Rule 5.801 Appeals to Other Courts

(A) Right to Appeal. An interested person aggrieved by an order of the probate court may appeal as provided by this rule.

(B) Orders Appealable to Court of Appeals. Orders appealable of right to the Court of Appeals are defined as and limited to the following:

   (1)   a final order affecting the rights or interests of a party to a civil action commenced in the probate court under MCR 5.101(C).    

(2) a final order affecting the rights or interests of an interested person in a proceeding involving a decedent estate, the estate of a person who has disappeared or is missing, a conservatorship or other protective proceeding, the estate of an individual with developmental disabilities, or an inter vivos trust or a trust created under a will. These are defined as and limited to orders resolving the following matters:

(a) appointing or removing a personal representative, conservator, trustee, or trust protector as referred to in MCL 700.7103(n), or denying such an appointment or removal;

(b) admitting or denying to probate of a will, codicil, or other testamentary instrument;

(c) determining the validity of a governing instrument;

(d) interpreting or construing a governing instrument;

(e) approving or denying a settlement relating to a governing instrument;

(f) reforming, terminating, or modifying or denying the reformation, termination or modification of a trust;

(g) granting or denying a petition to consolidate or divide trusts;

(h) discharging or denying the discharge of a surety on a bond from further liability;

(i) allowing, disallowing, or denying a claim;

(j) assigning, selling, leasing, or encumbering any of the assets of an estate or trust;

(k) authorizing or denying the continuation of a business;

(l) determining special allowances in a decedent's estate such as a homestead allowance, an exempt property allowance, or a family allowance;

(m) authorizing or denying rights of election;

(n) determining heirs, devisees, or beneficiaries;

(o) determining title to or rights or interests in property;

(p) authorizing or denying partition of property;

(q) authorizing or denying specific performance;

(r) ascertaining survivorship of parties;

(s) granting or denying a petition to bar a mentally incompetent or minor wife from dower in the property of her living husband;

(t) granting or denying a petition to determine cy pres; 

(u) directing or denying the making or repayment of distributions;

(v) determining or denying a constructive trust;

(w) determining or denying an oral contract relating to a will;

(x) allowing or disallowing an account, fees, or administration expenses;

(y) surcharging or refusing to surcharge a fiduciary or trust protector as referred to in MCL 700.7103(n);

(z) determining or directing payment or apportionment of taxes;

(aa) distributing proceeds recovered for wrongful death under MCL 600.2922;

(bb) assigning residue;

(cc) granting or denying a petition for instructions;

(dd) authorizing disclaimers.

(ee) allowing or disallowing a trustee to change the principal place of a trust’s administration;

(3) other appeals as may be hereafter provided by statute.

(C) Final Orders Appealable to Circuit Court. All final orders not enumerated in subrule (B) are appealable of right to the circuit court. These include, but are not limited to:

(1) a final order affecting the rights and interests of an adult or a minor in a guardianship proceeding;

(2) a final order affecting the rights or interests of a person under the Mental Health Code, except for a final order affecting the rights or interests of a person in the estate of an individual with developmental disabilities.

(D) Interlocutory Orders. An interlocutory order, such as an order regarding discovery; ruling on evidence; appointing a guardian ad litem; or suspending a fiduciary for failure to give a new bond, to file an inventory, or to render an account, may be appealed only to the circuit court and only by leave of that court. The circuit court shall pay particular attention to an application for leave to appeal an interlocutory order if the probate court has certified that the order involves a controlling question of law as to which there is substantial ground for difference of opinion and that an immediate appeal may materially advance the termination of the litigation.

(E) Transfer of Appeals From Court of Appeals to Circuit Court. If an appeal of right within the jurisdiction of the circuit court is filed in the Court of Appeals, the Court of Appeals may transfer the appeal to the circuit court, which shall hear the appeal as if it had been filed in the circuit court.

(F) Appeals to Court of Appeals on Certification by Probate Court. Instead of appealing to the circuit court, a party may appeal directly to the Court of Appeals if the probate court certifies that the order involves a controlling question of law as to which there is substantial ground for difference of opinion and that an appeal directly to the Court of Appeals may materially advance the ultimate termination of the litigation. An appeal to the Court of Appeals under this subrule is by leave only under the provisions of MCR 7.205. In lieu of granting leave to appeal, the Court of Appeals may remand the appeal to the circuit court for consideration as on leave granted.