Small Estates

Filing Instructions

  • Note: The Court is prohibited by law (Sec. 1211 of the Estates and Protected Individuals Code [EPIC]) from providing legal advice and completing forms. This item provides general information concerning the filing procedures for a small estate and may be useful as a guide. If you have any questions, consider contacting an attorney for assistance.
  • 700.3982 Michigan Compiled Law states, in part:
    • “Section 3982:
      • Upon a showing of evidence, satisfactory to the court, of payment of the expenses for the decedent's funeral and burial and if the balance of a decedent's gross estate consists of property of the value of $15,000 or less, the court may order that the property be turned over to the surviving spouse or, if there is not a spouse, to the decedent's heirs.
      • Upon a showing of evidence, satisfactory to the court, that the decedent's funeral or burial expenses are unpaid or were paid by a person other than the estate, and if the balance of the gross estate after payment of the expenses would consist of property of the value of $15,000 or less, the court shall order that the property be first used to pay the unpaid funeral and burial expenses, or to reimburse the person that paid those expenses, and may order that the balance be turned over to the surviving spouse or, if there is not a spouse, to the decedent's heirs.”
  • Maximum Estate Value: The total value of the assets on the original and any amended petitions, after payment of funeral and burial expenses, may not exceed:
Date of Death
Max Value
September 10, 1942 to September 2, 1949$200
September 3, 1949 to August 27, 1964$500
August 28, 1964 to September 30, 1972$1,000
October 1, 1972 to June 30, 1979$1,500
July 1, 1979 to December 12, 1984$2,500
December 13, 1984 to September 30, 1944$5,000
October 1, 1994 to December 31, 2000$15,000
2001 $16,000
2002 $17,000
2003 $17,000
2004 $17,000
2005 $18,000
2006 $18,000
2007 $19,000
2008 $19,000
2009 $20,000
2010 $20,000
2011 $20,000
2012$21,000
2013$21,000
  • Form Used: PC 556 (PDF), Petition and Order for Assignment
  • Fees: $25 for petition
  • $12 certified fee per copy
  • Inventory fee varies depending on the value of the assets.
  • Items required:
    • A completed petition (front and back) typed or printed legibly in ink (PC 556). Only an heir or an individual who paid for the funeral bill may file this petition.
    • An itemized funeral bill marked “Paid” which shows the amount paid and who paid it. If the funeral bill is not paid, you must have a copy of the bill showing the amount due.
    • A copy of the decedent’s death certificate.
  • The completed petition must show the value of all assets as of the date of death. Examples of sources for information include newspaper clippings showing stock values; quote from an auto dealer showing the value of the auto, truck, etc. or value from the “Blue Book.” If there is real estate, a tax statement or some other document showing the state equalized value for the year of death. (The state equalized value is doubled for purposes of listing the real estate value on the petition).