Lawyers, Answer Questions  & Get Points Log In
Questions Answered by Kenneth V Zichi
2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: My mother recently died and all of her assets either had assigned beneficiaries or were TOD transfers except one stock.

The one stock was split from another stock and my mother did not have time to assign a TOD beneficiary. I have 2 brothers and we have agreed to sell the stock and have the proceeds deposited into my mother's checking account in which we are all equal beneficiaries. What is the easiest way to... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jul 27, 2021

An asset of that value probably cannot be assigned without probate absent pre-planning no matter how you 'agree' upon things. HOWEVER the 'formal probate process' is not as daunting as you might have been lead to believe ...

There are many who try to scare people about...
Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: If easement bridge is destroyed may I as dominant tenement completely rebuild it, at my expense?

My landlocked residence has an appurtenant easement to cross adjacent undeveloped property to access the public road. A bridge over a creek is part of the easement path. I am the only private user of the easement. The path and bridge serve only my home. The servient tenement property owner never... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jul 23, 2021

It appears as if you're looking for legal representation. This forum is for answering general questions rather than specifics, and the NATURE of the easement matters a great deal so no 'general answer' is going to get you what you want. As for case law, again, you need to hire an... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Tax Law for Michigan on
Q: am I able to change the beneficiary on a pre-tax IRA after the account holder has passed. My father lived in NC.

my siblings and I are beneficiary of one of my dad's IRAs, we want to make his surviving wife the sole beneficiary. can we do that and have the IRA still be pre-tax.

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

Ms Whitehurst is correct but she fails to explicitly state YOU as a beneficiary cannot ‘change the beneficiary’ at any time and after death NOone can.

Disclaimers MAY work, as noted, but there will likely be issues so it is important to get real legal advice before acting.

—...
Read more »

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: Michigan inheritance law

I’m an only child my father has lived with a woman for 20+yrs, they never married. If he died how would his assets be distributed? We all live in Michigan, all of his assets are located in Michigan. Most of the stuff he owns is solely in his name.

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jul 9, 2021

If there is no spouse but there are surviving children the children inherit property that is in the deceased’s name only under Michigan law. But there needs to be private and that needs to be done promptly and properly.

Your father needs to think about his estate planning and create a...
Read more »

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Lis pendens property judgement

A neighbor filed a lis pendens (adverse possession) on my father’s property ‘in 02. The lis pendens ended in a judgement in my father’s favor (got to keep the property, but no improvements could be made to formerly disputed property). The neighbor has died and sold the property. I purchased... Read more »

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

The lid pendins is no longer relevant after the judgment but the JUDGMENT may still be relevant. Without seeing RHC actual judgment and any documents recorded in the chain of title however , it is impossible to know the current state of affairs.

Judgments related to land OFTENZ (but not...
Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Tenant died, had year lease, 9 mo remaining, the case is in probate, is estate liable for remaining rent?
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jul 5, 2021

The short answer is 'probably not' You have an obligation to mitigate damages or in some cases the lease is voidable upon death.

Seek local legal counsel to get specifics after reviewing the lease document, and CERTAINLY you have an obligation to mitigate damages so get the place...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: Will a notice of disallowance claim be a cause for a notice of continued administration?

Does a notice of continued administration have to last one calender year or can an estate be closed before then?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jun 29, 2021

An estate can be closed sooner than one year but the administration must be COMPLETE before closing.

If the PR files a disallowance early that might not matter but if it is filed late in the year that may mean the estate cannot be closed without an extension.

Trying to do any of...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: What does this statement from a warranty deed mean?

What does this statement mean exactly in lay terms: ..."for $100,000 subject to easements and building and use restrictions of record and further subject to any encumbrances that have arisen under or through Grantee since September 2019, the date of the land contract pursuant to which this... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jun 25, 2021

This is 'common boiler plate' language for a deed granted after payment in full on a land contract.

It means if the land contract buyer did something during the contract that may have impaired the title, the seller takes no liability for that.

If you don't...
Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Neighborhood voluntary HOA now claims they are mandatory. They are threatening to put a lien on deed. Do I have rights?

I checked with the county records and there is definitely no HAO for my property. These people got together and just decided it's within their rights to create one. What can I do so I don't end up with issues when I go to sell?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jun 21, 2021

If you've never signed anything and there is nothing in your chain of title, there is no HOA.

If you've agreed to something then all bets are off however.

Without seeing all the documents however, we're shooting in the dark. You need to consult with a LOCAL real...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: A leasing agent is asking me to sign a lease/pay surety bond before I see the apartment. This legal? My rights? Options?

When I insisted I want to see my actual unit prior to move in, the leasing agent indicated I can’t view the apartment until move in day. I was informed in writing that if the apartment doesn’t need my standards I have the option to decline to move in. But that option will place my family at... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jun 19, 2021

Advice?

Seek a different leasing agent/apartment.

Would you buy a house without looking at it first?

