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Probate Court

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Location / Address
Upper Level
Government Center
448 Court Place
Beulah,  MI 49617

Contact Information

Phone: ...... 231-882-9675                                 
Toll Free: .. 800-315-9852                                
FAX: ............. 231-882-0022                                 
Email Us: knowak@benzieco.net

Normal Business Hours:
      Monday – Friday
      8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
      (exc major holidays)

Honorable John D. Mead, Judge of Probate
Kimberly D. Nowak, Probate Register/Court Adm.
Amanda O'Brien, Court Reporter
Kim Long-Miller, Deputy Probate Register
The Government Center and Court Offices are OPEN

Contact the court at 231-882-9675 for further direction.
Case Search Application:  (Public Cases only)  SEARCH

Make a Payment HERE
Please call ahead to schedule a time for consultation.

Services Offered

  • Appointment of conservatorships
  • Appointment of guardianships
  • Commitment of mentally ill
  • Probate of estates
  • Trust supervision
  • Secure, fire-proof storage of last wills.

Probate Court is divided into three major areas:

  1. The probate of estates and supervision of trusts;

  2. Guardianships and Conservatorships; and

  3. Commitment of Mentally Ill.

Probate Court also has jurisdiction regarding secret marriages, drain proceedings, kidney donations, delayed registration of birth, missing person proceedings, marriage ceremonies, and establishing death of disaster victims.

Estates & Trusts
Probate is a procedure for transferring title of the decedent's property to the persons entitled to it. Many people believe that by having a Will they will avoid probate. While a Will may make probate easier, there still must be disposition through probate of those items titled in the decedent's name alone. A living trust can avoid probate if all the decedent's assets are owned by the trust. Upon death, title to those assets pass according to the terms of the trust without the need of probate. Probate court also oversees safekeeping of wills.

Appointment of guardianships & conservatorships
A guardian is a person who makes personal decisions for the ward. A guardian is responsible for the care and control of a ward. A conservator makes decisions concerning the finances of the ward. Types of guardians and conservators appointed by the probate court include Full or Limited Guardian of a Minor, Conservator of an Adult or Minor, Protective Orders, Full or Limited Guardian of an Adult (legally incapacitated or developmentally disabled).

Commitment of Mentally Ill
Probate Court is responsible for the involuntary commitment of the mentally ill. It has jurisdiction over any person who is a resident of the court's county or who is found in that county. The court must determine if the person is mentally ill and if that person also meets the requirements that the person is either dangerous to themselves, dangerous to others, or unable to take care of basic physical needs. After the probate Court determines that an individual is a person requiring treatment, it must determine the duration and kind of treatment within the statutory requirements.

PLEASE NOTE: The court is happy to provide you with forms and routine information regarding filing but court personnel are restricted by law from giving legal advice.
Visit:  Michigan Legal Help

Probate Court fees vary. Please contact our office for specific filing fees.

Probate forms are available at this site:
Michigan Courts -- One Court of Justice

Related Web Links

MapQuest - Maps, directions, and more

Michigan's "One Court of Justice" site

Michigan Association of Counties

State of Michigan

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Benzie County, Michigan