Probate Register

POSITION:  Probate Register
DEPARTMENT:  Probate Court
SUPERVISOR:  Probate Court Judge / Probate Court Administrator
RATE OF PAY:  $26.11 – $27.61 (NBU)
LOCATION:  Emmet County Building


Under the supervision of the Probate Court Judge, the Probate Register is responsible for all probate, estate, guardianship, conservatorship, mental health, secret marriage, and trust cases. Tasks include opening new files; reviewing filings and documentation for compliance with statutes and court rules; ensuring timely fiduciary filings of inventories, accounts, and reports; meeting with fiduciaries and attorneys to discuss problems with case administration; advising parties on available procedures; and, organizing all aspects necessary for court hearings.

The Probate Register performs judicial acts as authorized by statute and delegated by local administrative order, including uncontested matters involving trust, estates, protective orders, and the uniform Gifts to Minors Act. The Probate Register also issues letters of authority, certificates of computation, and notices of appointment pursuant to delegated authority.


The Probate Register may be called upon to perform any or all of the following essential functions. These examples do not include all duties the Probate Register may be expected to perform.

  • Manages and maintains all probate, estate, guardianship, conservatorship, mental health, protective orders, civil actions ancillary to estates, secret marriages, and trust cases. Receives and reviews all legal pleadings related to all probate proceedings and designated family court matters for accuracy, completeness, and compliance. Processes and enters these documents into the computer system and maintains each file, including public and non-public information. This includes opening, filing, maintenance, and closing of each file.
  • Performs quasi-judicial acts as authorized by statute and the Probate Court Judge, such as informal probate administration, admission of wills, and appointments of personal representatives. Processes small estates and performs research for the Probate Court Judge as requested.
  • Consults with attorneys, the Department of Health and Human Services, Community Mental Health, and the public regarding probate and mental health code compliance, court rules, and local court procedures.
  • Maintains Probate Division calendars, including scheduling hearings in accordance with the time requirements of the Michigan Court Rules, EPIC, and the Mental Health Code, coordinating schedules of counsel and parties, and ensuring hearings are properly noticed as required by statute or court rules.
  • Appoints attorneys, guardian ad litems, and/or lawyer guardian ad litems as needed in guardianship and conservatorship cases.
  • Prepares forms and drafts orders as directed by the Judge, including emergency and ex parte orders.
  • Compiles and ensures completion of reports required by the State Court Administrative Office for caseloads, appointed counsel, delinquent fiduciaries, and administrative matters.
  • Uses and maintain the Judicial Information Systems (JIS) computerized data and records management on the AS400 system for Probate Division cases.
  • Compiles and maintains guardianship, conservatorship, estate, and other instruction packets for use by the public and ensures compliance with current statutes and court rules.
  • Conducts trainings for court-appointed fiduciaries.
  • Maintains current and accurate knowledge of Michigan court requirements by attending continuing education seminars, reviewing Federal, State, and local legislative on relevant topics, and reading professional journals and publications.
  • Other related work as required.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by employees assigned this classification. They are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all job duties performed by personnel so classified.


Desired Behavioral Traits

  • This is a front-line position providing excellent customer service to the general public, agencies, local officials, and other county employees.
  • Service is provided in person, by phone or email contact in a pleasant and professional manner.
  • Individual must be able to communicate confidently, effectively, courteously, and cooperatively.

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities

  • Thorough working knowledge of the Michigan Court Rules, the Estates and Protected Individuals Code, and the Mental Health Code. Knowledge of specific practices, standards, and/or guidelines associated with court rule requirements and the legal process.
  • Ability to remain calm in stressful situations. Ability to work in a fast-paced environment with frequent interruptions. Possess strong organizational skills, with an ability to multi-task and meet strict deadlines. Provide support services to other positions, including family court in-home care workers and staff in the event of absence.
  • Willing to attend conferences and training as required by supervisor to implement changing legislation.
  • Must possess the ability to efficiently organize and monitor all probate files with meticulous attention to detail.
  • Must possess the ability to understand the legal process, discern and disseminate information related to probate cases.
  • Must possess the ability to deal effectively with all types of people under varying conditions and highly emotional circumstances.
  • Must be able to communicate effectively and willing to work as a team member.
  • Must have experience and or knowledge in legal/court process and have excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Must be discreet with confidential case information.


  • Bachelor’s degree in legal studies or related field; JD preferred. 


  • Minimum of three years’ experience specific to probate proceedings.

Certification/Licensure Required

  • Must be willing to comply with the Model Code of Conduct for Michigan Trial Court Employees.
  • Must have or be willing to obtain Court Recorder certification.
  • Valid Michigan driver’s license.

Emmet County, Michigan
200 Division Street, Petoskey MI 49770
(231) 348-1700 | Contact Us