A Petition and Order for Assignment is a probate court procedure that is used to transfer property worth less than $22,000 after payment of burial expenses. For example, if funeral and burial expenses were $7,000, then the total amount of property that could be transferred using a Petition and Order for Assignment is $29,000 ($22,000 + $7,000).
A form of Petition and Order for Assignment can be downloaded below. Complete the form and file it with the Probate Court Clerk, along with the following items:
This procedure does not require the appointment of a fiduciary, or any other court proceedings. As a result, there is no duty to give notice, provide inventories or accountings, or publish a notice to creditors. The decedent's property is not subject to creditor's claims.
For an estate valued at $22,000 or less, which consists entirely of personal property, the affidavit procedure may be used. A form of Affidavit of Decedent's Successor for Delivery of Certain Assets Owned Decedent can be downloaded below. Attach a copy of the decedent's death certificate to the affidavit.
A person who transfers property pursuant to the affidavit is discharged and released from liability to the same extent as if the person dealt with a court-appointed fiduciary. However, a person to whom property is transferred is accountable for the property, and must deliver it to the proper beneficiaries. The property is not subject to creditor's claims.
If a decedent owns vehicles worth $60,000 or less, the heirs may obtain title by making an application to the Secretry of State, provided that a personal representative is not appointed for the estate.
A form of affidavit for this procedure can be downloaded below (Form TR-29). If available, the vehicle title must be attached to the form. If more than one heir has equal priority to the vehicle, then each heir should complete a separate certification regarding how the vehicle should be titled (Form TR-34).
A hospital, convalescent or nursing home, morgue, or law enforcement agency holding $500.00 or less, and wearing apparel of a decedent, may deliver the money and wearing apparel to an individual furnishing identification and a sworn statement that the individual is the decedent's spouse, child, or parent and that there is no application or petition pending for administration of the decedent's estate. The hospital, home, morgue, or law enforcement agency making the delivery is released to the same extent as if delivery were made to a legally qualified personal representative of the decedent's estate and is not required to see to the property's disposition. The individual to whom delivery is made is answerable for the property to a person with a prior right and accountable to a personal representative of the decedent's estate appointed after the delivery.
John P. Tamboer, attorney
Estate Planning Law Group
5088 Corporate Exchange Blvd.
Grand Rapids, MI 49512