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Michigan Estate Planning Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: My dad is from the state of Michigan where he has a home and pays taxes. However recently he has been moved to a nursing

My dad is from the state of Michigan where he has a home and pays taxes. However recently he has been moved to a nursing home in the state of Wisconsin. He would like a durable power of attorney with me as appointee, should I get these forms based out of Wisconsin because that is where he will be... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Aug 1, 2020

It sounds like Wisconsin would be the better choice if that is where he is going to be for the foreseeable future.

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1 Answer | Asked in Banking, Child Support, Estate Planning and Family Law for Michigan on
Q: I live in michigan and have family court questions that the courthouse couldn’t answer. Who can i call to get answers.

I need help figuring out the legal options i have. My situation is complicated so a phone call would be the easiest route to discuss in further detail. Please help.

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jun 16, 2020

Courts are prohibited by law from providing legal advice. To do otherwise would make them biased by definition and unable to handle a case impartially.

You need to hire your own attorney especially if your situation is ‘complicated’. Your best option is to find a LOCAL lawyer as local...
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1 Answer | Asked in Health Care Law, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Can my sister set up POA (for legal and medical) while she is hospitalized? She is still mentally competent.

My sister is in the hospital, for kidney disease and another life-threatening illness. She will remain there for another 7 weeks, after which she is expected to get a kidney transplant.  She is mentally competent--understands what the doctors tell her, has normal conversations with us and can... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jun 16, 2020

The short answer to your first questions is yes, if she is mentally competent she can sign powers of attorney no matter what the state of her physical health is.

The much better answer to all these questions is she should not be making these decisions without the involvement of a local...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: House with mortgage-Successor on mortgage-

Can the mortgage be put in my name with out paying off the Creditors and Heirs? This is for a house in Michigan

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jun 2, 2020

The mortgage isn’t your real problem. It is the deed that matters.

And no you can’t just transfer a house through probate without taking creditors — and the other heirs — into account. There may be options but without seeing all the details (which would not be appropriate in a...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Unmarried cohabitating partner dies intestate, does the survivor need to prove that they own furnishings?

The deceased partner owned the home. The surviving partner provided almost all of the furnishings. The personal representative for the estate needs to provide inventory for probate. Do heirs have a claim on the survivor's personal property? How do you prove who owned what? There are some... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Jun 1, 2020

First question to ask is whether this is an issue. In other words, is the personal representative contesting the surviving partner's claim in the property? If not, then there's not much of an issue; the court is not interested in sifting through items of personal property. If there is an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Civil Litigation and Probate for Michigan on
Q: As a residual beneficiary do I have rights to request accounting or statements from financial institutions?

Are there certain time limits that affect when I am able to request certain accounting records?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on May 29, 2020

Beneficiary of what document? Will? Trust? Bank Account?

If the former two, you have the right to request that of the Trustee/Personal Representative

If the later, you should be dealing directly with the bank, and you don't need an 'accounting' so much as you need to...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: Our mother had a living trust. can we hire an atty or other to settle the trust? Value: just under $1m incl $125k in RE

Atty firm who did the trust will help but not take full responsibility. Banks seem to help only with Acct with them Ideas?

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on May 27, 2020

Yes, you can hire another attorney to help you administer the trust. Sometimes the firms who draft trusts are limited in what they can later do, because they might have a conflict of interest. Other times, clients may wish for the law firm to do things but perhaps those responsibilities are not... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Public Benefits for Michigan on
Q: My aunt gave her home to her threekids 10 years ago and reserved a life estate for herself. She went to a nursing home

January of 2020. Before she went to the nursing home. she put a new roof on the house. She applied for Medicaid in January. She was denied because DHHS said that the value of the new roof is a divestment of three-fourths of the $13000 roof cost. They are more or less saying that the life estate is... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on May 22, 2020

They may be right or if the life estate requirements were that she maintain the house they may be wrong.

Hard to say without actually examining the documents but why was this mechanism used rather than a ladybird deed which would have made this moot?

It may be too late at this...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: I am a PR of an estate. How are informal claims handled?

Clarification on formal vs informal claims.

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on May 14, 2020

There are rules that cover whether you need to pay. Your attorney is looking at the big picture of the estate, taking in to account the inventory, whether any property is secured (e.g. a car with a loan, house with a mortgage), and anything else that may play a factor in this particular estate. You... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Identity Theft and Probate for Michigan on
Q: My father used my identity on forged paperwork to take over my mom's estate in probate court. Can I take it back?

