206 West Court Street
Hastings, MI 49058
Phone: (269) 945-1390
Fax: (269) 948-3322
8:00am – 5:00pm
Monday through Friday
*Check the County Calender for the Holiday Schedule
There is a Probate Court in each Michigan county with the exception of ten counties which have consolidated to form five probate court districts. Each district has one judge, and each of the remaining counties has one or more judges depending on population and caseload within the county. The Probate Court has jurisdiction in the areas of estates and trusts, guardianships, and conservatorships and mental commitment proceedings. Probate judges are elected on a nonpartisan ballot for six year terms, subject to the same requirements as other judges.
A major function of the court is the administration of deceased estates. It is the court’s task to interpret wills in the event of uncertainty or conflict over the will’s meaning. The court may also determine rights to an estate where the person has died “intestate” (without a will). This function of the court demonstrates one of the important purposes of courts in our society — they make a formal record of the legal status of property.
Guardianships and Conservatorships
The Probate Court is responsible for appointing guardians and conservators for incapacitated adults and minors who cannot make responsible decisions about themselves or their property. In these cases the judge must decide whether the person in question has a mental, physical or legal limitation which requires the judge to appoint a guardian to make decisions concerning the person’s health and personal life or appoint a conservator to make responsible decisions concerning management of property and money. A Conservator is responsible for filing detailed/accurate annual accounts with the Court.
The Probate Court is also responsible for reviewing guardianships at the end of one year and every three years thereafter for adults. For minors the court is responsible for reviewing the guardianship yearly until the minor reaches age six.
Forms needed for filing the Guardianship or Conservatorship Proceedings:
Mental Health Proceedings
Another major function of the Probate Court concerns proceedings under the Mental Health Code. These proceedings pertain to commitment for hospital care of persons alleged to have a mental illness and guardianship proceedings for the developmentally disabled. If you believe that some one needs treatment under the Mental Health Code, please contact Barry County Community Mental Health Services at 269-948-8041. The address is 915 W. Green St., Hastings, MI 49058.
The Probate Court handles other matters such as allowing persons to deposit their will in a designated vault ($25 each), delayed registration of foreign births, opening decedent safe deposit boxes, poor person petitions, signing notary public applications, secret marriages, appointing members to the state boundary commission, and tax commission.
Schedule of fees: The Court accepts personal checks, money orders, and cash.
Forms for Filing
Forms can be found for all courts using the State of Michigan Courts website. Forms are categorized by general case types.
In January of 1998 new legislation went into effect regarding Family Court. This legislation changed the division of duties assigned to the Circuit Court. Cases previously assigned to the Probate Court were transferred to the Circuit Court – Family Division. Since these files were located at the Courts and Law Building, 206 W. Court St. Ste. 302, Hastings, MI, it was determined that they should remain there.
Files at this location include the following:
Page Last Modified: October 1, 2012 at 9:03 am