Everything you need to know about Michigan Form PC 581, including helpful tips, fast facts & deadlines, how to fill it out, where to submit it and other related MI probate forms.
There are all sorts of forms executors, beneficiaries, and probate court clerks have to fill out and correspond with during probate and estate settlement, including affidavits, letters, petitions, summons, orders, and notices.
Notice To Spouse Of Rights Of Election And Allowances, Proof Of Service, And Election is a commonly used form within Michigan. Here’s an overview of what the form is and means, including a breakdown of the situations when (or why) you may need to use it:
Sometimes it’s tough to find a quick summary— here’s the important details you should know about Notice To Spouse Of Rights Of Election And Allowances, Proof Of Service, And Election:
This form pertains to the State of Michigan
The relevant probate statute or Michigan laws related to this form include: MCL 558.1, MCL 558.2, MCL 700.2202, MCL 700.3705, MCR 5.305
The official Michigan source for this form is here.
Government forms are not typically updated often, though when they are, it often happens rather quietly. While Atticus works hard to keep this information about Michigan’s Form PC 581 - Notice To Spouse Of Rights Of Election And Allowances, Proof Of Service, And Election up to date, certain details can change from time-to-time with little or no communication.
Double check that you have both the correct form name and the correct form ID. Some Michigan probate forms can look remarkably similar, so it’s best to double, even triple-check that you’re using the right one! Keep in mind that not all States have a standardized Form ID system for their probate forms.
Fill out all relevant fields in Form PC 581, take a break, and then review. Probate and estate settlement processes in MI are long enough to begin with, and making a silly error can push your timeline even farther back. No thank you!
Note: If you don’t currently know all of the answers and are accessing Form PC 581 online, be sure to avoid closing the browser tab and potentially losing all your progress (or use a platform like Atticus to help avoid making mistakes).
Some States and situations require particular forms to be notarized. If you have been instructed to get the document notarized or see it in writing on the document, then make sure to hire a local notary. There are max notary fees in the United States that are defined and set by local law. Take a look at our full guide to notary fees to make sure you aren’t overpaying or getting ripped off.
This is most often the local probate court where the decedent (person who passed away) is domiciled (permanently resides) or the institution involved with this particular form (e.g. a bank). Some offices allow you to submit forms online, other’s don’t, and we while we generally recommend going in-person to expedite the process, sometimes that simply isn’t an option.
It’s also a generally good idea to establish a positive working relationship with any probate clerk (unfortunately there’s enough people & process out there making things more difficult and unnecessarily confusing for them), so a best practice is to simply ask the probate clerk proactively exactly how and where they’d prefer you to submit all forms.
Need help getting in touch with a local probate court or identifying a domicile probate jurisdiction?
👉 Find and Contact your Local Probate Court
👉 What is a Domicile Jurisdiction?
Different probate forms or processes can require different deadlines or response times for completing the appropriate form.
While some steps in the process are bound to specific deadlines (like petitioning for probate, having to submit an inventory of assets, or filing applicable notices to creditors and beneficiaries), many probate forms or processes are not tied to a specific deadline since the scope of work can vary based on situational factors or requirements involved.
Either way, there are a bunch of practical reasons why personal representatives should work to complete each step as thoroughly and quickly as possible when completing probate in Michigan.
The sooner you begin, the faster Michigan can allow heirs and beneficiaries to get their share of assets subject to probate. Acting promptly can also decrease the costs & overall mental fatigue through an otherwise burdensome process.
Helpful Context: What’s the Difference Between Probate and Non-Probate Assets?
In general, creditors of an estate usually have around 3-6 months from the time you file notice to creditors to file any claims for debt against the deceased’s assets. If they don’t, then that debt is forfeited (and more importantly, the executor won’t be held personally responsible). So doing this sooner means you have a better idea of who is owed what and ensures you won’t get a surprise collector months later.
Not filing a will within 30 days (on average) could mean that the probate process proceeds according to intestate laws (laws that govern what happens to someone's stuff without a will) or is subject to unnecessary supervision by the probate court. And if you aren't directly related to the deceased (a.k.a. next of kin), this could also mean you lose your inheritance.
It’s important to file any necessary state tax returns on behalf of the deceased or estate by the following tax season in Michigan. If you don’t, you could owe penalties and interest. This also includes any necessary federal tax returns such as Forms 1040, 1041, or even a Form 706 estate tax return.
If a house in the State of Michigan is left empty (or abandoned) for a while, insurance can get dicey. For example, if the house burns down and no one has been there for a year, an insurance company may get out of paying your claim.
If you’re not using Atticus to get specific forms, deadlines, and timelines for Michigan probate, then try and stay as organized as possible, pay close attention to the dates mentioned in any correspondence you have with the State’s government officials, call the local Michigan probate clerk or court for exact answers regarding Form PC 581, and when in doubt— consult a qualified trust & estates lawyer for that area.
Notice To Spouse Of Rights Of Election And Allowances, Proof Of Service, And Election is one of the many probate court forms available for download through Atticus.
