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Questions Answered by Kenneth V Zichi
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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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: How do the heir that’s the Personal Representative convey in this situation?

Mother died Intestate

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. Which type of Deed(s), affidavit or waivers will be needed to convey &... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Jan 20, 2022

You transfer it in the same way the personal representative would transfer any other property. With a proper deed and property transfer affidavit(s). But if the transfer is different than what the will/laws of intestacy calls for by agreement of the parties, there also needs to be appropriate... Read more »

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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