There is nothing LEGALLY requiring someone to show you an apartment before leasing it, but there is nothing LEGALLY requiring YOU to lease it either. If they are unwilling...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: Caregiver, man set up $ security w accountant n brother, passed day before meeting w brother

Estate closed, how can caregiver get what he set up for her???

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jun 13, 2021

It is unclear what you are asking, but if the estate has been closed without the caregiver making a claim, the recourse may be gone.

If there was some sort of security that WAS set up, there may be options, but the only way to know for sure is to meet with a local attorney and review all...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: How do I correct a misspelled name in my Will, Power of Attorney and Health Advocacy paperwork?

Last name of my second sole personal representative (my niece) is misspelled. Can it be corrected or do I need all new documents?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jun 9, 2021

If the misspelling is obvious / innocuous (smyth vs smith for example) there will likely be no big issue and an affidavit is fine. A simple codicil will also work well. The BEST solution is to redo the document particularly if there is the possibility of any misinterpretation. (You have nieces... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: My father in law passed and his son is filing a probate caveat. What is it? How long will it tie up probate?

My wife is named (not yet appointed executor) and her fathers belongings are tying up a fair amount of space in our home. We want probate to just be over with, and don't want it to take forever. We think he wants to contest the will or the appointment of my wife as executor. How long can he... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jun 2, 2021

A 'Probate Caveat' is not a term used in Michigan law. It is more typically used in the UK, but I imagine that there may be a state or two where that is done also.

Michigan takes a different approach, and people who wish to prevent probating either a specific document or having a...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: My relative passed away in January of 2020. I talked with my (PR) He said that probate cases are usually closed on the

One year anniversary. My question would be is the one year anniversary on the date filed? Disposition date? Inventory action date? Acceptance of appointment date? When I asked him these questions he danced around the questions and said the cases was going well. Any answer to my question would be... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on May 31, 2021

It is one year from the date of appointment, but that is a 'loose' standard. There are reasons it may be extended, and in the interim you should have received paperwork such as the inventory and notices, etc.

If you're not comfortable with what has happened, I'd urge you...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: If someone is in business with his brother and one of them die does that person share goes to his wife automatic?
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on May 27, 2021

This depends a lot on the estate plans put in place and whether or not there is a buy-sell agreement or other 'key personnel' provisions in that business.

You NEED to take all the relevant documents to a local attorney ASAP to review and give you actual legal advice. The answer...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Our neighbor followed our property surveyor around as he staked our property last week…he verbally shouted at my husband

Immediately after surveyors left the neighbor appeared in his driveway abruptly and shouted toward my husband and I that “ it will all be moved tomorrow” and “ he isn’t approaching us about it…it will be handled”

What is our next action legally as he has not removed his fence... Read more »

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

You need to 1) document where the survey stakes are and include in the photo things like how far the fence is from the corners etc, by photographing tape measures along with the features of the land etc.

2) get a copy of the written survey report which ideally will also show these...
Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Construction Law for Michigan on
Q: Is it legal for real estate selling company to require purchase merchandise credit for store where outlot is located?

purchasing an outlot piece of land and they are tying theland purchase to the requirement to purchase a merch credit of 15% of the sale price at closing-- we would never purchase that much of material from them-- seems very shady

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on May 19, 2021

I’m not sure exactly what they are requesting, but they can ask anything that is not illegal.

You don’t have to agree to the terms requested though.

However — and I can’t emphasize this enough — before you sign an offer to purchase you absolutely should have it reviewed...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: How to get my sister name off the title and mortgage. She is dieing and she will not sign a paper give me the house.

Her name is only for work weeks when we signed on the house. She pays no bills. My name is also on the house title and mortgage and I'm the one who pays the mortgage.

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

You cannot force someone to give or sell property. If her name is the only one in the mortgage/deed she will need to voluntarily sell (‘sign off’) the property or you will need to probate the property after she passes. The real issue here is that if there’s a mortgage that will complicate... Read more »

4 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Is a hand written receipt legally binding on the sale of a house

Friend of mine sold me her house for very little money, and now a year later wants to take it back. I have a signed receipt from her and her ex husband. Will that be enough to stop her from kicking me out?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on May 13, 2021

Mr Geers has provided a sound analysis, but the bottom line is none of us can actually provide you legal advice in a forum like this. Please seek local legal representation! There MAY be something you can do, but I fear that the assessment that you've not done a good job protecting yourself... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: I inherited an irrevocable trust when my mother died in Sep. 2020. My sister is the executor. But I have no paperwork

I would like to use it as a down payment on a house. However I have no details about the size of the trust or how to ask for some of the money. What paperwork does the trustee or executor have to provide to the beneficiary,?

Thank you

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

It depends on the terms of the trust.

But you SHOULD be able to get a copy of the trust. If indeed you actually are the beneficiary. The trust itself will contain the terms of what you’re able to ask for and how to make the request.

If you don’t understand the terms of the...
Read more »

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.