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Questions Answered by Trent Harris
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Is a seller liable after closing for misstatements made on disclosure statement.

After closing on my home, but before moving in, my neighbor had his property surveyed. Among other things, there is a semi permanent structure built by the sellers husband, who is deceased, that the survey shows is encroaching on his property. On the Disclosure Statement, the seller stated there... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on Jun 24, 2022

The answer to this question is: maybe. There are two different issues. The first is the encroachment onto the neighbor's property. The second is the basement work done without proper permits.

As to the first (encroachment issue), the seller would not be liable to you for that unless...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: I know cars & house must be appraised. How do you calculate the other inventory items? See below

Furniture, linens, utensils, flatware, dishes and clothing. Do we just guess what the value could be? The clothing would be donated because none of the heirs can wear the clothing or want them. Is there some type of calculation formula? These items really don't have a monetary value. As far... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on Jun 3, 2022

There are a number of places where you can get inventory values for the things you need.

For valuation of real estate, an appraisal is acceptable but may not be required. Local practice may vary, and other sources of valuation for real estate may also be accepted, such as a Comparative...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Can my husband's sister contest a wife's rights to everything? Do I still need a will?
Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on May 20, 2022

By "a wife's rights to everything", I'm assuming you mean the surviving spouse's right to a share of an intestate estate. Generally speaking, if the husband dies leaving a probate estate and leaves a surviving spouse, the surviving spouse is entitled to the first $240,000... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for South Carolina on
Q: Man dies in MI. owns land worth $4,000 in SC does land auto go to spouse or has to file probate. His estate under $20k

A man passed in Michigan where he and his wife were living at that time. He and his wife own land in SC worth $4,000. Does the land automatically go to her without filing probate in MI? His entire estate was less than $20,000.

The wife is trying to sell the land in SC but this issue arose... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on May 16, 2022

This is a question that depends on South Carolina law. A Michigan probate court does not have jurisdiction to decide matters regarding real estate located outside the State of Michigan. Other states could have a statute though that allows South Carolina to recognize ancillary probate proceedings... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Michigan on
Q: Is it illegal for a real estate agent to digitally remove A Property Surveyors Property Markers from a Real Estate Listi

Our property is shown in the Real Estate For Sale Listing of our neighbors. However our Property Survey Markers have been digitally removed as well as No Trespassing signs?

Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on May 4, 2022

No, that is not illegal.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Closed on a home. Seller asked for two days to remove items. They have moved out . They have not. Can we change locks?

They moved to Florida months ago and left some furniture behind. We closed gave them 2 days per the closing agreement and they are still dragging feet on removing the items. Can we take possession of the house and allow them to come and get their stuff later.

Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on Apr 27, 2022

It sounds like you should be able to take possession and change the locks, but to be sure you should take your documents to a real estate attorney for review. In situations like these I usually tell people they can put the items in storage and give the former homeowner notice that they can come get... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Can an Executive Director of an assisted living facility refer their resident to an attorney to have a POA and Will made

The facility is located in the state of michigan and the new resident had no POA or a will that would have specific directives.

Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on Apr 25, 2022

Yes, there is nothing illegal about that, however employees of the assisted living facility should not serve as witnesses to the signatures on the patient advocate designation.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Can my partner evict me from our home that we both share our names on mortgage or force me to sell the house?

My girlfriend wants her name off the mortgage that we both share. She wants me to refinance and pay her half of equity that's in the house. If I can't afford to pay her half of equity can she force me to sell the home? I have already been approved to take over the mortgage loan by myself.... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on Apr 24, 2022

She can't evict you, but depending on how you guys hold title, whether as joint tenants or as tenants in common, she might be able to file a partition lawsuit against you to have the house sold and the proceeds split between the two of you.

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Small Claims for Michigan on
Q: Hi, what evidence do you need to prove a contract in small claims court? Will texts and emails be sufficient? Thx

I recently bought a condo and the seller agreed to share some repair costs with me. It was supposed to be done before we closed, which is why we don’t have anything signed but she got really sick at the end and didn’t get it taken care of fully. Only 2 things fixed vs 4 on the list. I tried to... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on Apr 20, 2022

Enough? Anything's possible I guess. The fact that your evidence is mostly emails and texts doesn't dictate whether you have a winning case or not. There are ways to get those into evidence, so the trier of fact can weigh it. But keep in mind evidence is not proof.

