Probate Court

The Constitution of Michigan provides that "The jurisdiction, powers and duties of the Probate Court and the Judges thereof shall be provided by law." The legislature through the enactment of various statutes, has defined the specific work of the Probate Court.


The Probate Court has jurisdiction over and handles the following matters:

  • Administration of estates, trusts, guardianships and conservatorships for both minors and adults along with developmentally disabled persons
  • Delayed Registrations of Foreign Birth
  • Genealogy
  • Legal name changes
  • Mental Health proceedings
  • Secret Marriages
  • Wills for safekeeping

The Probate Court also handles other matters that include the following:

  • Petition for Protective Orders which are typically a one-time request to approve an action such as approval of a settlement.
  • Civil actions in which one of the parties is usually a trust, estate or a fiduciary so that the proceeding is in relation to the Probate Court.

More information on medical and legal decisions may be found in the guide Planning for Your Peace of Mind (PDF)


The Probate Court receives many telephone calls and inquiries with regard to the "probation department", we would like to note that the Probate Court has nothing to do with probation. Please contact District Court Probation 269-657-8222, or State Probation 269-657-8214, for those services.

Payment Methods

The Probate Court accepts the following payment options:

  • Via Probate Court Window: Cash, Check, Money Order or Credit/Debit cards
  • Via online: Credit/Debit card (Location Code: A000SV)
  • Via telephone: 888-604-7888 (Location Code: A000SV)
  • Via mail:
    212 E Paw Paw Street
    Suite 220
    Paw Paw, MI 49079

When submitting your payments please make sure to include either the file number or case name so your payment can be applied to the correct file. Also there is a service fee when using the GovPay option for payments.