It may also be available through some Michigan probate court sites, such as . In order to access the latest version, be updated with any revisions, and get full instructions on how to complete each form, check out the Atticus Probate & Estate Settlement software or consider hiring a qualified legal expert locally within Michigan.
While Atticus automatically provides the latest forms, be sure to choose the correct version of Form PC 581 - Notice To Spouse Of Rights Of Election And Allowances, Proof Of Service, And Election f using any other site or resource in order to avoid having to re-complete the form process and/or make another trip to the Michigan probate court office.
Notice To Spouse Of Rights Of Election And Allowances, Proof Of Service, And Election is a .pdf, so opening it should be as simple as clicking “View Form” from within the Atticus app or by clicking the appropriate link found on any Michigan-provided government platform. Once you’ve opened the form, you should be able to directly edit the form before saving or printing.
Form PC 581 - Notice To Spouse Of Rights Of Election And Allowances, Proof Of Service, And Election is a probate form in Michigan.
Michigan has multiple types of probate and the necessary forms depend on the unique aspects of each estate, such as type and value of assets, whether there was a valid will, who is serving as the personal representative or executor, and even whether or not they also live in Michigan.
During probate, all personal representatives and executives in are required to submit a detailed inventory of assets that must separate non-probate assets from probate assets.
Probate in Michigan, especially without guidance, can take years to finish and cost upwards of $14,000.
What is probate, exactly?
Probate is the government’s way of making sure that when a person dies, the right stuff goes to the right people (including the taxes the government wants).
All of that stuff is collectively known as someone’s “estate”, and it’s the job of the executor or personal representative to fill out all the forms and complete all the required steps to formally dissolve the estate.
To get instant clarity on the entire probate process and get an idea of the steps, timeline, and best practices, read the Atticus Beginner’s Guide to Probate.
Where can I get help with Probate?
The best place? Create an account in Atticus to start getting estate-specific advice.
You may need a lawyer, you may not, and paying for one when you didn’t need it really hurts. Atticus makes sure you make the best decisions (plus you can write it off as an executor expense).
We’ve also created a list of other probate services. Be sure to check it out!
What does a MI executor or personal representative have to do?
An executor is named in someone’s will, and if the deceased didn’t have a will, then the spouse or other close family relative usually steps up to fulfill the role. If no one wants to do it, then a judge will appoint someone.
The executor is responsible for the complete management of the probate process, including major responsibilities such as:
Creating an inventory of all probate assets.
Filling out all necessary forms
Paying off all estate debts and taxes
Submitting reports to the court and beneficiaries as requested
And much more. This process often stretches longer than a year.
For an idea of what separates executors who succeed from those who make this way harder than it should be, visit our article, Executors of an Estate:
What they do & secrets to succeeding.
Here’s the text, verbatim, that is found on Michigan Form PC 581 - Notice To Spouse Of Rights Of Election And Allowances, Proof Of Service, And Election. You can use this to get an idea of the context of the form and what type of information is needed.
Do not write below this line - For court use only PC 581 (6/17) NOTICE TO SPOUSE OF RIGHTS OF ELECTION AND ALLOWANCES, PROOF OF SERVICE, AND ELECTION MCL 558.1, MCL 558.2, MCL 700.2202, MCL 700.3705, MCR 5.305 Approved, SCAO JIS CODE: NSE STATE OF MICHIGAN PROBATE COURT COUNTY OF NOTICE TO SPOUSE OF RIGHTS OF ELECTION AND ALLOWANCES, PROOF OF SERVICE, AND ELECTION FILE NO. Estate of TO: As surviving spouse of a decedent domiciled in Michigan, you have the right to elect between certain property interests in this estate. 1. Your spouse died leaving a will. You may elect one of the following: a. To abide by the terms of the will. b. To take half of the share that would have passed to you had your spouse died without a will, reduced by half of the value of all property derived from your spouse by any other means other than testate or intestate succession upon his/her death. 2. Your spouse died leaving no will. You may take your intestate share. 3. This election shall be made within 63 days after the date for presentment of claims, or within 63 days after service of inventory upon you, whichever is later. Send a copy of this election to the personal representative. You may also file a copy with the court. 4. You may also have the right of priority to homestead, certain property, and a family allowance. Attorney name (type or print) Signature of personal representative Address Address City, state, zip Telephone no. City, state, zip Telephone no. by mail I served personally the above notice on the spouse on Date . I declare under the penalties of perjury that this proof of service has been examined by me and that its contents are true to the best of my information, knowledge, and belief. Date Signature Choose only one box. 1. I will abide by the terms of the will. 2. I will take half of the share that would have passed to me had the testator died intestate, reduced by half of the value of all property derived from the decedent by any means other than testate or intestate succession upon the decedent&#x26;#x2019;s death. 3. I, as widow, take my intestate share (no will) as prescribed by law. Date Signature by mail I served personally the above spouse&#x26;#x2019;s election on the personal representative on Date . I declare under the penalties of perjury that this proof of service has been examined by me and that its contents are true to the best of my information, knowledge, and belief. Date Signature NOTICE PROOF OF SERVICE OF NOTICE SPOUSE&#x26;#x2019;S ELECTION PROOF OF SERVICE OF ELECTION