What is probate?

Probate is a process that occurs after someone dies.  It is the act of proving that a will was signed and executed in accordance with the legal requirements as set out in the state where it was signed.  It is through probate that property is legally transferred from the estate of a person, known as the "decedent," to the rightful beneficiary.  

When a loved one passes away there are two questions a qualified probate attorney should ask.  The first question is whether the person died with or without a will.  The answer to this question will let the probate attorney know which process must be followed.  Although some documents may be the same, it is a completely different process.  The second question a probate attorney should ask is what are the assets of the estate.  The answer to this question will let the probate attorney know whether probate is even necessary.

Probate of a Will

This s the legal process wherein a valid will is probated, meaning the assets of the estate will pass in accordance with the terms of the will to the named beneficiaries in the will.  When the will is probated, the court is finding that the will is valid and it was never revoked.  

Probate Without a Will

If your loved one dies without a will the legal term is they died intestate.  Michigan law dictates who the beneficiaries will be and the percentage of the estate they are entitled to.  

other probate practice areas



  Guardianship is the legal right given to a person who will be responsible for assisting another who is deemed to be fully or partially incapable of providing for him- or herself. Guardianship is a serious legal matter and a court will not grant a guardianship if less restrictive means to help are available. 



A conservatorship is used to protect adults who lack legal capacity to manage their affairs due to age or mental or physical disability.  

Probate Litigation


We represent beneficiaries are potential heirs in contesting wills based on lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence, forgery, etc.  We help beneficiaries protect their interest to ensure that they received what they are legally entitled to receive under the will or based on the laws of Michigan.

We also represent executors and administrators against these contests and beneficiaries who are alleging that they deserve more than the will states or what the law provides.

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LaChelle C Bussell, PLC

37630 W. Six Mile Rd D-190 Livonia, Michigan 48170