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Avoiding Probate
Probate Court Matters
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877-FRANK-LAW
jon@jonfranklaw.com

37282 - 31 Mile Road, PO Box #698
Richmond, MI 48062

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Michigan Probate

Can You Avoid Probate? Should You Avoid Probate?

Call For Solid Probate Court Advice

Death, Disability & Planning Are Probate Issues -- You Need Solid Advice & Experience

Guardian Ad Litem

Nobody WANTS to deal with a GAL. However, if you have to deal with a GAL, you better know HOW TO deal with a GAL. Learn your rights.

Avoiding Probate Court

Trusts, joint ownership of assets, powers of attorney, retirement/insurance beneficiary designations - each can be helpful. Learn your rights.

Probate Court Matters

Probate Court procedure is so different, that many experienced attorneys will not handle probate cases. You need experience in Probate Court Learn your rights.

Powers of Attorney

Business/financial & medical powers of attorney are powerful and inexpensive means of avoiding family disputes and legal fees. Learn your rights.

Not Sure Where to Start? Call Jon Frank

Probate Issues Are Stressful Enough Already -- You Need Peace of Mind.

Probate Matters Are Sensitive Matters. You Need Experienced, Affordable Probate Help

Are you responsible for the medical care for someone like this, but the doctors/hospital will not disclose any information, due to confidentiality rules? Do you or someone in your life want to make your wishes known, as far as a temporary medical condition, or “end of life care”?

Is there someone in your life who is vulnerable financially, due to advancing age, dementia, or mental illness? Has a young person, a minor in your life, come into money, due to a lawsuit or personal injury settlement? Maybe you are fortunate enough to be able to spend significant vacation time away from your home (especially during Michigan’s cold winters!), and need to have someone represent you – temporarily – while you are away.

These are some of life's most sensitive issues.  These are "Probate" issues.

Generally speaking, there are four different types of Michigan Courts.  There are Circuit and District Courts, which hear the same types of cases; however, Circuit Courts generally hear higher value civil cases, and more severe criminal cases, while District Courts typically hear cases of lesser value and severity. You may have also heard of Small Claims Courts, which hear civil cases, with less than $2,500.00 at stake.

Probate Courts hear cases involving Decedents' Estates, Guardianships, Conservatorships, mental health commitment hearings, and disputes regarding the interpretation of trust and power of attorney documents.

Sometimes, these issues force Probate Court jurisdiction. If a person dies with a will, or without, there will be a probate case, with the delays and expense that entails --- UNLESS STEPS ARE TAKEN IN ADVANCE (such as the setup of a well-drafted trust, and the proper set up of property ownership documents, bank/financial institution accounts, etc). 

When someone needs personal and financial help, because they can no longer handle these matters, Probate Courts will intervene --- UNLESS STEPS ARE TAKEN IN ADVANCE (such as the setup of well-drafted "financial" and "medical/health care" powers of attorney.

Probate Court intervention can be expensive and unnecessary.  However, Probate Court can also be an effective and positive means of avoiding/surmounting family disputes, and to bring finality to arguments that seemingly have no end.  When significant money is payable to a minor, or to a legally disabled adult, Probate Court intervention may well be mandatory, and so too, may be the appointment of a "Guardian Ad Litem", who is more of an Court-appointed investigative attorney, than he/she is a "guardian".

You need to know how to use these Probate devices, when to use them, and when to not use them.  Probate Court involvement also brings with it a series of procedures that even many experienced attorneys do not understand.  You need the experience of a Michigan attorney, who knows how and when to avoid Probate Courts, when to use them, and how to use Probate Court procedures to your advantage.  Give Jon Frank a call/text today, 877-FRANK-LAW (372-6552).

The Client Bill of Rights

Get Yours.

