Category: Estate Planning

The Right Time is Right Now

From the desk of Attorney Jehan Crump-Gibson… We are often asked how young is too young to have an estate plan done? What is the appropriate age? Do you have to be married with children? There is no time like the present. If you are an adult- single, married, children, no children- the RIGHT time

In spirit or in truth: adult adoptions and estate planning

From the desk of Attorney Alcendor… During the recent holiday season, I noticed an uptick on social media involving stepchildren making the heartfelt decision to ask their stepparents to adopt them. (Check out one of the stories below!). In Michigan, an adult can become the legal parent of another adult. These adoptions only require the

Are you part of the 44%?

According to a 2016 Gallup Poll taken after superstar Prince died, only 44% of Americans reported having a will. News outlets widely reported on the probate proceedings for his estate. One of the most important takeaways from Prince’s shocking death was what happens when you die without measures in place to determine how your estate

Who can I run to?

In the typical scenario, a client will appoint a spouse, child, sibling or close friend as Trustee to administer their Trust upon their incapacitation or death. However, we regularly come across the atypical scenario: when there is no one capable enough to serve. We always say that your fiduciary should be BOTH responsible and trustworthy.

It’s time to get your fingerprints taken!!!

Just as fingerprints are unique to every individual, so are estate plans! We often have clients come in and tell us they would like a document drafted a certain way because their neighbor, co-worker or friend told them it’s what they did! There are many different factors that determine what documents a client may require

Is two actually greater than one?

It’s not uncommon for clients to tell us they want two of their loved ones to jointly administer their estate when they pass on- either as Co-Personal Representatives or Co-Trustees. Some believe it will be good for checks and balances, others don’t want to feel guilty about choosing one relative over another. This sounds like

Myth-Buster: Am I really responsible for paying off my loved one’s debt?

This is an oldie but goodie. One of the top questions we are asked is regarding debts of a deceased loved one. There are a lot of myths floating around on this topic. Let’s bust them! You’re inheriting your loved one’s estate- does that mean you are inheriting his or her bills? Let’s talk about

Almost doesn’t count…

Mary and Phil Jackson had their estate plans drawn up nearly 25 years ago. They have separate trusts. While the beneficiary for various annuities and life insurance policies has been changed to their respective trusts, there are several accounts that remain in Mary’s name alone and do not list a beneficiary. Mary and Phil meet

Pop Quiz!!!

It’s that time again…Pop Quiz!!! Are you an estate planning whiz? Test your knowledge! Click HERE to take the quiz and let us know how you did! P: 248-395-3699 E: **Please be sure to read the disclaimer section on our site!

It’s not over until it’s over…

Completing your estate plan can be one of the most important things you do, for you and your family. Many of our clients breathe a sigh of relief once the signing is over, which they should! However, it is important to remember that as life changes, your estate plan might need to also. What could

Does the left hand know what the right hand is doing?

We know you’ve heard the saying “the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing”. When it comes to estate planning, this colloquial phrase is critical. Every legal document has implications. In some cases, these documents can contradict each other. In order to truly carry out your wishes, you must be sure that

Do you know Ladybird?

Annette, a widowed woman with two adult children has a home, which is paid off. She has a checking account, savings account and a life insurance policy, all of which have her children as beneficiaries or transfer-on-death designees. Since she intends for her children to get the house immediately when she passes, she wants to

Great Expectations

A widowed or single woman with four children has a sizeable life insurance policy. She decides to leave her most “responsible” child as the only beneficiary and EXPECTS that he will divvy the proceeds up equally among his siblings, as she instructed him. She also believes that she has reassurance through the Will she had

Safe Deposit Boxes- Will you really have access?

Many assume that the safe deposit box at the bank is the best place to keep all important documents and that if something happens to them, those documents will be easily accessible, namely in the case of an emergency or sudden death. Not so fast. We have had instances where even a family member with

Serving a purpose…

Just as important as drafting your estate plan is making sure your assets are appropriately titled. What is the point in having one, if it cannot be implemented according to your true wishes? It is more common than you think for people to have an estate plan done but fail to review asset ownership and

Don’t miss the boat!

We regularly stress the importance of the estate planning process. One of the most misunderstood estate planning tools is the Power of Attorney. Whether for medical or for finances, we come across a lot of clients who think the document governs after-death decisions- or gives them priority to act after death simply because they were

The “haves” and the “have nots”

…Of estate planning of course! The “haves”: they have met with us, followed all the steps in making their wishes clear, reduced them to writing and had them properly witnessed and notarized. The most important thing the “haves” have is peace of mind. Peace of mind knowing that if something unexpectedly happens to you- whether

Over my dead body!!!

