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Michigan Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: If I’m married and my spouse dies and I don’t have a will or trust does all my property automatically go to our children

There is also 2 step children. They are from the deceased husbands first marriage. Are they entitled to anything? Could they take my children to court?

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
answered on Jun 11, 2024

If your spouse dies before you, you would then legally be considered single. To the extent your spouse does not have an estate plan, joint accounts, or beneficiary designations to the contrary, the lion's share of his or her property would go to you as the surviving spouse, with any remainder... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: How do I go about getting my name off a ladybird deed as a remainderman?

I am 1 of 3 remainders on a ladybird deed in michigan. My grandmother ( the grantor ) passed away in 2016. I currently live in the house along with 1 of the other remainderman. My fiance and I are currently in the market for our own home. Once I move, I no longer want any type of responsibility to... View More

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Jun 10, 2024

You transfer your property interest to someone else, usually one or all of the other co-tenants since they are the ones who will get the most value from that. HOW you do that depends on what you would like to get out of the deal. The best response is to contact a local lawyer to discuss your... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: My grandfather added me to his home with a quit claim dead a year ago. He was added about 20 years prior with a quit

Claim by my grandmother who has since passed. He’s is ill and I’m trying to figure out how I can sell the home without paying taxes on it since she paid $45000. 50 years ago but has since refinanced and owes $120000. The selling price would be between $300000 and $350000. Im located in Michigan... View More

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on May 30, 2024

There will be an ‘offset’ for ant mortgage, but if you’re asking about the capital gains the answer is ‘welcome to the downside of quit claim deeds. You have acquired the basis for tax purposes of the original owner and will need to pay capital gains.

Absent some other facts you...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate, Gov & Administrative Law and Military Law for Michigan on
Q: I have a probate problem and more than 1 question, is there someone I can speak to?

My dad died before I was 1, he wasn't married to my mom, he was a military vet (Master Sergeant) who served from 1941-1967 and died in 1977, I wasn't mentioned in his probate papers,bi was taken from my mom rt after and raised in foster care, I'm his only living relative and I want... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on May 1, 2024

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Navigating probate, estate matters, and military records can be complex, especially given the circumstances you described. Here are a few steps you can take to gather more information and seek assistance:

1. Military records: To obtain your...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Can someone build a small house on property that is in our dads name but is in an estate/probate.

Our dad passed away 11 years ago and my mom 1 year ago. Right now the property is in an estate and my sister wants it and started building on it already. And shouldn't she buy the other siblings out?

David Soble
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David Soble
answered on Apr 24, 2024

It will depend on what the Letter of Authority provides- whether the property can be sold or mortgaged during a time that the estate action is open, will be determined by the Court. Additionally, it will depend on whether the decedent died intestate or not - but it is not uncommon that one or more... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: My husband owns three LLC's, no end of life docs. If he dies, do those businesses transfer to me, or include his sons?

He is sole owner and one of LLCs is 3-4 million gross/year. Me and one son are employees of that LLC.

Edward Gudeman
Edward Gudeman
answered on Apr 2, 2024

The LLC membership interests will be part of your husband's intestate probate estate. Consequently, state law will determine the ultimate beneficiaries.

Both of you should endeavor to get operating agreements done for the LLCs and you should both get wills and, at least, a revocable...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Elder Law for Michigan on
Q: Is their common law marriage or cohabitation rights in Michigan?

My father is 84 years old in the early stages of demensia/Alzheimers. He has a girlfriend (58 yrs old) who has lived with him for approximately 6 years. If my father goes into a nursing home or passes what rights will she have, if any? To my knowledge, he has a will that my mother and him put... View More

Douglas E. Kuthy
Douglas E. Kuthy
answered on Mar 27, 2024

There is no such thing as common law marriage in MIchigan. There are no rights obtained from co-habitation. You appear to be on the right path but I would suggest that you also have a complete estate plan prepared for him including a trust while he is still competent enough to know what he is... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Civil Rights for Michigan on
Q: Can my partner's kids enter the home w/o me present, while he is in an induced coma due to a stroke w/o a living will?

I have been living with my partner 3.5 years, supporting him and the home most of it. He and his ex gf own the home. In that time his son has only been here a handful of times, his daughter none, as she wants nothing to do with him. Until 2 days after his hospitalization, in which I was served with... View More

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
answered on Mar 1, 2024

You are in a very tough spot. The ex-girlfriend is a co-owner of the house and so she can evict you. I did not see you indicate that you are legally married to your partner. If that's the case, and in the absence of legal documents to the contrary signed by your partner, you have a tough... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: I am in Michigan. Can my father name me as his successor trustee and sole beneficiary?

I have 4 other siblings but my father has disinherited them.