Client Bill of Rights

  1. 100% Client Satisfaction Guarantee
  2. 48-Hour Open Door Policy
  3. The Lawyer You Hire Is The Lawyer Who Works on Your Case
  4. Candid Explanations in Plain Simple English
  5. An Idea Where Your Case is Heading
  6. One-Day Returned Phone Call/E-Mail/Text Policy
  7. Cell Phone Access to Your Lawyer
  8. Constant Immediate Updating
  9. You Have A Right to A Lawyer Who Will Respect Nos. 1-8 Above

Being a client sucks. It is a terrible and anxious experience, and I know, because I am not only a lawyer, but I have been a client before, myself. It can be awful, and the lawyer you hire should not make it worse.

Because different lawyers do different work, the problems that bring you to a lawyer will vary. However, one thing is in common: you have to put yourself and a highly sensitive problem into the hands of another person.  It means that there is a loss of control. A cloud hanging over your head.

Just you hire me to protect your rights, you have rights THAT EVERY LAWYER SHOULD BE WILLING TO PROTECT.  

I AM.

CLIENT BILL OF RIGHTS

1. 100% Client Satisfaction Guarantee

You have a right to be satisfied, and soon, that I am hard at work on your matter, and that your case is not “just another case”, but it is my cause.  I cannot guarantee outcomes of personal injury, criminal, or other court matters.  

However, if you are not completely satisfied within the first 30 days, or before the first Court appearance, whichever is sooner, that I am working hard on your case, then you can come get your file, or I will send it to you, and you can go hire another lawyer. 

YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO BE COMPLETELY SATISFIED THAT I AM WORKING HARD ON YOUR MATTER, AND THAT YOUR CASE IS MY CAUSE.  

2. 48-Hour Open Door Policy

If you feel that you need to sit down with me face-to-face to discuss your case, I WILL CLEAR MY SCHEDULE, SETTING ASIDE TIME TO MEET WITH YOU IN MY OFFICE.  Even if I am in the middle of trial, I will meet with you within 48 hours. 

YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO MEET WITH ME AT MY OFFICE, WITHIN 48 HOURS OF YOUR REQUEST, AND TO EXPECT ME TO CLEAR MY SCHEDULE, TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN.

3. The Lawyer You Hire Is The Lawyer Who Works on Your Case 

When you hire Jon Frank and The Frank Law Firm, PC, you hire Jon Frank.  You will not be shunted off to associates who are off-camera, and whose faces do not appear on websites, or TV advertising.  I am the lawyer who will answer your calls.

YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO EXPECT THAT THE LAWYER YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE GOING TO HIRE, IS THE ONE WHO IS ACTUALLY WORKING ON YOUR CASE.

4. Candid Explanations in Plain Simple English

Personal injury, no-fault, and criminal matters, while commonly settled “out of court”, are ultimately matters decided “in court”, and therefore, no guarantees can be made as to outcome.  Anyone who says otherwise, is not being truthful with you. 

So, too, where you hire me to deed a property into trust, handle a probate matter, or anything else that I might do as your lawyer, there is a process that we must follow, and as the “paying customer”, you are entitled to understand just what that process is.

These are often complex matters that need to be explained to you, by your lawyer.  Not only should your lawyer GLADLY explain the process to you, your lawyer should explain to you, in plain simple English – without formal, condescending “legalese”.

Not every lawyer is willing to give their client a full and candid explanation, for good or ill, and in plain simple English, of just what is going on with their case.

I AM.

THEREFORE, YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IS GOING ON WITH YOUR CASE, AND TO KEEP ASKING ME TO EXPLAIN IT, UNTIL YOU DO UNDERSTAND. 

Lawyers are paid to provide a service, and should not complain, when their clients ask for the service they have paid for.

5. An Idea Where Your Case is Heading 

As I just mentioned, there is a process that your matter will follow, from start to finish.  One of the biggest causes of client stress, is not knowing just what that process is – ahead of time.  Knowing what road you will be taking, makes the trip easier, not just as a traveler on an Interstate, but also as a client in a legal matter. 

THEREFORE, YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW IN ADVANCE, WHERE YOUR CASE IS HEADING, AS TO:

6. One-Day Returned Phone Call/E-Mail/Text Policy 

If it is important enough for you to reach out to me, to call, e-mail, or text, it is important enough for me to return the communication, and to do so promptly. 

YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO EXPECT ME WITHIN ONE BUSINESS DAY, TO:

7. Cell Phone Access to Your Lawyer

You have just hired me to help you through one of the most sensitive, gut-wrenching episodes you will ever have in your life, as long as you live. 

One of the deepest expressions of trust, one human being can give another, is to be vulnerable enough to ask for help.  By hiring me as your lawyer, that is what you have done.  Therefore, I make a point of giving my clients my cell phone number, so that they can contact me, day or night, 24/7/365, by phone or text message

While you ARE WELCOME TO MY CELL PHONE NUMBER, I have enabled my land lines, (586) 727-1900 and (877) FRANK-LAW (372-6552) to receive text messages. While I may not always be available to talk, I want to make it easy for you to contact me; if I am not readily available, I will get back to you, often within minutes or hours, but always within one business day.

YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO MY CELL PHONE NUMBER, AND TO HAVE ACCESS TO ME 24/7/365 BY CELL PHONE AND TEXT MESSAGE.  

8. Constant Immediate Updating 

It is bad enough to have to put your life in someone else’s hands.  When you have to put your life into my hands, you have an absolute right to be kept updated as to the progress of your matter.  My policy is to send a copy to you, by email, of all correspondence I send to other people (lawyers, insurance companies, prosecutors, police agencies, etc.).  

Receiving copies by email, will enable you to see what I am doing on your case, as I am doing it.

I will send you email copies, usually by “blind copy”, to protect your email privacy; sometimes, I will forward to you, a previously sent email. If you do not have email, then I will send you copies of outgoing correspondence, by regular mail. 

YOU HAVE AN ABSOLUTE RIGHT TO BE COPIED ON ALL OUTGOING CORRESPONDENCE ON YOUR MATTER, BY E-MAIL, OR BY REGULAR MAIL, WHEN THAT CORRESPONDENCE IS BEING SENT.

9. You Have A Right To A Lawyer Who Will Respect Nos. 1-8 Above 

If you are looking for a lawyer who can help guide you through your injury matter to a great recovery, at the earliest possible time, or someone who can help protect your rights in a drunk driving, or criminal matter, you have a right to a lawyer who will respect these rights you have as a client.

As a client, you should never have to worry or wonder if your lawyer cares about your rights as a client, or whether they respect you as a human being.  You deserve, and have a right to a lawyer, who will do both.

TEXT OR CALL ME, Jon Frank, at 877-FRANK-LAW, or at (586) 727-1900, if you want me to protect your rights as a citizen – and as a client.  You can email me as well, at jon@jonfranklaw.com.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Frequently Asked Questions. Honest Answers.

Why People Hate Lawyers

I have been a lawyer for just about 30 years.  I think of myself as a decent conscientious person, who puts my clients’ needs first.  While there are a few jerks among us lawyers, the vast majority of us lawyers are the same as me; they are Moms & Dads, Rotary members, church-goers, and decent people who do right by the clients. .. Load complete answer.

I have been a lawyer for just about 30 years.  I think of myself as a decent conscientious person, who puts my clients’ needs first.  While there are a few jerks among us lawyers, the vast majority of us lawyers are the same as me; they are Moms & Dads, Rotary members, church-goers, and decent people who do right by the clients.

So why do we have such lousy press? Keep reading.

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What To Expect When Calling a Lawyer?

This is an anxious time for you, or you would not be calling a lawyer.  You are calling a lawyer, only because you have to.  Therefore, you need to be able to figure out if the lawyer knows what they are doing, and if so, whether they can help you.  .. Load complete answer.

This is an anxious time for you, or you would not be calling a lawyer.  You are calling a lawyer, only because you have to.  Therefore, you need to be able to figure out if the lawyer knows what they are doing, and if so, whether they can help you. 

You are going to have to rely on this lawyer, so yes, you will need to develop some trust, and hopefully, some level of comfort, talking with this lawyer.  Thus, the lawyer is going to ask you about the facts of your case, and you should be ready to answer his/her questions, even though they seem intrusive, or even irrelevant. 

