Aretha Franklin: What Her Wills Show Us

News broke earlier this week that the late Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, had wills written out that were found between her couch cushions. What these wills represent are something called holographic wills. A holographic will is a will, but it ignores some of the formalities that go into putting together a will. Such formalities [...]

The Difference Between a Conservator and a Guardian

What is the difference between a Conservator and Guardian? In the court of law, an adult who is unable to take care of themselves or their property and minors are considered to be incapacitated persons. An incapacitated adult or minor will need someone to oversee them, assuring their safety and well-being. Enter guardians and conservators, [...]

New Veterans Administration Evaluation Requirements

New Veterans Administration Rules Released in 2018 The new rules will impact the needs-based benefits for veterans and surviving spouses. Clarification of commonly confusing areas like evaluating net worth, asset transfers, and income exclusions were the focus of the new rules. The Veterans Administration Final Rule, as it’s being called, created a new net worth [...]

The Statutes and Case Law Behind the Appointment of a Conservator in Michigan

Conservator Appointment in Michigan Unfortunately, there are times when a person is not able to manage their own financial affairs.  If the person has failed to adequately plan with a Power of Attorney, a person, called a “conservator” can be appointed by the probate court in which the individual resides. Upon the filing of a [...]

Millennials… the next clients needing estate plans?

Why should an estate plan be top-of-mind for millennials? The truth is, we cannot predict the future. We don’t know when our time will come. Terrible accidents happen all the time. What we do know is what a mess you could potentially be leaving behind if you do not have a will. As millennials begin [...]

Married and Living Separately… What’s the Big Deal?

Well it’s not a big deal if you have a will. In Saginaw, Michigan a case arose that will define an aspect of estate law. The case has made it to the Michigan Supreme Court; arguments were heard last month on the matter. James Erwin Sr. and his wife, Maggie Erwin, were married in 1968 [...]

Marriotts: Dirty Laundry Airing in Probate Court

The Marriott hotel always looks polished and professional from the outside. Recently, however, we learned that the Marriott family does have some dirty laundry airing out in a probate court. The good news? They are just like every other family – interesting, and not without drama. Meet the Marriotts: J. Willard and Alice Marriott first [...]

Estate and Gift Tax Exemptions for 2018 are Official!

For many, “inflation” might as well be a four-letter word. But in terms of the federal estate and gift tax exemptions for 2018, it seems to be inflating smiles and opportunity for many. In the New Year, estate and gift tax exemption will be $5.6 million per person and $11.2 million for married couples. The [...]

JEOPARDY

A "Jeopardy!" contestant who passed away a week before her string of taped appearances on the show aired this week won her third consecutive game in an episode that aired Thursday night. Cindy Stowell buzzed in swiftly, blurted out answers in the form of questions, and soundly vanquished her opponents. Her latest victory was a [...]

National Estate Planning Awareness Month

It’s estimated that more than 120 million Americans do not have updated estate plans, according to www.AmericanBar.org. Unlike the fun, daily holidays, such as national pasta day, that we like to celebrate with delicious dinners and social media hashtags, the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC) created a congressional proclamation for it in [...]

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