Official SCAO Forms Now Required to be Used Where Possible in Probate Court

MCR 5.113(A) has been amended.  The court rule amendment recently adopted by the Michigan Supreme Court, effective May 1, 2019, requires that the actual Supreme Court Administrative Office (SCAO) form, if one exists, must be filed with the probate courts.[1] Previously, documents “substantially in the form approved by the State Court Administrative Office” were acceptable for use.  The Rule now mandates that “if SCAO has approved a form for a particular purpose, it must be used when preparing that particular document for filing with the court.” [2]

This now means that “homemade” forms created by law offices and previously accepted by the probate courts, although not official SCAO forms, will no longer be accepted; only the official SCAO version can be filed. This change also emphasizes that pleadings drafted from “scratch” purported to serve the same purpose as an existing SCAO form will not be accepted, although probate courts have been pushing back against standalone non-form pleadings for some time now where there is an existing official SCAO form for that purpose.

Official SCAO forms, while an efficient, standardized tool for case administration in the probate courts, often leave a lot to be desired in terms of space and content. If more detail is needed to supplement an existing form, the best advice is to then make the extra detail an attached pleading to the particular SCAO form that is required for use. RL


  1. MCR 5.113(A) pre amendment
  2. MCR 5.113(A) post amendment


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