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Questions Answered by Kenneth V Zichi
2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Michigan on
Q: In Michigan do we pay taxes after selling deceased parents home

They had no will and we just sold it ( a few years after they passed after getting permission from courts).

There are 7 children splitting the money whom each get about $8,000 each.

They had no other assets or estate to speak of

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

Mr Geers is correct IF the house sold for the inventoried value (or less). If it were inventoried for less than it sold for, there may be capital gains taxes to pay.

The BEST person to ask this of is your attorney who handled the estate (did you have one?) as there may well be other issues...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: How do I register my deceased fathers pistol?

Both my father and stepmom passed away there was no will and it did not go to probate as there were no assets and me and my sister agreed. My father had a pistol that he carried on him. So how do I get it registered in my name and what do I need to do so? Tried looking online and can’t find any... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Mar 6, 2022

I am sorry to hear of your loss, but you've made a critical error in your factual discussion. If there was a pistol, there WERE assets no matter what your sister and you agreed.

You are correct that you probably don't need to go through a 'full' probate if the firearm...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Hello. My mother was a drug addict in the 90's. The state of Michigan took us in and made us foster kids. My grandmother

& I filed missing persons reports and took dental records to the morgue. No one has seen or heard from my mother since. How do I go about filing a claim for unclaimed property If we have no death certificate?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Mar 3, 2022

MCL §700.1207 controls as to having someone declared legally dead so you can get a death certificate.

The requirements are there, but frankly this happens so infrequently that I'd have to sit and read the thing to remember exactly what is needed. Provided nobody has seen or heard...
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3 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning and Family Law for Michigan on
Q: I want to dispute Michigans intestancy laws and prove my fathers true wishes for his home, how would i do this?

My sister and I are currently in probate court battling fathers estranged wife over his home. They were in the process of divorce when he committed suicide and I have numerous divorce documents, texts, handwritten notes and witness testimonies that show she was not to have the home. We are... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Mar 2, 2022

I'm sorry to say that unless your father put his 'wishes' into a will or other testamentary document, the laws of intestacy are how his estate will be divided. His misunderstanding of dower really won't play into anything here, and if the divorce was not in process (as in filed... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Neighbors tree is hanging in our yard. If we cut it it will die. Can they sue us?

The tree grows straight on their property for 10' then takes a hard left and all branches are on our side. If we cut what is on our property, it will die. They told us they will sue us if it dies. What can we do?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Mar 1, 2022

Normally you can remove branches over your own property without the permission of the person next to you where the trunk is located.

HOWEVER if you kill the tree in the process, that is not permitted. It sounds like you're setting yourself up to fail if you simply cut the branches...
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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: I bought a house 7months ago.. 3months ago I noticed it's infested with rats.. do I have any recourse? what to do?

rats in every wall, every ceiling, and now getting into my house. neighbors say person who sold me the house knew about the rats.. I have 3 children. it's not safe anymore to live here with my children.

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Feb 27, 2022

This appears to be a question for an exterminator rather than a lawyer. Animals will live wherever they can get in and so long as there is food for them, so removing the ability to get into the house, and getting rid of food sources would seem to be the way to address this.

Did the...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: If I havent lived at a Residence for 2 years but my name is still on the mortgage, is it still my house?

Had a joint mortgage with my exwife, she bought me out but never refinanced so my name is still on the mortgage. Is it still just as much my house as it is her house after 2 years? Can I legally go into the house because its still my house? Or because I havent lived there in 2 years its no... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Feb 14, 2022

Mr Geers is correct, but even if your name IS on the deed, if you don't currently 'live' there 'entering' the house, while it perhaps won't technically be a 'crime', is certainly rude and inappropriate -- unless you're invited in or there is some... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Banking, Civil Litigation and Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: I had a joint mortgage with my ex wife. I was bought out for $40,000 (my half of equity) but she wont take my name off?

Had a joint mortgage with my ex wife and 2 years ago I was bought out ($40,000) and she was supposed to refinance and put the house in her name. 2 years later, she still has not refinanced and got my name off the mortgage. Now, every time she is late, my credit is dinged and to help my credit not... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Feb 14, 2022

Mr Soble is right, and ideally the divorce judgment REQUIRES her to refinance.

Understand the MORTGAGE company is under no obligation to do anything, and is within its rights to 'ding' your credit if payments are not made as agreed.

The problem here is that if your ex is...
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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Sellers agent gave my personal cell phone to the buyer months after the transaction. New owner will not stop harassing.

Are there laws preventing the agent from doing this?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Feb 13, 2022

There are no specific laws that discuss this so far as I'm aware, but take a look at your listing contract. Does it say anything about the retention/sharing of information? I bet you may have a contractual issue there IF (and this is the tricky part!) you can PROVE (not just suspect or... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: My mom died last April. In her will she named me personal representative. I recently received a check from Bank of

America for a refund of some kind. I know she'll have a small tax refund when I file her last return. What form(s) do I need to file with the courts to be able to cash these? I do not have any bank accounts with her name on them. Thanks.

