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Questions Answered by Kenneth V Zichi
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: My mother would like to transfer her house to me and my wife. Do we need a warranty deed or quit claim deed in Michigan

Are there tax ramifications?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jan 15, 2022

A quit claim and the appropriate transfer and tax affidavits will usually suffice but this is NOT a ‘DIY’ appropriate task. There is much at play and there will also be tax implications and the possibility of a gift tax return being required.

That snd depending on your situation...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: How do you maintain tax deferred status of pension check made out to an estate if recipients are minors?

minor children will be recipients of a lump sum pension check that will have tax deferred status, I think. Assuming the father will receive and control this money, (pension money is from divorced, deceased mother of minor children) I, as the representative will be transferring the money over. If I... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jan 9, 2022

The tax status of 'pensions' is defined by law, and with the exception of surviving spouses, you cannot defer the taxes for long. If a NATURAL PERSON is named as a beneficiary, there is a possibility of extending the tax 'window' but minimum distributions are required each year,... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: When filling out a quitdeed to avoid probate court in Michigan, do you need to put in a survivorship clause?

With 2 people being on the quitdeed in case something happens to one of them

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jan 7, 2022

Drafting a deed for the purposes of estate planning is far more complicated than 'filling out a deed'. If you want to insure your heirs are involved in long and expensive litigation over the title of the property, and don't care if you cut yourself out of your house, then by all... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Our renters have defaulted in their rent. They sold their previous home on land contract to their kids.

Their kids have defaulted on the LC and are now trying to sell the home. Can we place a lien against the home?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jan 4, 2022

If I understand the question correctly, you never had any interest in the previous home you want to place a lien against. If that is true, then without a judgment against them you cannot lien the home.

You CAN get a money judgment against them and then place a 'creditor's...
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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Michigan on
Q: If I break my 1 year lease agreement with 4 months remaining and my landlord decides to move back into the home,

Is it considered subleasing? Would I still be held reliable to pay the remaining months rent?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Dec 30, 2021

If the place is immediately 're-rented' likely no, you won't owe additional.

You may be liable for 'damages' but if there were no damages ....

HOWEVER, before relying on this it would be wise to have a local lawyer review your lease and all the facts to...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Am I correct that assets that name beneficiaries" DO NOT" pass through probate?

If I am correct how does a beneficiary uncover what happened to the assets that they were named as beneficiary on? For example abuse of process, forgery, elder abuse, etc. Also, the entity holding the assets what duty did they have to notify each beneficiary?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Dec 22, 2021

The short answer to your direct question is 'yes'. Property with named beneficiaries does not pass through probate and is instead transferred directly to the beneficiary with the provisions in place by the asset holder (usually a request and a certified copy of the death certificate) to... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Legal Malpractice, Criminal Law, Civil Rights and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Is there a way to find out if a guardian of a deceased legally incapacitated adult took out a life insurance policy?

I already asked the funeral home for documentation. I was not notified of my child's death and do not know what actually happened.

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Dec 22, 2021

This depends on what you mean by 'took out'. If they used the LIPs money to buy the policy then yes, as Mr Geers suggests it will be in the records of the Probate Court Conservatorship (which is often different than the Guardianship).

Your question is far more complicated than...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: my mother died and her will was changed when she got sick
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Dec 20, 2021

Provided her illness didn't impact her mental abilities, there is nothing necessarily improper about the facts you state. If you have questions, I would urge you to consult with a local probate and estate planning attorney ASAP.

-- This answer is offered for informational purposes only...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Best friend of 34 years passed away on 11/09/2021 I am beneficiary. How do I start to collect.??? Family blocked me
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Dec 10, 2021

Beneficiary of what? If you are named as beneficiary you should be able directly with the financial institutions or probate court.

HOWEVER — without seeing the paperwork it is impossible to provide any really cogent advice and that really would be beyond the scope of a forum like this....
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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: My parents both died and left me their home, which I have always lived in. I am on Mental Disability.

my cousin had me sign A mIchigan Life deed and now keeps taking me to court to try and evecit me, he is now suing for a Quiet Title. What are my rights?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Dec 8, 2021

I concur - you need to have an attorney review the paperwork. Mr Geers and my confusion stems from the fact that a "Michigan Life Deed" is not a term used in the law.

Your local real estate attorney will need to SEE the deed you're referring to as well as the attempts to...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Michigan on
Q: Girlfriend and I own 2 properties together, she lives in one I live in another. Can we both get homestead exemption?

Both houses are in the same city in Michigan. We own them as joint tenant in common with right of survivorship.

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Dec 7, 2021

Your question has a 'fatal flaw'.