“Over my dead body!!!” You’ve heard this colloquial phrase plenty of times before. Let’s think about it in its literal sense- do you want to ensure that your loved ones do not argue about your funeral arrangements and burial or cremation? Last June, Michigan law was amended to allow for individuals to designate a funeral

Your Star Player- Choosing your Fiduciary

Sometimes, people have difficulty choosing a “fiduciary”, or who they want to handle their assets should they become incapacitated or pass away. Types of fiduciaries include the Trustee of a Trust, or the Personal Representative (or even Conservator) of an estate. Parents will feel guilt choosing one child over another, although they know their child

How much do you know about estate planning?

It’s a new year. Being the astute person you are, you may have made a list of personal and financial goals you want to accomplish in 2017. Is your Estate Plan on that list? Let’s see how much you know about estate planning! Click HERE to take the quiz!!! How did you do? Whether you

Reality Check…

We speak ad nauseam about the importance of completing an estate plan. One of the principal reasons to handle this all-important matter is to ensure your loved ones avoid probate court. The probate process can be tedious. Dealing with this during the grieving process can be quite overwhelming- AND expensive. Recently, published an article

The Holographic will: an “Imperfect” solution to a problem

Michigan law allows for the creation of a holographic will, a will that is handwritten and signed by the Testator. The Testator is the person who is making out the will. A holographic will is valid only if it is ALL the following: (a) In WRITING. (b) Signed by the testator or in the testator’s

Trusts and Estate Plans: One size does not fit all!

We have been contacted relatively often by clients specifically asking for a revocable living trust. They have discussed this widely-held estate planning tool with their friend, colleague or neighbor and are sure it is best for them. After meeting with the clients, ascertaining the size of their estate, and their specific needs and wishes, we

Now or Later? Durable vs. Springing Powers of Attorney

When you execute a Power of Attorney (POA), you give another person powers over your medical and/ or financial decisions if you become incapacitated or unavailable. A healthcare POA gives that person power to make medical decisions, while a general POA deals with financial matters. These documents help avoid public guardianship and conservatorship proceedings. For

Now or Later? Durable vs. Springing Powers of Attorney

When you execute a Power of Attorney (POA), you give another person powers over your medical and/ or financial decisions if you become incapacitated or unavailable. A healthcare POA gives that person power to make medical decisions, while a general POA deals with financial matters. These documents help avoid public guardianship and conservatorship proceedings. For

Attorney Crump-Gibson appointed to ICLE’s Probate and Estate Planning Advisory Board

The Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) is a jointly sponsored Institute of the University of Michigan, cosponsored by the State Bar of Michigan and all of Michigan‘s major law schools. ICLE is the leading provider of how-to solutions that harness the wisdom of Michigan’s leading practitioners. ICLE has established advisory boards concentrating on a

In or out? Testamentary Capacity and Wills

Testamentary Capacity. What does this mean? It’s really a legal way of saying “sound mind”. The issue arises often when individuals challenge a Will. The challenger will argue that the Testator (the person that made the Will) lacked sufficient testamentary capacity when making the Will; and thus, it should be deemed invalid. It is more

The “what” and the “who”

When it comes to managing healthcare decisions in the event of incapacitation, we are often asked only about preparing a “living will”. Most of the time, this happens because clients are not entirely sure what purpose this document serves. Here’s what is important to remember about living wills: they handle the “what”. “What” specifies the

It could happen to you…

Genetic Testing? 30 Claimants? The nightmare that has become probating the icon Prince’s estate rages on. As you can recall, Prince died with no Will and no known children. The process of determining his heirs and distributing his estate is now up to a court. Now, you may not have an estimated $300 million estate

Keeping everything in check…

We regularly stress the importance of keeping your estate plan up-to-date. As time progresses, life changing events necessitate a review of your documents to ensure that your wishes are still followed and your assets are safeguarded. Life changing events can include a birth, a death, an inheritance, purchasing property or even a move!!! For this

It’s here!! The C&G Quarterly!!!

Click HERE to check out this edition of the C&G Quarterly!!! You do not want to miss this issue! Meet our 2016 College Intern Class, catch up on what C&G is doing around town and read up on the latest in Estate Planning, Government Affairs and Employment Matters! See anything of interest in the issue?