Think if it...
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2 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: I have a private road easement on my land. New owners bought the land behind and are widening and cutting trees and want

To gavel the road. They are tearing up my yard with machinery and parking it on my land. I live in Michigan and on my deed it says my land abuts up to a private road but it runs through my land not on the edge. And in Michigan it needs to be 33 feet wide with a turn around big enough for a fire... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on Apr 14, 2022

The permissible use of an easement is based on the language of the easement grant. Uses of an easement that unreasonably exceed the grant of easement can be enjoined in court. You will need to set up a consult with a real estate attorney in your area so the attorney can review the documents... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: Unmarried gay daughter’s partner, together 10 yrs, entitled to any inheritance
Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on Apr 2, 2022

No, not unless it was left to the partner in a will, trust, beneficiary designation, or ladybird deed for example.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: My grandmother recently passed away. She did not have a will. The bills are up to date. How do we transfer the deed?

Taxes are up to date and so are utilities. Do we have to go through probate to acquire the home or can we handle the paperwork filings ourselves?

Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on Mar 29, 2022

It sounds like you will need to open an informal estate so a personal representative can be appointed. The personal representative can then sign a deed transferring real estate to the heir(s) of the estate or to a buyer.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Tax Law for Michigan on
Q: I've a will specifying my 2 cars go to a friend on my death. Will the friend have to pay taxes to receive the vehicles?

I am divorced, cars are titled in my name only and fully paid for, no liens. I reside in Michigan. Michigan SOS (DMV) advised heir will have to pay sales tax - seems strange. Is this correct? My house will transfer without fees on my death.

Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on Mar 23, 2022

I agree with the prior answer. Also, you mentioned that your house will transfer without fees on your death. That may be the case if you've signed a lady bird deed. But if not, then there may be real estate transfer tax that will need to be paid upon transfer of the house to the new owner.

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: My father and mother passed away In 2018. There are still renters at one of their properties. They have been there over

10 yrs. The agreement was for them to pay property taxes for rent. I have not been able to hire an estate atty to get this switched to my name. My brother wants them to have the property free of charge. My parents left a Will with me as executor back in the 1980’s (before I was 18). So these... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on Mar 23, 2022

Well, it depends. Let's take the questions one at a time. First, can those people continue to rent at the property, notwithstanding your parents' deaths? Yes. When the landlord dies, the tenants' leases continue, but they are now with the landlord's estate, instead of with the... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: I have a large tree that is at the edge of my property and has branches that hang over into my neighbors property.

I have a large tree that is at the edge of my property and has branches that hang over into my neighbors property. My neighbor picks up all of twigs and branches and dumps them into my property. He claims that since the tree trunk is in my property that I need to deal with all of the mess. Is he... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on Mar 22, 2022

I agree with Mr. Soble. When your neighbor dumps the twigs and branches back on your property, that is a trespass. You could theoretically sue for damages, but this would be something best resolved out of court between you and your neighbor.

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3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy, Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: I was garnish after a court proceed but during court thats not what was discussed or supposed to happen how do I stop it

I was scammed on a house I was paying someone who acted as the landlord later I found out it's the banks house so they came after me for the rent I already payed an have been taking it from me through taxes for years

Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on Mar 21, 2022

By the information you gave in your question, a judgment was entered against you a long time ago, and your state income taxes have been garnished by the judgment creditor. Because of the length of time and the doctrine of res judicata (meaning: the thing has already been decided), you cannot set... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Michigan on
Q: Disabilty wages, unsecured debt, home in my name and spouse. Seperate bank accounts, Can creditor put lien on my home?
Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on May 18, 2021

Yes, a creditor who has a money judgment against you in Michigan can put a judgment lien on any real estate you own. The judgment lien is good for 5 years and can be renewed once for an additional 5 years. The judgment lien cannot be used to foreclose on the property but would need to be paid off... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Social Security and Bankruptcy for Michigan on
Q: Can creditors put a lien on our home if my husbands social security money is secured in a different account?
Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on May 18, 2021

I agree with the above answer. But it would also depend on whether you own the home as tenants by the entireties with your spouse, and whether the judgment creditor's debt is a joint debt belonging to both spouses. As discussed by Ms. Lions, it would be best for you to get a consult with a... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Collections for Michigan on
Q: In Michigan, can you file a motion to set aside a default and a motion for summary disposition at the same time?

Can a defendant file a motion for summary disposition before default has been set aside?

If they are filed at the same time how does that affect the case? Will judge first determine if default can be set aside and then address motion for summary disposition?

Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on Jan 23, 2021

No.

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2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Michigan on
Q: Wondering about the legal process for removing a dismissed chapter 13 that was never meant to be filed?

Last year I was my wages started getting garnished- immediately after getting back to work after a layoff. My plant kept sending us home because of reported COVID cases so we looked into a bankruptcy attorney to stop drowning in case it got any worse.

My plant was talking about another... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on Jan 13, 2021

You cannot remove the fact that you filed a chapter 13 bankruptcy from your credit report. You filed the chapter 13 - it happened, it's a fact. You can't "unring the bell" and change the facts at this point.

A credit reporting agency has no obligation to remove or...
Read more »

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