Trust and Probate Administration


At Monaghan P.C., our experienced Michigan probate and trust attorneys handle all matters related to probate andprobate litigation throughout the Metro Detroit area, including Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, Livingston, Genesee, Monroe, and Lapeer counties.


A trust is a charitable or estate planning tool that allows an individual to make specific directions regarding the use of assets and gifts. Assets placed in a trust pass according to the terms of the trust and are not subject to probate. Atrust allows an individual to retain some control over the use and disposition of assets without the tax burdens and other impediments.


Probate is the process by which a decedent’s property, known as the "estate," is passed to his or her heirs and others named in the will or in accordance with the law if the decedent did not have a will. The entire process, under jurisdiction of the probate court can take from five months to two years depending on the complexity of the estate. A well-constructed estate plan will minimize estate and federal and state estate taxes while helping avoid conflict in the distribution of the estate.


The first essential steps in the probate process include:


  • Petitioning the court for appointment of a Personal Representative

  • Identifying and inventorying the decedent’s property

  • Having the property valued

  • Paying debts and taxes

  • Distributing the remaining property as the will directs

  • Filing appropriate tax returns


Unfortunately, even the most meticulously crafted estate plan may be contested. Disputes may arise regarding the validity of a will or trust, regarding the interpretation of the will or trust. When you find yourself involved in a will contest or a trust dispute, the experienced trust and probate lawyers at Monaghan P.C. can help. Our experiencedtrust and probate lawyers represent beneficiaries and fiduciaries, including executors, trustees, conservators, and guardians, in the following probate and trust litigation matters:


  • Accounting actions

  • Claims against fiduciaries

  • Trust contests and reformation

  • Will contests

  • Will and trust construction and litigation

  • Joint Bank Account ownership


Our experience enables us to counsel clients during all aspects of the estate planning and administration process. Contact one of our qualified Michigan probate and trust attorneys for help and guidance with all of your probateneeds.