Filing

Important Information on Filings

Filing Details

For Faxed, emailed items:

  • To serve you better, please complete this form (WCPC99 Petitioner Filing Coversheet)WCPC99 for each filing packet/email attachment so that we can quickly identify emergencies or the need for an updated Letter of Authority and route your filing appropriately. Use this Coversheetas the first page of your single .pdf attachment. See our website instructions for what forms are required to be filed together in a single attachment.
  • A single .pdf attachment must be used for each filing, but multiple .pdf attachments can be submitted in a single email. Example: Two .pdfs in an email – one for guardianship and one for conservatorship regarding the same person.
  • A scanned copy of an original will must be submitted as part of the .pdf file. The original will must be sent to the court (via mail, certified mail, or delivery service) and received within 14 days of the email filing; failure to do so within this time period may result in the dismissal of the case.
  • Important Note: Please do not send a copy of any Social Security card to the Court. We do not require it and cannot keep it in our records.

Filings may be submitted by email, fax, or regular U.S. mail. Please review the following step-by-step instructions to help us process your filings as efficiently as possible. Please note that we are not an e-filing court and this is not an automated process. Individual people are receiving your emails and faxes and processing them either on-site or remotely with new procedures created in response to the public health crisis. You will not receive confirmation that we are in receipt of your filings.

New Forms – Personal Identifying Information (PII)

In order to prevent identity theft, the Michigan Supreme Court requires that as of April 1, 2022 new forms must be used which do not contain PII. The Court cannot accept the old forms after March 31, 2022.

PII must be listed on a new form, either MC 97 (Protected Personal Identifying Information) or MC 97a (Addendum to Protected Personal Identifying Information).

Due to the amendment of MCR 1.109 and 8.119, images of court documents filed prior to March 31, 2022 are no longer available to view online on our website via Case Access. Any document filed on or after April 1, 2022 is available to view online. See our Copy Request instructions here for more information on how to obtain copies of documents dated prior to April 1, 2022.

*For all Filers, Including Attorneys/GALs/Court-Appointed Counsel: Do not include protected personal identifying information on documents that you file with the court unless necessary. Protected PII is: date of birth, financial account numbers, driver’s license/state id/passport numbers, and social security numbers. SCAO forms have been updated to remove fields for PII or to require that the information is included on a second separate form (mc97 or mc97a). For more information, please go to SCAO’s website here: Protecting Personal Identifying Information (michigan.gov)

Processing Delays

How to submit your Non-Emergency Filing

How to submit your Non-Emergency Filing.

How to submit your Emergency Filing

How to submit your Emergency Filing.

Hearing Information

If your filing also requires a hearing (almost all petitions except for Petitions/Order for Assignment (small estates)):

  1. After the fee is paid, you will receive BY EMAIL your notice of hearing packet, which includes the date and time of the hearing, the instructions to participate in the hearing via zoom, and a copy of your petition.
  2. It is the petitioner’s responsibility to serve notice of the hearing on the interested parties and submit a proof of service to the court PRIOR TO THE HEARING. If publication is required, click here for more information.
  3. If your filing fee has not been paid or if you have not completed service (filed the proof of service with the court), YOUR HEARING WILL NOT GO FORWARD and your petition may be dismissed.
  4. Click here ZoomNoticeOfHearing for ZOOM hearing information.
  5. For questions related to the hearing, you may contact the courtroom (for the judge assigned to your case) directly using the directoryWhere/How Do I File Where/How Do I File pdf.
  6. Following the hearing held via Zoom, you will receive BY EMAIL your certified Letters of Authority once you have been appointed and qualified with filing of an Acceptance of Appointment and bond, if applicable Letters ($12 each) must be paid for via ePayment in order to receive them.
  7. Please visit Case Access to view hearing information and contact the courtroom for Zoom instructions if needed.
  8. All hearings starting on March 16, 2020 were held via Zoom. All future hearing dates are scheduled for Zoom until further notice.

How to Request Updated Letters of Authority

Requesing Updated Letters of Authority.

