We Should All Have A Death File

A death file is either a physical or digital file that contains everything that a loved one would need after your passing. What should be in your death file? Well there are the obvious documents, like your last will and testament, any trust documents, beneficiary designations, etc. But what else is important? You should have [...]

The Slayer Statute: How the law seeks to protect the families of murder victims

Even decades later, the tragic murder of Natalie Wood remains just as sad, shocking, and full of unanswered questions as when it first came to light. Still today, new twists are added to the story as Natalie Wood’s one-time husband, Robert Wagner, is once again suspected for involvement in her death. While California law prohibits [...]

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

In America, approximately 27 people die per day as a result of drunk driving. Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over: A Two-Week Reminder to Save Your Life On Friday, August 18, the annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign went into effect across the country. The two-week movement is a reminder to all about [...]

Will Your Business Die With You?

As warm summer breezes slowly transform into cool Fall days, we begin dusting off the to-do list we started pre-June. For many, it’s weighted by our every-day business needs: preparing for tax season, annual reports, charitable holiday giving, and rearranging our work schedules to better align with our kids’ new school schedules. While I’m sure [...]

WILLS AND TRUSTS: A CASE STUDY APPLED TO DEBBIE REYNOLDS AND CARRIE FISHER

The nation recently mourned the tragic loss of both Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds, within just a day of one another. While neither of them passed away in Michigan and we have no idea whether they had a will or trust, or what those documents might have said, their story serves as a [...]

FUNERAL HOME BILL

Recently, a grief stricken family drove in from out of state to bury their brother.  The family met with a Detroit area funeral home and understood that they had insufficient funds to pay for the funeral home bill that their brother had requested.  However, the family was aware of a bank account that the decedent [...]

LIFE INSURANCE ASSIGNMENTS

Many funeral homes use funeral funding companies to assist with cash flow by advancing the payment of the bill with life insurance assignments.  Here’s how it works.  A family presents themselves at a funeral home with limited cash and a life insurance policy.  A family member is the named beneficiary.  Rather than wait the weeks [...]

DEATH OF A SPOUSE

The death of a spouse is one of the most devastating events of a person's life. As a recent widow or widower, you will face many personal and financial challenges.  Here are some tips. Grieve. One of the most important new findings has shown that for most of us, grief is a severe — but self-limiting — [...]

FUNERAL ARRANGEMENT

A weird rule exists relative to who has the right to make a funeral arrangement in Michigan.  You would think that the person named with that power in a Will would have priority.  Nope.  In fact, you could have a terrible relationship with your family and they could still trump those persons that you want [...]

FUNERAL BILL

Many funeral directors rely solely on two methods of payment for their funeral bill, payment in advance of services or an assignment of a life insurance policy.  This is short sighted. A funeral home can be assured of payment of their funeral bill without one of these methods if some basic due diligence is performed.  [...]