WHO IS A TRUSTEE

The common terms in estate planning can be confusing and overwhelming. Terms such as “grantor,” “trustee,” “settlor,” “successor trustee,” “executor,” “personal representative,” and many others are commonly used. So much legal vernacular is enough to make someone’s head spin, especially without any prior knowledge of estate planning. This post will focus on who a trustee [...]

DEBT AFTER DEATH

It is very difficult to live an entirely debt-free life. Purchasing big-ticket items is a way of life (think homes, cars, and luxurious vacations) not to mention the things we need to pay for every month, like utilities, insurance, taxes, and medical bills. We do our best to pay off all of our debts, but [...]

WHY DO I NEED A WILL?

Who Wants to Talk About Death? Many individuals postpone writing a will for a variety of reasons. First, people understandably associate wills with death, and would prefer to avoid thoughts pertaining to it until necessary. Second, many may view writing a will as expensive, and deem the financial costs as outweighing the benefits of actually [...]

Tax Filings for Fiduciaries: What Are Your Filing Obligations?

Remember the old adage, “There are only two certainties in life: death and taxes”? The bad news is that there is some truth to it. The good news is that we can help you with both. Most people believe the requirement to file taxes dies when you do, but that could not be further from [...]

PET-PROOFED ESTATE PLANNING

For the past 141 years, Americans have spent the week of Valentine’s Day admiring dogs at the Westminister Kennel Club (WKC) Dog Show.  And while the German shepherd stole this year’s crown, we know that all dogs, regardless of breed, are winners. As Americans, much of our time and paychecks are dedicated to caring for [...]

PLAN LIKE THE PATRIOT’S: KEY PLAYERS AND CLIPBOARD DOCUMENTS OF ESTATE PLANNING

Whether you are waking up this morning with Patriot pride, fury over the Falcon’s fumble, or are still star struck from Lady Gaga’s performance, I think we can all agree on one take-away from Super Bowl LI: If you choose to put your mind to something, you can achieve it. And yes – I’m talking [...]

FIDUCIARY OR ESTATE: WHO DOES YOUR ATTORNEY REPRESENT?

This past week, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued and published an important decision that clarifies the issue of whether an attorney represents the interests of the entire probate estate or just the fiduciary (Personal Representative, Conservator, Guardian, Trustee, etc.). Before this ruling, many attorneys and clients were confused by this issue.  For years, despite [...]

120-HOUR RULE: A CASE STUDY OF DEBBIE REYNOLDS AND CARRIE FISHER

The recent passing of both Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, mother and daughter, so close together reminded me of one of Michigan’s probate laws, commonly known as the 120-hour rule. The 120-hour rule states that if your heir or beneficiary dies within the first 120 hours (or 5 days) after you die, they are treated [...]

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 [...]

RESPONSIBILITIES AS PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE

So, you have been appointed the personal representative. Oh my!  Now, what is my next step? Specifically, what are the responsibilities as Personal Representative? After reading this exhaustive list, you may feel completely exhausted! If so, give The Probate Pro a call at (248) 399-3300 and we can guide you through the process. Ensure that [...]