What Happens If No Personal Representative Was Named in a Michigan Will?

One of the most important aspects of devising a Will in Michigan is to establish who will serve as your personal representative. The personal representative plays a crucial role in closing out your estate administration, and paying any debts and taxes, before distributing the remaining assets to your heirs.

In the event that a Will was not filed or did not name a personal representative, Michigan law explains the priority order of who is eligible to be appointed as a personal representative. This order remains the same whether the estate is going through informal or formal proceedings. The order of priority for serving as a personal representative, starting with highest priority is:

  • Any person who was named as a personal representative in the Will
  • A surviving spouse
  • Any other devisee of the decedent
  • The decedent's surviving spouse when not a devisee
  • Other heirs of the decedent who are not devisees
  • A creditor's nominee, although creditors have to wait over 40 days after the decedent’s death to nominate someone, and the court must determine that this person is suitable
  • The county or state public administrator which must wait the same period as creditors

As stated above, the person who is named as a personal representative in a Michigan Will has the highest level of priority to serve in such capacity, and this individual cannot transfer their priority by nominating someone else. For more questions about the Michigan Will process, schedule a consultation with a lawyer.


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