ImageAccess

Please be aware that you can now view images from case files via the Cass Access link on this site. This change has been implemented dto facilitate the review of documents due to the restriction of access to the Court during the public health emergency. The following items will not be accessible:

  • Confidential documents
  • Sealed cases
  • Settlement agreements
  • Death certificates entered separately from other filings
  • Letters of authority of all types entered afer 8/1/2019

Court rule amendments to MCR 1.109(D) & 8.119(H) effective April 1, 2022 regarding protected personal information (PII) will make it impossible for the Court to allow access to documents containing PII via our website. To obtain copies of court documents, see the Copy Request page of this website.

Electronic Certified Copies

Effective July 2020, the Wayne County Probate Court no longer issues fiduciary letters (letters of authority, guardianships, and conservatorships) and other certified copies of documents with a raised seal. The Court utilizes an electronic seal only to validate the authenticity of the original document.

Parties relying on letters should consider the following:

  • If you have any questions about the authenticity of the document being presented to you, please go to the Wayne County Probate Court’s website, www.wcpc.us, under Case Access, search and select the case (either by case name or case number). The entry of the Letter of Authority will be shown on the Docket page. The fiduciary and party names are also available on the Party page.

Parties utilizing letters should consider the following:

  • Note the language on the letters indicate “The Letters of Authority are valid only if issued with the official seal of the Wayne County Probate Court,” a raised seal is not required.
  • Pg 2 of the letter indicates:
    • Effective July 2020, the Wayne County Probate Court no longer issues fiduciary letters (letters of authority, guardianships, and conservatorships) with a raised seal, only an electronic seal is used. If you have any questions about the authenticity of the document being presented to you, please go to the Wayne County Probate Court’s website, www.wcpc.us, under Case Access, search and select the case (either by case name or case number). The entry of the Letter of Authority will be shown on the Docket page. The fiduciary and party names are also available on the Party page.
  • Provide a copy of the case history from our website by going to the Wayne County Probate Court’s website, www.wcpc.us, under Case Access, search and select the case (either by case name or case number). The entry of the Letter of Authority will be shown on the Docket page. The fiduciary and party names are also available on the Party page. Print these pages.
  • Provide a copy of this website page, indicating the official Court policy.

Publication and/or Notice to Unknown Creditors

For petitions where publication is required and\or notice to unknown creditors, please be aware that the Detroit Legal News is open and continuing to publish per their normal schedule. Contact them at wayneprobate@legalnews.com or 313 409-6398 to arrange for publication.

Self-Help Resources

All probate court forms are available to download here . Check our Information tab for general information about specific probate case types (for example, opening a decedent’s estate or filing for guardianship).

The Wayne County Probate Bar Association provides a lawyer referral service and your first consultation is free: 1-800-357-7090.

Michigan Legal Help is a website with several articles covering probate topics and you can also search for legal aid organizations that serve your area or topic.

Use of technology to conduct hearings of all types remotely during this health crisis is based on Court Rules issued by the Michigan Supreme Court . SCAO has many helpful resources for participating in remote hearings and other materials related to court capacities around the state.

The COVID-19 vaccine is FREE and available at many walk-in sites around the City of Detroit. Find locations and more information here. For non-city residents, please see information here or call 1-866-610-3885 on vaccine availability through Wayne County .

Questions\Further Information

Questions may be directed to info@wcpc.us.

 

Performance

Selected Performance Measures

Selected Performance Measures 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Average number of weeks until hearing date 4.7 4.4 4.3 5.1 4.6
Number of new filings 13,250 13,649 13,274 9,688 11,682
Number of hearings scheduled 36,515 38,110 36,579 26,137 26,523
Number of active cases(excluding mental health) 34,914 33,476 34,634 34,161 32,132
Percentage of estate proceedings adjudicated within 35 days 77% 78% 83% 72% 67%
Percentage of guardianship and conservatorship proceedings adjudicated within 90 days 90% 92% 93% 79% 86%
Percentage of mental commitment petitions adjudicated within 14 days 98% 97% 97% 97% 97%
Clearance rates ( the number of outgoing cases as a percentage of incoming cases) 100% 99% 99% 96% 97%
Number of full time staffing positions (as of 12/31) 70 68 68 68 65

Judges of Probate

Hon. Freddie G. Burton, Jr., Chief Judge
Hon. David Braxton, Chief Judge Pro Tempore
Hon. Judy A. Hartsfield
Hon. Frank S. Szymanski
Hon. Terrance A. Keith
Hon. Lawrence J. Paolucci
Hon. David A. Perkins