My mom named me her agent on a durable POA for all real and tangible personal property and highlighted at the end that it went into effect immediately (Dec '13) and was to "CONTINUE UNTIL REVOKED" - in all caps . Mom got her wings last April. After I refused to sign a letter of... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on May 3, 2020

A durable power of attorney terminates upon death of the principal. Once your mother died, you had no power under the POA. If you believe someone forged a document submitted to the probate court, you should contact the court.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Is there a way to find a college fund left for me by a family member based off of my name and/or SSN?

Unfortunately, the executor(my grandmother) of a college fund left to us by our great grandmother is estranged to my siblings and I due to my parents' divorce and our choice to be with my mother for 100% custody after a 50/50 arrangement for 3 years when I was in middle school. 2 years ago,... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Apr 20, 2020

Since there is no 'one repository' of 529 plans you won't find 'one place' to look for the information you seek other than your relative who has the information.

Short of that (and mending fences with family is RARELY a bad idea for non-legal reasons -- so DO...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Child Custody and Entertainment / Sports for Michigan on
Q: We are looking to create a will or difference between survivor right vs. will..which is better

We have two children and need to appoint guardianship in the event of our death, as well as distribute our life insurance properly.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Mar 27, 2020

It sounds like you are a married couple and your plan of distribution at the first death is "survivor takes all". That being the case, utilizing death beneficiary designations or joint tenancy with survivorship title holding is effective to vest ownership in those assets in the survivor.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: My name is on my dads trailer. He recently passed away and I sold the trailer. Do those funds have to pay his debt
Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Mar 23, 2020

It depends on what form of ownership you owned the trailer in with your dad. Joint tenants with right of survivorship? Tenants in common? If the former, the trailer passed to you alone upon your father's death. If the latter, you own only 50% of the funds from the sale, and your father's... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: When splitting inheritance between siblings does a decreased siblings portion go to there children if there is no will.

My husband's uncle passed away with no will, no spouse and no children. He is proceeded in death my his parents and one brother. How I read the law is that the inheritance goes to the 2 surviving siblings and the children of the deceased brother. Am I reading that correctly.

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Mar 16, 2020

That is probably correct but there is a lot more to it than that and the probate process is very technical.

I’d urge you to consult with a local probate attorney to insure you follow the process properly and avoid problems.

— this is offered for information only and does not...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: How do I open an Estate in Michigan if a will is being hidden from the family by a new wife of the departed
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Mar 12, 2020

If one has not already been open, and you are an heir, you can petition to open a probate estate. You'd probably want to open it as a formal proceeding given that it will likely be contested. You would need to serve notice on the wife because she would have priority for appointment as PR. And... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: Can I fight my brother on my mom's will? She put him on deed, but in her will she wanted everything split

My mom was going through court with her dead husband's kids so to protect this house she added my brother to the deed because I live in another state. Now he is fighting me even though he know what my mom wanted and won't split the profit from the sale. Do I have a case?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Mar 12, 2020

I'm sorry to hear of you loss and I'm even sorrier you mom did not seek legal help before placing your brother's name on the deed.

Unfortunately, what your mom "wanted" is not as important as what she did legally. LEGALLY, it appears, she put your brother's...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: my mother passed not long ago. I have property in her name. I am terminally ill. No other living siblings.

Others tell me, that my siblings children are entitled to a portion of of my mothers property

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Mar 10, 2020

It depends on whether your mother left a will. If she did, maybe some of her property was supposed to go to your deceased siblings and/or their children. Otherwise, if there was no will, the property would pass to surviving children, ie you. For further information, consult with a probate attorney... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: After death of parent..what rights do I have..other sibling won't speak to me..not knowing if will or anything..

Just some guidance what to do next

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Mar 5, 2020

A person in possession of a deceased person's will has a legal duty to forward the will to the Probate Court in the county where the deceased person last lived. You could check with the Probate Court and see if a will is on file. Also, if you are a designated beneficiary under a trust, you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: I am questioning if it the will is still valid naming me executor of my mom and step dad's will. Step dad passed away

In October 2018 mom then changed all assets into her name. Is that will from 2010 still valid. Am I still the executor since step dad passed away, and Mom converted everything to her ownership. My stepdad did disinherit his natural children and it was stated in the will. He named myself the oldest... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Mar 1, 2020

The will is valid. The question is whether there is any property owned by your deceased stepdad that requires probating. If all your stepdad's property was jointly owned with your mom with survivorship rights, then the property would pass to your mom automatically and the will may not need to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: Need help, my mother is deceased i am disinherited from her will can i still sue the hospital for neglected

disinherited from a legal will in Michigan, the will was just mailed out... There is a lawsuit filled against the hospital and was wondering if I can collect from that.

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Feb 28, 2020

To the extent the ESTATE has a lawsuit, if you are validly excluded from the will, you too have no claim. If YOU personally also have a cause of action that may not be the case. To know for sure however, it would require an actual consultation with a local attorney to review all the facts and... Read more »

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