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Michigan Estate Planning Questions & Answers
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
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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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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.

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Jan 25, 2024

Mr Taylor is right, and further, if the mother and the local friend of the court are sophisticated enough, they can 'attach' any distributions from the trust making it less than useful in the first place.

The SOLUTION probably lies in the domestic courts here, and the longer your...
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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: In Michigan, may the spouse have the deceased spouse's mail forwarded?

Spouses were living separately. Can the wife have her deceased spouse's mail forwarded to her home?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Dec 31, 2023

In Michigan, as in most states, the process of handling a deceased person's mail is governed by specific legal and postal regulations. As a spouse, you have certain rights, but these need to be navigated carefully, especially if you were living separately at the time of your spouse's... View More

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
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Dec 20, 2023

Lawyers do not ‘oversee’ wills.

Is your father still alive? You have no rights your father doesn’t provide you — ask him and if he chooses to answer — there you are. If he chooses NOT to answer — there is no recourse.

Is your father now deceased? The Personal...
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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 Business Formation for Michigan on
Q: Register of Deeds office denied recording my Power of Authority without reason in Lapeer county.

The power of Authority was a Grantor/Grantee notarized by a state notary and three (3) witness.

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Dec 15, 2023

What exactly is a 'power of authority'? (Did you mean Power of Attorney?) What was the ostensible purpose of this document? Did this relate to real estate in Lapeer County? Was the real estate identified or was this attached to other documents?

As you can see, there are many...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Tax Law and Public Benefits for Michigan on
Q: Would owning a farm (not a primary residence) be considered a sellable asset to medicaid in Michigan?

Prior to developing brain cancer a friend had been nursing his dying father. When his dad died the family home became his and so did the father's farm. Both properties are in the state of Michigan. Would medicaid require the sale of the farm to help with my friend's medical expenses?... View More

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Nov 6, 2023

Business (and ANY non-homestead) property such as a farm that is rented out is not considered an 'exempt' property and needs to be liquidated in order to qualify for medicaid.

The PROCESS of doing that can be technical and complicated, so it is best to get local legal...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: My father died on June 12. no will, no trust I Stepmom is administrator but is not turning in all assets.

Father had 3 businesses a house on land. Bank accounts only in his name. She is not legally doing what she is suppose to do. She is selling estate assets. Below cost or giving away . Has already done a quick deed to her son my half brother for the house. 4 dependents of my dads have gotten... View More

John S. Grant IV
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John S. Grant IV
answered on Oct 10, 2023

You should probably consider filing an injunction to prevent the administrator from dissipating assets. If necessary to prevent irreparable harm, injury, or damage, you could file an emergency petition to get into court more quickly. It is likely in your best interest to hire your own legal counsel... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: My father died on June 12. no will, no trust I Stepmom is administrator but is not turning in all assets.

Father had 3 businesses a house on land. Bank accounts only in his name. She is not legally doing what she is suppose to do. She is selling estate assets. Below cost or giving away . Has already done a quick deed to her son my half brother for the house. 4 dependents of my dads have gotten... View More

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
answered on Oct 10, 2023

I assume this woman was legally married to your father. In that case, she is entitled to the spousal elective share. I say that simply to say that the formula for that, in most cases, means that the spouse receives all or the majority of any probate estate.

As the personal representative,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: My name is not on the deed of our home. I am the wife. We have been married since 1987. In 2017 no more dower rights.

Does that affect my situation or only the deeds that came after the new 2017 ruling?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Oct 3, 2023

No -- dower was abolished in April 2017 so with the limited exception of widows whose spouse died before then, there is no dower.

BUT there are other 'rights' surviving spouses (of both genders) retain such as electing against a will or inheriting something through intestate...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: Michigan is a pension payout part of a trust? My brother past away and my mom was excluded Trust is she entitled pen

According to my brother executor she doesn’t but according to the pension people at his company she does. Causing lot of family drama! Being called trying to pull one!!

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Sep 23, 2023

IF (and only if) the 'pension' has a death benefit -- maybe.

Is the mother a named beneficiary of the pension 'death benefit'? Then she's entitled to directly receive a portion per the rules of the pension.

If the TRUST is the named beneficiary, then the...
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