ESTATE PLANNING / PROBATE

Trust Funding and Beneficiary Designations
By Brian R. Jenney [Winter 2018]
Preparing and executing a proper estate plan is only part of a larger picture. After the client has worked with an attorney to formulate a specifically tailored estate plan for the client, the attorney and client must continue to work together to properly fund the client’s trust…
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Refocusing Your Estate Plan Under the New Tax Act
By Cynthia L. Umphrey  [Winter 2018]
While the new tax act passed at the end of 2017 was primarily focused on income taxes, it also made a temporary change to the estate and gift tax laws. Specifically, the new tax act temporarily doubles the exemption amount for estate, gift and generation-skipping taxes from the $5 million base to a new $10 million base, but only until 2026…
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Exciting News in Creditor Protection
By Cynthia L. Umphrey  [Spring 2017]
Over the past 20 years, I have seen my clients become increasingly more interested in protecting themselves and their families from creditors.  However, creditor protection planning had generally involved giving up all rights to the assets, moving the assets offshore (both of which come with their own set of complications and risks), or creating a domestic asset protection trust (DAPT) in a jurisdiction such as Nevada, South Dakota or Alaska. I am now happy to report that Michigan has a new law permitting the creation of Michigan DAPTs. In fact, Michigan’s DAPT law is one of the best in the country, offering convenience, flexibility and strong protection when used properly. So exactly what is a DAPT and why might you be interested?
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Estate Planning: Wealth Transfer Advantages May Require Prompt Action
By William B. Acker  [Fall 2016]
Two recent proposals would if implemented potentially greatly increase the federal tax cost of transferring wealth to sons, daughters and other beneficiaries.
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The Funeral Representative Act
By Joseph P. Buttiglieri  [Summer 2016]
A new law became effective in Michigan on June 27, 2016 that allows an individual to name a funeral representative.  A funeral representative is a person with the authority to make decisions regarding final arrangements and the resting place of the decedent after death.
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Over age 18, you need powers of attorney
By Brian R. Jenney    [Fall 2013]
Often I receive phone calls of distraught parents who are very upset that they cannot obtain medical information on their son or daughter. This is because the child has obtained the age of 18 years and is no longer considered a minor in the State of Michigan. If the child is unconscious or unable to make informed decisions regarding his or her care then he or she is unable to give consent to the physicians to discuss his or her condition with his or her parents.
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Unexpected reasons to make or change your estate plan
By Joseph P. Buttiglieri    [Fall 2011]
In life, there are a few obvious milestones like the birth of a child or a marriage that would trigger the need for an estate plan. But what about the in-between times in life?
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Parents of young adults need powers of attorney
By Thomas V. Trainer    [Summer 2010]
Sending your child off to college or out into the working world is a proud yet nerve-wracking experience. Your 18 year-old is legally an adult, but he or she is still your baby. However, because your child is an adult, you can no longer make decisions on his or her behalf simply because you are the parent.
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Families conflicted over medical and financial decisions
By Joseph P. Buttiglieri    [Summer 2010]
With advancements in medical care, families are faced with more complicated decisions concerning loved family members than ever and many are landing in probate court. Probate litigation is on the rise and it can be extremely stressful to people who suddenly find themselves battling family members.
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