Friday, February 19, 2010

Sometimes it happens...

When you're serving as the trustee of a revocable living trust, sometimes you discover a little too late that there was an asset not properly titled in the name of the trust. If you can find no other way to obtain title to the asset or otherwise transfer it to the appropriate beneficiary, you may find yourself opening a small estates procedure with the local probate court.

Not to worry, a small estates procedure is not a full probate of the estate and does not subject other assets that were properly titled to the probate administration. In fact, a small estates procedure consists of the simple preparation of one court form, the payment of a $25 filing fee to the court and payment of the inventory fee to the court.

I came across a helpful tool made available online by Kalamazoo County that will calculate the inventory fee, which is based upon the value of the assets subject to probate. Although made available by Kalamazoo County, the fee calculated would be the same in any county probate court in Michigan. Follow this link to try the inventory fee calculator.

Individuals considering the cost of probate vs. the preparation of a living trust might also be interested in using the calculator to estimate court costs.

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