Contact Information

  • Bay County Probate Court
    1230 Washington Ave., Suite 715
    Bay City, Michigan 48708-5737
  • Phone: (989) 895-4205
  • Monday - Friday
    7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.




Adjudication (Finding of Responsibility)

Adjudication occurs when the youth is found guilty either through a plea given at the advice of their appointed counsel or at a trial, bench or jury trials.

Civil Actions

The probate court will handle a civil case that arises from a dispute in a probate matter such as an estate, a trust, or a guardianship or conservatorship. The amount of the claim is not relevant. The civil case must be filed in the county where the probate court matter is being handled. If there is no underlying probate matter, the civil case must be filed in either the circuit court or district court based on the amount of the claim.

Consent Calendar

A Consent Calendar is typically utilized for first-time offenders and less serious crimes and can include conditions such as community service, counseling, and costs to be paid over the course of 30-90 days.


A Conservator is a person who is given Probate Court authority to be responsible for the assets (called an “estate”) of an adult, who is called a Protected Individual (PI). A Conservator may be nominated by a petition filed with the Probate Court. *If this person is an individual with developmental disabilities (IDD), please refer to the mental health brochure for a slightly different, but mandatory appointment procedure for guardians of the person or the estate.

Disposition (Sentencing)

Before the Judge or Referee makes their findings on the record, an Intensive Probation Officer or Tracking Officer, will investigate further to submit a recommendation to the court as to oversite and programming requested for the youth. At the disposition hearing, the Judge or Referee will order probation, services or programming that aligns appropriately with the offenses of the youth and the Case Service Plan submitted by the court officer.


The use of Diversion prevents the creation or accumulation of charges to a criminal history for a juvenile. It also provides an opportunity for the Court to observe the juvenile's behavior over a period of time in such a way as to determine that the conditions and actions that led to the juvenile's petition are unlikely to be repeated.


When someone dies owning assets in their sole name, a decedent estate may need to be opened to transfer those assets to the persons entitled to it. There are certain exceptions that will allow transfer of assets without the need for Probate. These exceptions can be found on our under Information & Publications in the brochure "Disposition of Small Estates."


A person who undertakes the legal duty to act for the benefit of another. Fiduciaries include, but are not limited to, personal representatives, guardians, conservators, or trustees.

Gross Estate Fee (aka Inventory Fee)

A court fee placed upon the total value of the assets in a decedent's estate at the time of death. It must be paid within 1 year of the personal representative's appointment or upon closing of the estate, whichever is earlier. For purposes of calculating the fee, any liens on real estate will be deducted from the value of the real estate if the decedent died on or after 3/28/2013. Subtract any applicable mortgage liens before adding up the value of all assets to determine the Inventory Value. Insert that Inventory Value in our Inventory Fee Calculator to determine the fee. Please note the court will calculate the exact fee for you. In the event of a variance the fee calculated by the court shall override the online Inventory Fee Calculator.


A Guardian is a person who is given Probate Court authority to be responsible for the personal and physical well being of an adult who is called a Legally Incapacitated Individual (LII). The Guardian has the same powers and duties over that LII as parents have over their children. A prospective Guardian may be nominated by petition (filed with the Probate Court) or may be named in a will.

Guardianship Review

The guardianship review is a personal consultation conducted at the anniversary of the appointment of a guardian for an adult, and every three years thereafter, and once a year for minors under age six. The review involves a visit to the ward and completion of the appropriate report form presented to the court.

Informal Proceedings (Consent Calendar / Diversion Cases)

A case may be handled informally as either Consent Calendar or Diversion if the Court decides that protective and supportive action will best serve the juvenile and the public. In either case, a plan may be adopted that can include costs, counseling, community service, and restitution. Not all cases are eligible for an informal proceeding. These files are confidential.

Interested Person

According to the Estates and Protected Individuals Code of Michigan,

"Interested person" or "person interested in an estate" includes, but is not limited to, the incumbent fiduciary; an heir, devisee, child, spouse, creditor, and beneficiary and any other person that has a property right in or claim against a trust estate or the estate of a decedent, ward, or protected individual; a person that has priority for appointment as personal representative; and a fiduciary representing an interested person. Identification of interested persons may vary from time to time and shall be determined according to the particular purposes of, and matter involved in, a proceeding, and by the supreme court rules.

Letters of Authority

A document issued by the court that evidences the fiduciary's powers. Letters of Authority are issued in decedents estates and in conservatorship files. It is necessary to present this document when conducting estate business. PC 572.

Personal Representative

An individual appointed through probate court to distribute the assets of the estate and settle any debts associated with it.

Preliminary Hearing

A formal preliminary hearing is where the youth is advised of the charges against them, their rights, including but not limited to their right to an attorney.

Pretrial Conference

A pretrial conference is scheduled by the court if the petition is authorized and no plea was entered at the preliminary hearing.


The legal process of validating a will and distributing an estate.


The purpose of juvenile probation is to protect the community and assist juveniles to grow into socially responsible adults. Youth on probation are supervised by a Probation Officer in the community, in the schools, and in their homes.

Protected Individual

A person (minor or adult) who has a court appointed conservator.


Service is the act of notifying the other responsible party/parties of the time and date to attend court. The service also includes allegations on the legal matter against them. The service gives a person notice and an opportunity to participate in the case.

Set-Aside a Juvenile Record

The process of expunging a juvenile record. This must be filed by someone of 18 years old or older.

Small Estate

The court will use the term "small estate" to define a certain type of estate which is commenced by aPetition and Order for Assignment (PC 556). The value of the assets must not exceed a certain dollar amount. That value varies depending on the year of death. That amount is $15,000 if the decedent died before 2001; for dates of death in 2015, the amount is $22,000. If the date of death value of decedent's property minus the funeral and burial expenses is less than the above value, it may qualify as a small estate. SeeDisposition of Small Estates (Brochure #3) for more information.


A way to hold property in which legal and equitable title are separated. The legal title to trust property is held in the trust name solely for the benefit of another. A trust is created by a "settlor" through a written document transferring legal title to the assets from the settlors name into the trust name. The trust document allows a "trustee" to manage and distribute trust assets solely for the benefit of the "trust beneficiary."

Will (Last Will and Testament)

A written expression of how an individual wants their property distributed after death.