing Fee

      i. $150 Filing Fee
      ii. $12 Certified Letter of Autority Fee
      iii. If you file electronically or by fax, you will receive a notification to pay with the amount of your total fees, once your filing has been accepted.
      iv. Fees can be paid:

      1) electronically via ePayment online or
      2) via mail by CHECK (no out-of-state checks)or MONEY ORDER
      3) Make checks payable to: “Wayne County Probate Court”
      4) Mail checks/money order along with a letter with your case # referencing what the payment is for to:

      Wayne County Probate Court
      1305 Coleman A. Young Municipal Center
      2 Woodward Ave.
      Detroit, MI. 48226

      v. A fee waiver request can be submitted together with your petition. Click here to learn about the fee waiver process.
      NOTE: Once accepted for filing refunds will not be given.
    6. Hearing Date

      i. Once fee is paid you will be sent notice of hearing information, including ZOOM instructions.
      ii. You must serve a copy of the petition and the hearing information on all the interested persons.
      iii. All hearings are being conducted by ZOOM.
      iv. You must attend the ZOOM hearing or your petition will be dismissed.

    7. Letters of Authority
      i. After the hearing, if your petition has been granted and you have paid the $12 fee and qualified with the Acceptance of Appointment, you will be sent Letters of Authority
      ii. They will be sent via email with an electronic certification
      iii. If you did not provide an email address they will be mailed to you

     

    Rev. 4/22