Blog — Estate Planning

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Danger of Waiting Too Long to Do Estate Planning

Some people never get around to retaining a lawyer to prepare their Will, Living Trust or other important estate planning documents. It is not uncommon for the families, including beneficiaries, of those individuals to wind up in my office to address the consequences for their lack of planning once they have passed away.

The common excuses that are related to me or that I...

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Michigan Adopts New Asset Protection Trust Law

A few months ago, the Michigan legislature passed a new law that authorizes the establishment of Trusts which is a complete contradiction to various common law principles, in Michigan and most states, regarding creditor protection and Trust assets.

The Act is called the "Qualified Disposition and Trust Act" and limits its application and use to the following:

  • The...
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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Recent Law Allows for Waiver/Refund of State Real Estate Transfer Taxes for Sellers

I was recently discussing residential real estate issues with a colleague, Traverse City real estate broker Jack Lane (www.jacklane.realestateone.com), and he mentioned a recent law that has largely flown under the radar of many real estate professionals, attorneys and...

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Monday, October 31, 2016

Have You Funded Your Living Trust?

Once a living trust is in place, it is important to fund the trust in order minimize future risk and expense. "Funding" a trust means changing the way the person who made the trust – called a grantor – holds title to his or her assets from the grantor's name individually, to the person named as trustee of the living trust (the grantor and the trustee who administer the living trust are often the same person). Types...

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Monday, September 12, 2016

Do-It-Yourself Will

I wanted to share yet another example of how people try and create their own wills using a form taken from a book or the Internet, and wind up shooting themselves in the foot.

I recently spoke with a client whose brother, who we’ll call “Mr. Clark,” from Michigan wanted his estate to go to only two of his five children. Mr. Clark wrote a "do-it-yourself will" in which he left his pickup truck to his daughter, Samantha and his summer home to his son,...

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