Informal and Unsupervised Estate Proceeding

Applications result in unsupervised administration (case type suffix is DE).


For complete info, please refer to the following brochures:

Planning to Administer a Decedent’s Estate - Brochure #8
General Information Sheet for the Opening of a Decedent’s Estates - PEMH 1024


Below are the forms that must be completed to start an estate proceeding informally in Oakland County Probate Court. When the required forms are completed, bring them to Oakland County Probate Court.

Please arrive by 4pm for same day processing.


Fees:

Forms to start an estate informally may be hand-delivered or mailed. The staff will check that venue is appropriate; that all necessary forms are presented and completed correctly; and that the correct filing fee is enclosed. A copy of the death certificate indicating an Oakland County residence must be attached to the petition as well, with some exceptions.

  • The filing fee to commence an estate is $175.00.
  • Letters of Authority cost $12.00 each.
  • Cash, check (made out to Oakland County Probate Court) or credit card.
  • Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover accepted.
  • Service fees for copies and certifications apply for credit cards only.
  • Please do not mail cash.

Publication:

If publication is required and the personal representative chooses to publish in the Legal News, a check made out to Oakland County Legal News for $93.80 must be included, unless other arrangements are made.


Documents to Start an Estate Informally:

  • Death certificate
  • If testate, the decedent's last will and testament.  Note: the court will check for any wills on file.

Checklist for Opening a Decedent Estate by Informal Application 
Application for Informal Probate and/or Appointment of Personal Representative (Testate/Intestate) - PC 558
Testimony to Identify Heirs - PC 565
Register's Statement - PC 568
Acceptance of Appointment - PC 571

These forms may be required based on the specific situation

Supplemental Testimony to Identify Nonheir Devisees, Testate Estate - PC 566
Notice of Intent to Request Informal Appointment of Personal Representative
- PC 557
Proof of Service
- PC 564
Renunciation of Right to Appointment, Nomination of Personal Representative and Waiver of Notice
- PC 567
Bond of Fiduciary
- PC 570
Notice to Creditors, Decedent's Estate
- PC 574
Declaration of Intent to Give Notice by Publication
- PC 617
Appearance of Parent of Minor
- PC 606

If the application is accepted and the Register’s Statement is issued, the court will issue Letters of Authority, which are proof of the personal representative’s authority to act.  The second page of the Letters includes valuable information about duties and due dates. Letters on decedent estates in Oakland County do not include expiration dates.

There are no restrictions on Informal Letters.

The Personal Representative must also provide the Friend of the Court with Personal Representative Notice to the Friend of the Court - PC618. It is not filed with the Probate Court.

The estate will proceed as an unsupervised estate, unless further action is taken. Unlike supervised estates, there is limited court involvement.  The court is not allowed to advise or guide you in terms of administering the estate but for providing appropriate forms.  Only the following documents are required during administration:

Inventory - Decedent Estate - PC 577

This document must specifically describe all of the decedent’s assets and their value as of the date of death.  Real estate is valued at two times the state equalized value (SEV) or by an appraisal as of the date of death.  A legal description must be included.  The name and address of each financial institution listed must also be included. In an unsupervised estate, this document must only be presented to the court within 91 days of the date of the Letters of Authority for the court to determine the gross estate fee.  The court will not file it unless the personal representative requests that it be filed.  Otherwise, the court will view the Inventory to calculate the fee, then return it to the personal representative.  There is no filing fee, but see below regarding the Gross Estate Fee.

Account of Fiduciary, Short Form - PC 583  or Account of Fiduciary, Long Form - PC 584

Accounts are not filed with the court on unsupervised estates.

Notice of Continued Administration - PC 587

If the personal representative is unable to complete estate administration within one year, this document must be filed with the court within 28 days of the first anniversary and all subsequent anniversaries during which the administration remains uncompleted. It must specify the reason for the continuation of the administration.  There is no filing fee.

Gross Estate Fee (also known as the Inventory Fee) pursuant to PA 596 of 2012

This is a graduated fee based on the gross value of all estate assets as of the date of death.  For each parcel of real estate, mortgage liens will be deducted up to the value of that parcel for purposes of calculating this fee if the decedent died on or after 3/28/2013.  Subtract any applicable mortgage liens before adding up the value of all ass​ets to determine the Inventory Value. Insert that Inventory Value in our Inventory Fee Calculator to determine the fee.  It must be paid no later than the filing of the Petition for an Order of Complete Estate Settlement, the Sworn Statement - PC 591, or one year after appointment, whichever is earlier.  The court will calculate the exact fee for you. In the event of a variance the fee calculated by the court shall override the online Inventory Fee Calculator.

The gross estate fee may be paid by cash (except by mail), checks or money orders only; made out to Oakland County Probate Court, or credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover).

Before an estate may be closed, the procedures indicated inClosing a Decedent's Estate must be followed.

If you want to petition the court to remove the personal representative, the following form and a $20 filing fee is required: Petition for Removal of Personal Representative and Appointment of Successor (Estate Not Closed) - PC 604.

Notice: This is meant as a brief description of this topic and is not meant to be all-inclusive.  Consult the statutes and court rules or an attorney for additional information about the duties and responsibilities of a personal representative, including extensive service requirements.  Probate staff is prohibited from giving legal advice and providing specific guidance on administration.