State of Michigan.
Son passed away in March of this year, leaving behind a young wife (19), one son (18 months) and a soon to be born child. I have been attempting to help my DIL wade through all the paperwork since his death.
She received a letter from the life ins company that they would be unable to release my grandsons portion of the proceeds until she went through probate and was appointed his guardian (and from what I'm seeing, there will also need to be a custodian appointed as well). First of all, I don't understand why she must be appointed guardian, since she is mom. Second, I don't understand why she must probate the estate, since there are NO real assets (he was only 21), and only a couple of bills that we've already addressed, and the only thing left is the life insurance. My son's intent was that if something should happen to him, the life insurance was to go to mom to raise the babies. From what I'm reading, they are going to want some type of trust set up, which is a pain from an accounting standpoint (not to mention, probate itself, with the help of an atty, is going to cost her about $2000, and expense that she doesn't need at this point).
Can anyone better explain to me the procedures and the purpose of all this? I need some grasp of what is going on in order to better direct her. TIA!