There is no such thing as 'joint tenant in common with right of survivorship'. You EITHER own as 'tenants in common' OR you have 'rights of survivorship', It can't be both. Tenants in common implies there is no...
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3 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning, Family Law and Tax Law for Michigan on
Q: Can wife and I establish a family trust as co-trustees regarding properties that can withstand an uncontested divorce?
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Dec 7, 2021

It is unclear what you are trying to accomplish.

A divorce will ALWAYS impact jointly owned property, and the fact it is placed in a 'trust' for some estate planning or administrative purpose doesn't mean a divorce court shouldn't or couldn't 'delve into'...
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1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Is there a way to pass on a property my S. Corp owns to my children without uncapping property tax?

I am the sole owner of my S. Corp.

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Dec 7, 2021

You have asked a fairly complex question that requires the review of both a lawyer and a tax specialist (that may be one person or if you have a tax accountant it may be two).

Off hand, I'd say it depends on what the property is used for. Residential? Commercial? Rental? And what does...
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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: Do my brother and I have any rights to our family home or can my stepmother do with it what she wants?

My parents built a home on grandfather’s property that never had a mortgage. My mother passed away and my father remarried. When he remarried he stated that if he passed, the home was supposed to go to my brother & I, and his wife was to have a life lease, although he did not put this in... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Dec 6, 2021

Mr Geer's answer is correct, but I add to emphasize that the ONLY way to impact real estate in Michigan (with some VERY limited exceptions) is by putting it in writing. If there was nothing in writing -- a deed, a will, and/or a probate court order etc -- the title is not impacted.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: Hi, my uncle had left me a tractor. The loan was agenst his savings. So the savings payed the loan. Im told now that

I have to pay the loan. He put it in writing that it was to be mine. Am i leaglly resonsible for the loan. Even though his savings payed for it? My cousin says i owe her the money.

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Nov 26, 2021

Without seeing the documents (the will and the loan documents) it is impossible to say. GENERALLY when there is a lien against a piece of property the person 'inheriting' it needs to pay the loan. SOME wills specify loans should be paid from the estate first and any inheritance is made... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: my dad died. He took out a loan on the house owed by the estate of my dad. Now they are askin me to be named a successor

does this make me liable for the loan

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Nov 24, 2021

"Named a successor" to WHAT? Without seeing the proposed paperwork it is impossible to say what they're asking and whether or not you'll be liable for the loan. Seek local legal representation to review the ENTIRE transaction to determine whether or not it makes sense, is in... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: I have an irrevocable trust I would like to gain access to. Is there any legal way to do so.

I am the beneficiary of an irrevocable trust that my father left. The terms are pretty simple. I get 4% a year from the trust, plush 18k/yr for medical, at the banks discretion. The trust began at a bank that has since switched companies 3 times and is now Huntington Bank. When I have asked in the... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Nov 22, 2021

You can use one of the several companies (some more reputable than others) that will buy an annuity or other 'stream of payments' like you receive from this trust at a 'discount' and pay you cash up front. This will likely turn out to be MORE Than 5% interest you're paying... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: What is the order of inheritance if no will exists? Children.. grandchildren..etc

My family has lived in, and cared for, my wife's father's home for four years. We planned on making an offer to buy it several years from now, however her entire immediate family has come down with covid and things are not looking good. After a little digging, we found that this property... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Nov 20, 2021

The ‘order of inheritance’ is spelled out in

http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?mcl-700-2102.

The bottom line is that if it is in the name of someone no longer alive, probate should have been started but if it isn’t the priority to begin probate lies with a surviving spouse...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: I just found out my land contract seller never signed any contract but told me he did what are my rights

I just found out my land contract seller never signed any contract after telling me that he did he's trying to take that position of the property because I am only a month behind and just trying to say that a repossession of property is an eviction which I found out it is not but what rights... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Nov 20, 2021

A contract in real estate in Michigan needs to be written. If you didn’t both sign, you don’t have a contract. You can TRY to claim otherwise but there isn’t a great chance of success.

You MAY have more success claiming the payments you DID make were accepted under false pretenses...
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2 Answers | Asked in Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: I want to sue out Mortgage co for wrongful foreclosure. We were denied a modification in 2019

We appealed at least 3 times and during the last appeal, mortgage co repeatedly told me that they needed more time. Final call to mortgage co to see what was going on they told me we ran out of time because the house sold at auction on that very day. They said they sent a notice which we did not... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Nov 14, 2021

I focus most closely and strongly agree with Mr Geers in emphasizing that nobody is ENTITLED to getting a modification to a mortgage or any other kind of loan agreement. To the extent it is available, great, and if the other side 'played games' and prevented you from complying with the... Read more »

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