Ducks in a Row

Ducks in a Row

How does a trust avoid probate? It’s in the details. In my experience, the primary reason most people set up trusts is to avoid probate. So, how does that work? Does the mere fact of having signed a trust cut out the probate court? Not quite. I… Read More
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A Broad Reach

A Broad Reach

We’ve been posting, along with many others, about the new federal Corporate Transparency Act. (Read our overview here.) The Act requires most small and medium-sized companies (“Reporting Companies”) to disclose to the U.S. Treasury Department i… Read More
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The Balance of Power

The Balance of Power

If you have done your estate planning, you have almost certainly signed a general power attorney. In that document, you (the “principal”) gave another person (your “agent“) authority to act on your behalf in all matters not related to health… Read More
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Estate Planning Got You S…

Estate Planning Got You Spooked?

What makes you tremble when you think about estate planning? On this Halloween day, I thought I’d let you in on a few of the estate planning fears people have shared with me over the years: If I plan for death, I will die. This is a very real fear… Read More
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Ill, older man signing estate planning documents and will

Where There's a Will. . .

I’m occasionally asked if an individual can create or update an estate plan if a doctor has opined that the individual can no longer make sound decisions or the individual has a court-appointed guardian or conservator. The short answer: It depends.… Read More
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Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

We saw the U.S. Supreme Court issue a unanimous decision this past June, a rare occasion indeed. In Groff vs. DeJoy, the Court addressed the question of how far an employer must go in accommodating an employee’s religious needs. Gerald Groff was a… Read More
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Let the Buyer Beware

Let the Buyer Beware

Do you hear a soft exhale on the summer breeze? Home sellers statewide are breathing a collective sigh of relief. Just last week, the Michigan Supreme Court overturned a 2021 Court of Appeals decision that made home sellers liable for a building code… Read More
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"Shut Up and Drive" (Please)

Long ago, I heard folk musician Ralston Bowles sing a hilarious song about people yakking on their cell phones while driving. The punchline of the chorus was “shut up and drive.” Mr. Bowles’ satirical tirade, as you would expect, did not affect… Read More
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Homeowner calculating principal residence exemption

It’s All in the Paperwork

Michigan homeowners can claim an exemption on the property taxes levied against their primary residence. The size of the exemption is not insignificant. If the “taxable value” on your notice of assessment is $150,000, for example, the “principa… Read More
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Don't Sweat the Small Stu…

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

I heard yesterday from a client who discovered that uncashed checks made payable to her deceased father were turned over to the state of Michigan as having been abandoned. In order to claim the funds, she must reopen dad’s probate estate and get ne… Read More
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