Blog — Topical News

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Under most states’ premises liability laws, a landowner owes duty to use reasonable care to protect individuals from unreasonable risks of harm posed by dangerous conditions on the owner’s land. This duty is breached when the owner knows or should know of a dangerous condition on the premises of which the third party is unaware and failed to fix the defect, guard against the defect or warn the third party of the defect.

The “Status” of a Third-Party Visitor to the Premises Dictates the Landowner’s Duty

There are three classifications of third-party visitors that impact the landowner’s duty, and the landowner’s duty is different with respect to each of the...

Read More...
Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Happy New Year!

 

As you know, most provisions of the Affordable Care Act went into effect as of January 1, 2014. The Small Business Association of Michigan has produced an excellent checklist and overview of the requirements of the new law. Although the checklist is geared toward educating small businesses on the law, individuals who review...

Read More...
Thursday, December 26, 2013

Tax Planning is critical at the end of the year. Here are some ideas to contemplate, along with the tried and true year-end tax savings techniques.

Individual Tax Strategies:

1) Game – The Standard Deduction

If your total itemized deductions are usually close to the standard deduction amount, consider the strategy of bunching together expenditures for itemized deduction items every other year, itemizing those years to deduct more...

Read More...
Wednesday, December 18, 2013

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 kids, of course.

Parents hand out nominations of successor trustee to children and other family members as if they were a prize. While the nomination is certainly honorable, as estate planning attorneys, we should look beyond the “feel-good moment” and counsel the client about the...

Read More...
Wednesday, December 11, 2013

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 signing a living trust. The title to assets actually has to be transferred from an individual and/or their spouse to the trust during their lifetime in order to achieve the goal of avoiding probate.

Trust Funding for Basic Joint and Individual Trusts

I...

Read More...