Important Information on Filings
For Faxed, emailed items:
- To serve you better, please complete this form (WCPC99 Petitioner Filing Coversheet) 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.
(opens in new window)Click here for contact information regarding questions and resolving issues related to this process.(opens in new window)
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).
Please be aware that the Wayne County Probate Court’s processing backlog is now approximately two to three weeks. To see if your item has been filed, check the Court’s website under Case Access; follow the instructions.
This processing delay also applies to receiving your Notice of Hearing and requests for letters of authority for all types of cases. Hearing dates may not be scheduled and updated Letters may not be received for roughly one to two weeks after payment has been made.
Please continue to monitor our website for updates and other important information. Please do not send emails asking for updates on your filing/hearing/requests until after three weeks have passed, as responding to the frequent inquiries slows our progress. Thank you for your patience as we strive to provide quality service in these challenging times.
How to submit your Non-Emergency FilingHow to submit your Non-Emergency Filing.
How to submit your Emergency FilingHow to submit your Emergency Filing.
If your filing also requires a hearing (almost all petitions except for Petitions/Order for Assignment (small estates)):
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Click (opens in new window)here for ZOOM hearing information.
- For questions related to the hearing, you may contact the courtroom (for the judge assigned to your case) directly using the directory(opens in new window)Where/How Do I File .
- 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.
- Please visit Case Access to view hearing information and contact the courtroom for Zoom instructions if needed.
- 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
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
The court has adopted a new electronic seal to certify copies, including Letters of Authority, that will be sent to you via email, if one has been provided to the court, instead of mailing out hard copies with the raised seal.
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 email@example.com or 313 409-6398 to arrange for publication.
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 (opens in new window)here. For non-city residents, please see information (opens in new window)here or call 1-866-610-3885 on vaccine availability through Wayne County .
Questions may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we face this public health challenge together.
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
Hon. David Braxton, Chief Judge Pro Tempore
Hon. Judy A. Hartsfield
Hon. Frank S. Szymanski
Hon. Terrance A. Keith
Hon. Lisa Marie Neilson
Hon. Lawrence J. Paolucci
Hon. David A. Perkins