Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Michigan

My uncle died June 2, 2011 in hospital, Port Huron, MI. His home and several acres of land are located in Kimball, MI. 48074. He has two living sisters (one is my mother, born 1925 who lives at zip 48035, and the other born 1922 who lives at zip 48089). The sister born 1922 had much mental problems during her younger years, so my Mother born 1925, stepped in and found her brother, my uncles information and took it all to attorney 'John' in Saint Clair Shores, MI. 48081. The estate has had nothing done to it since my uncle died. I live in Tennessee, and from there, called Ford Motor Co. to report his death, and stop his pension. I also notified social security, and had his television, phone and utilities disconnected a few months after his death because it had not been done. I thought this was the attorney's job, but did it myself and then call 'John's office and reported it completed. Towards the end of last year mother said the estate could not be settled because this 'John' attorney would need to do my uncles Taxes after the first of 2012, then the next steps would be to sell his vehicle and land. Well that time has long passed and still nothing is being done with my uncles *house, *truck, *property, *lawn equipment, etc. My mother will not say who is cutting the grass and how they are being paid. Today 7-4-2012 speaking by phone to mother, she said she was not going to do anything with that property. When I told her the maintenance fees 'John' must be charging would for sure be outrageous after a year plus of handling fees... Mom replied she doesn't care. Well I do care and I want to get this settled.

Important is that No Will, No Trust, No Beneficiary has been found through court records, plus he was widowed and never Fathered any children. So I would like to know if I a (niece) can request attorney 'John' give up my uncles files to me and let me sell the estate, then from the proceeds pay attorney 'John' what I am sure is going to be a powerful amount? Will you please write with what I can do legally to force the surrender of my uncles files, and the delayed payment process to attorney 'John'? The postal code below is for me in TN 38464, as I have already mention the Michigan zips above for everyone else. Also if you have a fee, please let me know upfront what it is.

In Advance Thank You,

LC Bragg - [email protected]

Asked on 7/04/12, 8:41 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Renee Walsh LawRefs Nonprofit

It would be appropriate for you to open a probate estate and have yourself appointed Personal Representative. In this manner, you can choose to hire or fire the attorney working on the matter now. Please let me know if you would like my assistance in procuring your appointment / letters of authority. If you have follow-up questions, feel free to ask the via my website at or directly at [email protected]

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Answered on 7/04/12, 8:58 pm

Timothy Klisz Klisz Law Office, PLLC

You are not an heir and have no ability to assist in this manner unless your mom and aunt agree. Unless I am missing something like you are a creditor, the heirs are in charge here.

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Answered on 7/05/12, 4:34 am
John Tatone John R. Tatone & Associates

On more than one occassion I have replaced an attorney who had a dissatified client. Since you are not a direct heir, your mother would have to hire me to take over. I could meet her at her home if it is more convenient. Depending upon the Estate, there may not be an "upfront fee". You should call the court to find out if an estate has been opened and its status. I have also handled estates where my clients lived out of town. If your mother does not want the hassel, you could be appointed as personal representative with her agreement and your aunt. Please contact me to discuss in more detail or ask your mother to contact me to schedule an appointment. -586-873-7033

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Answered on 7/06/12, 5:43 am

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