Dotting the I’s and Crossing the T’s

Just because you make out your Will does not mean all your property will pass through it. There are certain types of assets that pass outside of a Will, according to contract. For example, life insurance policies, retirement plans and payable-on-death/ transfer-on-death accounts are all considered “contracts”. The beneficiaries you designate will inherit these assets

Intestate Succession: What the State says…goes

Didn’t make your estate plan? No worries- the State will make it FOR you! To die “intestate” means to die without a Will. When this happens, assets that would have passed under your Will, pass according to the laws of “intestate succession” to your closest relatives. These relatives are carefully defined by State Law and

Myth Busters Edition: Powers of Attorney are only for the Old, Sick and Single!

MYTH: You only need a Power of Attorney if you are aging, sickly or single. FALSE! Let’s bust this myth! EVERY ADULT needs Powers of Attorney for healthcare and for financial/ personal matters. If you don’t have these documents in place and something unexpected happens to you, there is no guarantee that the people you

C&G’s Tip of the Week: Myth Busters Edition!

Many people regard the basic “Revocable Living Trust” as the holy grail of estate planning: it seemingly appears from the heavens and eliminates all potential estate issues. Let’s bust this myth! There are a number of things that most do not realize about this type of trust. ONE of the principal considerations is that the

Having Alzheimer’s not enough to invalidate a Will??

Check out this interesting case where the Michigan Court of Appeals upheld the validity of a Will executed while the Creator suffered from Alzheimer’s! Shortly after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s dementia at the age of 60, Jeanette executed a Will. The Will disinherited Jeanette’s two daughters, left the entire estate to her brother and his

Check out the C&G Quarterly Newsletter!!!

It’s here! The C&G Quarterly: Spring Edition! In this edition, you will read about what’s in the works at C&G, a few key pieces of legislation that will impact a number of us and learn about the winner of our Client Spotlight. Hurry! Click here to check it out! *Please be sure to read the

Death and divorce don’t get sympathy from loan servicers

We couldn’t have come up with a better tagline for our weekly tip! Take a look at this Free Press piece we came across on the challenges some heirs face when trying to save the family home after a loved one passes! Click here to read the story! Questions? Concerns? Contact us today! P: 248-395-3699

C&G’s Tip of the Week: Myth-Busters Edition!!!

Q: My dad is very ill and is not in his right mind. I have been trying to handle his affairs because my mom is no longer around, but I was told by the bank I need authorization to do so because I am not on his accounts. I can just get durable power of

During estate planning, don’t forget your digital assets!!!

Take a look at this article we came across about a Canadian widow who was denied access to her deceased husband’s Apple account absent a court order! When Peggy Bush requested her husband’s Apple ID, she was told she must provide a copy of his death certificate, his will and a COURT ORDER requiring the

You’ve got the key to the house- make sure you keep it clean! Acting as an agent…

Have you been given Power of Attorney over someone? Then, you have the key to the door- make sure you keep that house in order! Here are a few quick tips on fulfilling your duties as someone’s “agent”. Let’s say Minnie has given you power of attorney (legal authority) to manage her property and finances.

Digital Assets and Estate Planning???

Take a look at this piece on the importance of protecting your digital assets (like PayPal) during estate planning! Questions? Concerns? Contact C&G today! Click here for the story!! P: (248) 395-3699 E: *Please be sure to read the disclaimer section on our site!

C&G’s Tip of the Week: Myth Buster Edition

We have come across this type of scenario quite often: Daffy: My brother just died. I don’t think he had a will but I have power of attorney over him, so that means I can start handling his affairs, right? Unfortunately, Daffy is wrong. LET’S BUST THIS MYTH! A power of attorney gives someone the

Do I need a will or living trust? Decisions, Decisions!

It’s never too early to get your estate plan done. At C&G, we always say that if you only have a dollar, you need to decide what will happen with that dollar! More people are starting to recognize this fact but find themselves asking: Do I need a will or living trust? Well, it depends.

Are you consistently updating your estate plan??

Check out this informative piece we came across on the importance of maintaining an up-to-date and accurate estate plan! Click here to access the article! Questions about updating or creating your estate plan? Contact C&G today! ‪ P: (248) 395-3699 E: *Please be sure to read the disclaimer section on our site!

Facebook allows users to name ‘legacy contact’ after death

Click here to read about Facebook’s recent decision to allow users to decide who will be permitted to manage their Facebook page after their death.   Questions? Contact us today! ‪ *Please be sure to read our disclaimer section on our site!

What happens to your email account when you die?

Technology has surpassed Estate Law in a number of states. Failure to treat digital assets as physical assets can create difficulties for heirs. Check out what happens to your email when you die?

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