Blog — Real Estate Planning

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Common Mistakes When Naming Beneficiaries

As part of a recent series, I wrote an article about various issues involved with making sure beneficiary designations on such matters as Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), 401(k) accounts, life insurance policies and other similar retirement benefit accounts. Since writing the original article, I have encountered at least three different situations with respect to new clients where the beneficiary designations that were made by an individual...

Read More...
Wednesday, March 5, 2014

New Options for Terminating Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRT) Holding Michigan Real Estate

Over the past 20 years, many individuals established Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRT) whereby an individual transferred title of his/her real estate to a QPRT, which essentially leveraged the value of the gift made to the trust by deducting the value of the transferor retaining use and enjoyment of the property for the term of years of the QPRT. For example, this mechanism allowed someone to...

Read More...
Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Put Your Plan in Order. Part 5: Trust Planning - Should You Appoint an Independent Trustee?

Like most attorneys, I was taught Estate Planning either by direct tutoring from my partners or by the traditions of those attorneys teaching seminars and speaking in related educational-type programs. The answer to the question of who should serve as a successor trustee in a trust for the individuals forming the trust (trust makers) is almost always an afterthought – it defaults to the...

Read More...
Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Put Your Plan in Order. Part 4: Fund Your Living Trust. Strategies for Individuals with Trusts.

The Importance of “Trust Funding”

One of the significant benefits of utilizing a living trust as part of one’s estate plan is to avoid the necessity of a surviving spouse or heirs from having to probate your assets with a probate court after your death. However, this benefit is not achieved by simply drafting and...

Read More...
Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Put Your Plan in Order. Part 3: Basic Estate Planning for Single Adults and Simple Estates

In my practice, I oftentimes meet with clients who are “apologetic” for taking my time given their perception that they “… really don’t have that much [in assets]” but have come to see me based on the encouragement from friends or relatives. 

All Adults 18 Years and Older Need Planning

The truth is that everyone...

Read More...