You also want to know about price and terms (is it hourly? How much? How much down, initially? Contingent fee, etc).  However, you also want to know if you can work with this lawyer.  In short, you are “feeling out” the situation, and indeed, the lawyer, to see if he/she is the one to hire. Keep reading.

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What is Frank Law Probate?

Frank Law Probate is your source for accurate legal information and representation regarding Probate Court Matters, Real Estate Trusts to Avoid Probate, Medical & Financial Powers of Attorney, & Guardian Ad Litem Services (For Attorneys).

Frank Law Probate is your source for accurate legal information and representation regarding Probate Court Matters, Real Estate Trusts to Avoid Probate, Medical & Financial Powers of Attorney, & Guardian Ad Litem Services (For Attorneys).

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How much does it cost to hire a probate lawyer?

Every case is different.  Are there unusual issues? Will there be significant opposition? Is this a matter of controlling non-probate litigation, such as a personal injury/wrongful death matter? Most of the time, my work is more affordable than you might think.  That said, if you need legal help, you need it done right.  Call me, and let's talk about it. 

Every case is different.  Are there unusual issues? Will there be significant opposition? Is this a matter of controlling non-probate litigation, such as a personal injury/wrongful death matter? Most of the time, my work is more affordable than you might think.  That said, if you need legal help, you need it done right.  Call me, and let's talk about it. 

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I have more questions. Can I call for free advice?

Absolutely.  Unlike many probate attorneys, I do not charge for an initial consultation.

Absolutely.  Unlike many probate attorneys, I do not charge for an initial consultation.

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What geographic areas do you serve?

Most times, it is best for both lawyer and client, to hire locally.  Therefore, for most probate matters, I usually work within a 100-mile radius of my home in (beautiful) Richmond MI. That usually means Macomb County, St. Clair County, Wayne County, Oakland County, Lapeer County, Tuscola County, Livingston County, Genesee County & Washtenaw County. However, sometimes, the client specifically does not want to hire locally; in other matters, the cases involve significant or unusual issues.  In the right cases, I make exceptions.

Most times, it is best for both lawyer and client, to hire locally.  Therefore, for most probate matters, I usually work within a 100-mile radius of my home in (beautiful) Richmond MI. That usually means Macomb County, St. Clair County, Wayne County, Oakland County, Lapeer County, Tuscola County, Livingston County, Genesee County & Washtenaw County. However, sometimes, the client specifically does not want to hire locally; in other matters, the cases involve significant or unusual issues.  In the right cases, I make exceptions.

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Do I need to hire a probate lawyer?

You may not. Michigan has tried to make much of its Probate procedure accessible to the non-lawyer public, and court clerks are often quite nice about helping where they can.  However, it is still confusing enough, so that MANY LAWYERS SIMPLY DO NOT HANDLE PROBATE, and many of them refer their probate cases to me.  If I can point you in the right direction, I will gladly do so, even if it means no fee for me.  I want to be your trusted legal adviser.

You may not. Michigan has tried to make much of its Probate procedure accessible to the non-lawyer public, and court clerks are often quite nice about helping where they can.  However, it is still confusing enough, so that MANY LAWYERS SIMPLY DO NOT HANDLE PROBATE, and many of them refer their probate cases to me.  If I can point you in the right direction, I will gladly do so, even if it means no fee for me.  I want to be your trusted legal adviser.

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How to Avoid Having to Hire Lawyers - GENERALLY SPEAKING

These are general comments, not just on the area of law on this web page.  These are GENERAL COMMENTS, applicable to many different areas; not just probate.  This WILL NOT WORK if formal probate action is needed, either in the form of Probate Court matters, or in the form of probate documents, like wills, Powers of Attorney, etc.  .. Load complete answer.

These are general comments, not just on the area of law on this web page.  These are GENERAL COMMENTS, applicable to many different areas; not just probate.  This WILL NOT WORK if formal probate action is needed, either in the form of Probate Court matters, or in the form of probate documents, like wills, Powers of Attorney, etc. 

In the course of my work, I frequently get inquiries from people in a variety of subjects.  While the subjects and circumstances vary, there are some common threads...Keep reading.

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