Steven G Cozart
Steven G Cozart
answered on Feb 20, 2024

Yes, your father can disinherit your siblings. Be advised that your siblings may contest this in Probate Court by claiming that he was unduly influenced to do so, or that he was not of sound mind when he made that decision. These types of probate challenges can be expensive and emotionally damaging... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: A man quit claims his property to his brother, that man dies. Does the man who quit claimed it, get it back?

The brother dies, does the original owner get it back? No one has been able to answer my question

David Soble
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David Soble
answered on Feb 19, 2024

A deed is essentially a contract that conveys real estate. Once the deed is signed over to another party (the grantee) the grantor (the person deeding the property) has no further interest in the property. There are exceptions to conveying real estate by deed, and when it comes to probate or... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: As a listed beneficiary, do I have rights to request a copy of the trust in its entirety as it applies to all parties?

I recently was notified that i was the beneficiary of a trust from my grandfather after he passed. I was sent only two pages of the trust document that applied to only me specifically. Do I have legal rights to see the entire trust document as it pertains to all parties?

Edward Gudeman
Edward Gudeman
answered on Feb 2, 2024

Under Michigan law, the trustees must provide you with the portions of the trust that relate to your rights to distributions, etc. There is nothing in the statutes to compel them to provide you with the entire trust document.

As a practical matter, however, many of the probate judges do...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: I want to get a trust.My son is behind on child support, if I have my sister be the executor can child support take it

The mother is a drug addict and she would blow anything she got on herself.

Robert P. Taylor
Robert P. Taylor pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
answered on Jan 22, 2024

In general, child support can reach anything your son is entitled to. If I understand what you're trying to accomplish, what you need is to set up some sort of trust where your sister has discretion as to when and how much she gives your son. You'll need a good estate planning lawyer to... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Michigan on
Q: When Trusts are created in Michigan, can it exclude spouse as being a beneficiary of property purchased during marriage?

Spouse had revocable trust and the other (excluded) spouse was not on the purchased property deed.

Along this same line, can the trust assign a beneficiary, other than spouse, on large purchase items purchased after they were married?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Jan 17, 2024

Spouses have the ability to eject ‘against a will’ and challenge being omitted from an estate plan absent a valid pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement.

This CAN be done, but it is complex and fraught with danger and may not work 100% of the time.

A local licensed estate...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Michigan on
Q: Question: daughter owes me $3,000.00, clear debt for zero inheritance

I'd like to clear my daughters debt to me and not go to small claims court, and in return she will receive no inheritance when myself and wife pass. Can this be done legally ..

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Jan 17, 2024

Yes, and you could simply cut your daughter out of your Will without ‘hooking’ it to the debt, but to try to do anything like this without an attorney explaining the pros and cons for YOUR situation and drafting documents to accomplish the goal is playing with fire. For example, if you ‘write... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: I bought a vehical the title says the owners name and it says trust how can I get title transfered to my name michig
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Jan 10, 2024

You will need to do that at the secretary of state's office, and they will need to see some sort of 'proof of trust existence and authority' for whoever actually signs the title. The Trustee (person who generally has the authority to act for the trust) should be able to provide that,... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: As married couple-home in both names-Only son is beneficiary on all assets - How do we add son to home as beneficiary?
T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Jan 4, 2024

Adding your son as a beneficiary to your home involves updating the property's deed to reflect joint tenancy with rights of survivorship or using a transfer-on-death (TOD) deed. To establish joint tenancy, you'll need to file a new deed that includes both spouses' names and specifies... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Civil Litigation and Probate for Michigan on
Q: So when my dad passed away and he says we get 50% of whatever he has. We have to wait till my stepmother dies to get our

To get our inheritance.

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Jan 2, 2024

What he SAYS is actually of no import. HOWEVER, what does matter is his what estate planning documents have put IN WRITING.

I don't actually see a question here, but without reviewing the documents it is impossible to say what you might expect, and when you might expect it. IF your...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: My stepmom said to my brother. That archer, and our share is roughly eight hundred thousand now my brother asked for the

My stepmom said we are to our father's passing is $800000 now. She hasn't reached out to us in a timely matter. Should we get an attorney and also, what would he die without a welcome? What do you think the money's ad was a hole held

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Dec 31, 2023

In your situation, where there is a significant inheritance involved and some uncertainty about the distribution of assets after your father's passing, it's advisable to consult with an attorney. Legal guidance is especially important if the estate distribution seems unclear or if you... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: How can I find out who the lawyer is that is overseeing my fathers will
T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Dec 20, 2023

To find out the lawyer overseeing your father's will in Michigan, start by checking the will for any mentioned contact information. Reach out to the executor, if appointed, as they likely have details about the lawyer. Contact the probate court in the county where your father lived at the time... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Michigan on
Q: My mothers lawyer passed away in June 2007; I think she had a created a will, but I don't know where to find the records

The office is closed and no known associates.

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Dec 18, 2023

The state bar of michigan has begun a program where solo practitioners need to name a ‘successor agent’ for cases like this.

Try contacting them and fingers crossed he’s named such an agent. …

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