Title: Probate Register
Department: Probate Court Updated: 03/2018
Division: Probate Court FLSA Status: Non-Exempt
Bargaining Unit: Probate Court Family Supervisors Wage Range: Not Available

Under general supervision of Chief Probate Judge, directs the non-judicial activities of the Probate Court; is responsible for judicial support services related to estates and mental health matters; develops plan of work for each unit and defines necessary personnel; recommends policies and establishes procedures through probate division; regularly addresses in person and phone inquiries from attorneys and citizens and provides consulting and problem-solving advice; stays current in laws, procedures and practices and informs staff and users of requirements and changes; may conduct hearings relating to above matters where permissible by statute and court rule; performs statutorily duties as probate register;  performs related duties as assigned.


·         Serves as Clerk of the Court. 

·         Directs the processing of all probate court cases, the maintenance of court records and adherence to Michigan Supreme Court record retention and record disposal schedules and requirements.  Reviews all filings for informal and formal proceedings. 

·         Reviews files for compliance, signs orders and letters of authority on behalf of the Judge or as Register.

·         Supervises day to day functions of probate court staff, including interviewing, hiring and training, assigning, scheduling and dealing with employee relation matters.

·         Assists Chief Probate Judge with planning, development and implementation of court policy and procedure.  

·         Confers with Chief Probate Judge on pending matters of procedure, new legislation or court rules.

·         Holds quasi-judicial hearings reviewing petitions and other matters authorized by state statute.

·         Works with other county departments, Family Independence Agency, local bar associations, Michigan Probate and Juvenile Registers Association and citizen groups to effectively implement court initiatives and programs to address the general needs of the court.

·         Oversees the collection, receipt and accounting of fees.

·         Supervises the preparation of deposit and transmittal information to the County Treasurer.

·         Prepares and submits reports of court activity to the Michigan Supreme Court and responds to requests for information from the State Court Administrator.

·         Reviews and remains current on changes to the Estate and Protected Individuals Code, Mental Health Code and Michigan Court Rules and recommends modification to court procedures to ensure compliance. 

·         Keeps judges, staff and attorneys apprised of changes.

  • Assists attorneys and the public by answering questions and issuing information regarding filing of documents and procedures involved with commitment, guardianships, conservatorships, petitions, and other related probate court matters.

·         The register is responsible for maintaining case files, indexes and other records and permitting access to the records, the register must comply with the records standards prescribed by statute and court rule and as otherwise prescribed by the Michigan Supreme Court.

·         The register is responsible for handling money paid into court, including the deposit of money, recordkeeping and disbursement.

·         If a court reporter/recorder dies, resigns, is removed from office, or leaves the state, his or her records in each case must be transferred to the register of the court in which the case was tried.

·         The register shall safely keep the records subject to the direction to the Court.

·         The register must perform duties for the jury system.

·         Other duties as assigned.


General supervision of Chief Probate Judge.




·         Graduation from an accredited law school.

·         One to two years of progressively responsible related experience or any combination of education, training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

·         Licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and a member in good standing of the State Bar Association.

·         Knowledge of Estates and Protected Individuals Code; Michigan Mental Health Code; Michigan Rules of Court.

·         Knowledge of principles, practices and procedures related to the management of Probate Court

·         programs and activities.

·         Must possess skills in using sound, independent judgment within established policy and procedural guidelines, including the exercise of quasi-judicial discretion.

·         Manage and direct departmental operations, including budgeting, strategic planning. Knowledge of and interpret applicable federal, state and local regulations. Develop, apply and explain department and County procedure and policies. Plan and coordinate work staff activities, prioritize, instruct, set deadlines, objectives, measure success, and make recommendations and resolve issues. Methods of research, planning, conducting and implementing major studies or projects. Design and recommend new forms, reports or procedures. Ability to understand and work in complex data processing system, analyze data and exercise sound financial judgment. Analyze administrative problems, evaluate alternatives and implement sound solutions. Prepare and present reports, speeches or training programs to groups. Provide training and guidance in handling difficult or complex problems or resolving escalated complaints or disputes. Work independently with limited direct supervision. Coordinate activities with other departments.    

·         Writing, reading, mathematical principles; proficient computer skills-Microsoft Office Suite, Outlook; exercise sound judgment and decision making in accordance with policies and procedures; ability to research and problem solve independently; knowledge of County operations and functions; ability to prioritize and time manage; handle stressful situations, provide effective and friendly customer service; support the County's mission and values; ability to think critically where necessary.             

·         Knowledge or understanding of basic administrative tasks: operate standard office equipment; document management; prepare and maintain records, various correspondences and reports; answer general inquiries and refer as necessary; answer telephone calls, process mail, order supplies/equipment; prepare meeting agendas, attend meetings, record/transcribe/distribute minutes; entering, transcribing, recording, storing or maintaining information in written or electronic form with speed and accuracy; maintain calendars, arrange meetings, schedule rooms and equipment as necessary.                       

·         Ability to communicate effectively and efficiently with management, co-workers and clients; obtain and communicate accurate information; apply common sense understanding to complex instructions and respond accordingly;  communicate complex ideas through graphs, charts, presentations, reports or other professional correspondence.


·         Ability to demonstrate predictable, reliable, and timely attendance.                 

·         Ability to read, write & communicate in English; follow written and verbal instruction and understand basic mathematics and figure checking.              

·         Ability to interpret and apply procedures, rules, technical information, instructions, manuals to complete tasks accurately and on schedule.                                     

·         Ability to learn from directions, observations, and mistakes; and apply procedures using good judgment.                                                                        

·         Ability to use discretion and maintain sensitive and confidential information.     

·         Ability to work independently or part of a team; ability to interact appropriately with others such as County officials, employees, vendors and the general public.

·         Ability to work under supervision, receiving instructions/feedback, coaching/counseling and/or action/discipline.                                            

·         Adaptability to change in the work environment, managing competing demands and ability to deal with frequent changes, delays or unexpected events.

·         Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services including customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

·         Proficient skills using Microsoft Office programs including, but not limited to: Word, Excel, Access, and Outlook required.  Proficiency may be tested.      

  • Prior to starting employment, the candidate must complete a satisfactory background check.  The background check is understood to encompass all forms of pre-employment screening, including but not limited to: drug screen, physical, criminal background, driving record, sex offender registry, education, training and licensing verification, employment history, credit check, and professional and personal references.
  • Must possess a valid State of Michigan operator license and maintain this license throughout employment in this position.

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job with or without accommodations.  Reasonable accommodations will be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to:

·         Speak to others to convey information effectively.

·         Read, interpret and understand procedures, rules, technical information, instructions and manuals.

·         Hear and understand information presented through spoken words and sentences.

·         Specific vision requirement includes close vision, distance vision, color and depth perception.

·         Use hands to operate a computer, handle materials and operate equipment.

·         Push or pull carts, reach with hands and arms forward, above and below shoulder level.

·         Lift, move or carry objects, equipment and supplies weighing up to 25 pounds.

·         Sit, bend, stoop, crouch, crawl and kneel in an ergonomically correct manner.

·         Stand and walk, climb stairs.

·         Normal office hours are from 8:00 a.m. through 4:30 p.m.

·         Generally works in a normal office environment.

·         The noise level in the work environment is moderate with many interruptions.


Disclaimer: The statements contained in this job description are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by individuals assigned to this position.  They are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all job requirements or duties performed.  The job description does not constitute an employment agreement between the employer and employee and is subject to change by the employer as the needs of the employer and requirements of the job change.




It is the policy of St. Clair County not to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, disability that does not prevent performing essential job functions or because he or she is a protected veteran.