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Feb 10, 2022

I'm sorry to hear of your loss.

Being nominated in a will is not enough. You need to be appointed as Personal Representative by the Court and the 'forms' to do that depend on how much is in the estate and what needs to be done.

Trying to DIY this is asking for...
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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Can a spouse refinance a home without the others signing if they are on the mortgage
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Feb 10, 2022

This depends on what you mean by 'on the mortgage' and 'refinance'.

ANYone can pay off a loan and take out a new one to 'refinance' the old loan. You don't need anyone else's permission to pay their debt, and can simply do it.

HOWEVER, to...
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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: What does Michigan LLC act 450.4504 Membership interest as personal property mean if the husband dies.

Who inherits the business property? The wife or his will.

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

To add on Mr Geer's answer, "wills" don't actually inherit. They direct who inherits and are important documents, particularly if you don't want your estate to be distributed according to the defaults set under the law of your state of residence.

Getting legal...
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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: May a guardian use an assumed name on court documents?

I came across a document where the guardians last name had changed to the same as the ward and the case number was different. I searched for a name change for the guardian and couldn't find any name change. Is this legal? The guardian also had the ward to obtain a copy of his birth certificate... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Feb 8, 2022

If the case number is 'different' then you are looking at two different cases with similar names.

Are you SURE this is the same case? It seems rather unlikely in the abstract.

"John Smith" uncle of "Bill Smith" acting as a guardian is not uncommon....
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: Which probate petition form is required, to get court approval to convey real property?

There's no sale of property or interest from one heir to the other needed. Even if we decide to convey to only one heir, there's still not sale or request for payment from the other heir. So, we only see the petiton for approval to sell available for Michigan, which seems like the wrong... Read more »

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

‘Convey’ and ‘sell’ are synonymous.

You ARE selling if the estate is conveying the property but the implications go WAY beyond that.

Trying to do this without legal representation is asking for problems down the road. Gave you considered tax issues? What about capital...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Insurance Bad Faith for Michigan on
Q: just purchased new build builder is not responding to the problems, roof leaks basement drains cloged outside grade bad

What do I do?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Jan 31, 2022

Have you submitted a written 'punch list' of items to be fixed/finished?

Or have you made the final payment accepting the property as is?

If the later, you may have a hard time.

It is hard to say what you should do next without also knowing what you have done so...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Bought a home that was listed as having a well..there was no well...a 10 ft cistern was hidden in a small crawl space

In century 21 listing and on disclosures..it stated there is a well...the sellers agent never gave me sellers contact info. All attorneys i talked to want a bunch of money to work for me, but I went with no water for 9 weeks and had to pay almost 6,000 for a well to be put in...I dont feel like I... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Jan 29, 2022

A cistern and a well are two VERY different things but a simple non-technical inspection can reveal the difference. I’m afraid you’re not going to like this answer, but as the old adage says, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Did you look at the house before buying it?...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: minor children getting money, how to make out check to them

I am the personal representative. There was a will, but it didn't mention this pension payout and the pension payout did not have a beneficiary listed. ($40,000 split between 2 children ages 7 and 9) The next of kin are minors that live with the father, who is divorced from the deceased. Since... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Jan 28, 2022

You’ve asked this question before/elsewhere. You do NOT make the check payable to the father. But the father may need to create a trust or set up a conservatorship.

This is not a DIY situation. Please seek representation from a local probate attorney ASAP. There are many traps for the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: How do I fill out the "payable to" blank on estate check when the recipients are minor children?

I am the personal representative of my daughter's estate. She is divorced and I have about $40,000 to be divided equally between two minor children. When I write the check to the father from the estate account, how do I fill out the "payable to" blank? (Michigan)

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Jan 24, 2022

You probably don't write the check to the father!

You need to have an attorney review the estate to make sure you're proceeding properly.

You may need to create a trust, or the father may need to open a conservatorship or a restricted bank account depending on how things...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: Which type of Deed(s), affidavit(s) /waiver(s) is needed to convey & allow 1 heir to transfer/relinquish their interest?

Only 2 heirs , no mortgage. One heir is also Personal Representative. There’s no additional unpaid debts or reason to sell house & 1 heir wants to sign over their portion of the property.

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Jan 21, 2022

We really cannot give specific legal advice in a forum like this. There are too many possible variables to provide a 'definitive' answer.

You need to consult with a local real estate / probate attorney to insure things are handled properly. Don't be 'penny wise and...
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3 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Sis doesn't want house she & boyfriend bought. BF says he won't pay mortgage. They used her credit. She can't afford.

Sister and her boyfriend bought a house last year. He has been drunk all the time and mean to her and my nephew and she wants to sell the house to move home and take care of sick mom. He's paying the mortgage but they used her credit. He won't sell and says he'll stop paying the... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Jan 21, 2022

Mr Geers' answer is correct, but let me 'tease' at one point in your question he didn't touch. "Can't afford an attorney". I would turn that around. She can't afford NOT to have an attorney.

ONLY by having experienced qualified licensed help can your...
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