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Questions Answered by Trent Harris
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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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Products Liability and Small Claims for Michigan on
Q: Can I create custom AUDI emblems/badges out of gold/silver for my own vehicle and or to make as a product for retail?

Im an AUDI enthusiast and also a custom jewelry designer and fabricator with a small LLC. Ive wanted to replace the metal AUDI symbol and vehicle badges (S4) that are in various locations on the vehicle with identical replicas in diamond encrusted gold/silver, but understand there are probably many... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on Jan 11, 2021

You can do it for yourself on your own vehicle, but you wouldn't be able to offer them for sale to others due to trademark issues. If you were to sell them at retail, you would need to obtain a license from Audi, otherwise you could be sued for trademark infringement.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: How long do you have,in Michigan, to petition the probate court, after a death?
Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on Jan 11, 2021

You can open probate anytime there are assets that need to be administered or another reason exists why a personal representative should be appointed. There is no deadline. Some probate estates are not opened until decades after the person passes away, for example to clear up title to real estate.

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2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law and Collections for Michigan on
Q: I've been contacted by a law firm to collect a debt i was unaware of until another debt collector threatened to sue me??

I never received a bill from the original creditor. The first letter i got from the debt collector was them threatening to sue me, so i sent 2 letters requesting validation. The first time, they didn't provide all of the information i asked for. The second time, they didn't respond and i... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on Jan 4, 2021

You could call the law firms for both debt collections, and ask them who the original creditor and the original account number was for each. You could also send them a letter asking the same questions. Keep in mind that when you talk to them on the phone, they will be recording the phone call. You... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: Can the court enforce a specific age for inheritance to be received by beneficiaries if it’s detailed in a will??

My mom passed when I was 19, and she put in her will that we are to get 1/3 of our inheritance when we turn 30, another 1/3 when we turn 35 and the remaining 1/3 when we turn 40. Does this have to be enforced? Any way around this?

Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on Dec 28, 2020

Yes, it's enforceable. What you are describing is not just a will, but also a trust that was created in the will (a testamentary trust). To but it bluntly, courts are going to enforce wills and trusts exactly as they are written as long as the testator/trustor had a legitimate estate planning... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: My Dad left his house to his ex-wife but NOT the contents. She has already moved in before any distribution. Legal?

My Dad passed away 2 months ago and he left his house to his ex-wife. But he did Not leave her Any items In the house. She has since moved-in and is currently helping herself to everything there. The Will says the executor has 15 months to itemize and distribute the contents. Doesn't the value... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on Dec 28, 2020

You can try to plead with the ex-wife to leave the household contents in place so that the person(s) who are entitled to them can get them. But if asking doesn't work, the only way for someone to force the ex-wife to leave the household contents alone is to open probate and have a personal... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: My son is 13 and he keeps finding a way to smoke weed. Can I put him on probation?
Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on Dec 21, 2020

Probation is something that's part of a criminal sentence. If you want your son to have a criminal record, you can make a police report. Then the police and prosecutor can find a way to charge him. It could also get you a visit from Child Protective Services. Those things may not work out so... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: My Aunt died this year. She had always told me there would be money for me. The Trustee, says she didn't name a

beneficiary. I am now told the trustee can actually keep all of the assests. Do I have recourse?

Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on Dec 17, 2020

This is more of a probate question. Assets that your aunt owned in her own name at death will pass based on her will, or if she had no will then by intestate succession. If the assets were in a retirement account like an IRA, 401(k), or similar then they would pass according to any beneficiary... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: In michigan do i need to go thru probate to transfer the deed to his house in my name. His wife is passed away

Im the only child

Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on Dec 16, 2020

Yes, you will need to get an order from the probate court. That could be in the form of a petition and order for assignment, or by opening probate and having a personal representative appointed who can do the transfer. For assistance, you should call and hire a probate attorney to help you with the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Michigan on
Q: I have 11 months left on a chapter 13. Confirmed in August 2016. Lawyer now wants bonus statements from 2016 thru now.

I explained they were not separate checks. I have given my tax returns each year of the bankruptcy. To the trustee and lawyer. Why now would the lawyer want pay statements reflecting bonuses? I am current on all payments, it comes directly from my company to trustee. Just confused since it was... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on Oct 29, 2020

Your lawyer probably just wants documentation because it’s been requested by the trustee. There is no reason not to get that documentation and give it to your lawyer and trustee. It would be best to follow your lawyer’s advice, and work directly with your lawyer regarding any follow up questions.

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: Grandmothers estate

My grandmother recently passed and I received a copy of her will as her son, my father passed before her. I am mentioned as an heir. What are my rights? This case is out of Michigan.

Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on Sep 12, 2020

Your rights depend on the language of the will. If you are named as someone who is to inherit property under the will, you may potentially receive something from the estate. Your interest under the will would also be affected by what property exists in the estate, what claims exist against the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Products Liability, Environmental and Landlord - Tenant for Michigan on
Q: I stayed in a hotel for 118 days this year that was shut down by the fire marshal because they didn’t replace a panel

Saying it would just be a couple days all they had to do was replace a panel they forgot to but when the fire marshal returned when the panel was replaced he did a fuller inspection and found the dryer was so full of lint it was actually all the way up in the ceiling going about 40 feet back. This... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on Aug 28, 2020

Dear Davisburg,

Your question references a condition at the property which could've, but in actuality did not adversely affect you. In the eyes of the law, you lack standing to sue, because you have not suffered a particularized injury traceable to the hotel's conduct. Sure, you...
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