Arenac County Probate Court
Hon. Richard E. Vollbach-watch
The Constitution of Michigan provides that "The jurisdiction, powers and duties of the Probate Court and of 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.
One of the many areas of jurisdiction of the Court is the settlement of estates of deceased persons. If a person dies with assets that do not pass by survivorship to another person or by other means, such as a trust, that person's estate must be "probated", a process clearing title of assets for the persons entitled to them.
The Court also has jurisdiction to appoint a guardian for an adult person who is alleged to be legally incapacitated or developmentally disabled. In addition, an adult person might need a conservator to handle their financial affairs if they are unable to do so because of mental illness, mental incompetency, physical illness or disability, or some other reason that would cause their property to be wasted or dissipated without proper management.
The Court can also appoint guardians and conservators for minors. The custodial parent or parents can consent to the appointment of a limited guardian of a minor. Or, a guardian may be appointed for a minor if the parent or parents have permitted the minor to reside with another person without providing that person with legal authority for the care and maintenance of the minor. A guardian may also be appointed for a minor whose parents have disappeared, are deceased or are confined in a place of detention. If a minor has property, such as a settlement of a personal injury case or as a beneficiary of an estate or insurance policy, a conservator must be appointed to administer this estate until the minor reaches the age of 18.
The Court also has jurisdiction to determine whether or not an adult person is in need of treatment for a mental illness. The basis for the ability of the Court to order treatment is outlined in the Mental Health Code which, along with the court rules, outlines the procedure leading up to the decision of the Court. The treatment of the person could take place in a public institution or private hospital or in the community in an alternative treatment program.
There are many other areas of Probate Court jurisdiction, which have been defined by the legislature through the enactment of statutes.
Honorable Richard E. Vollbach, Jr.
Judge Vollbach has served as Judge in Arenac County Courts since 2009, and handles all of the Probate Court docket, as well as Family Court, District Court and Circuit Court matters. He is the Presiding Judge for the Arenac County Trial Court. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Vollbach served as a prosecutor for Arenac County for almost 13 years, and maintained a private law practice since 1993 in Standish.
In 1987 Judge Vollbach earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Western Michigan University, and is a graduate of Michigan State University of Law School (Detroit College of Law)(1992).
Administration & Staff
- Cristy Slocum
Trial Court Administrator
120 N. Grove Street, PO Box 609
Standish, Michigan 48658
Phone No. 989- 846-6200
Fax No. 989-846-6757
- Heather Stroh
120 N. Grove Street, PO Box 666
Standish, Michigan 48658
Phone No. 989-846-6941
Fax No. 989-846-9199
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