Category: Probate

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

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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Want your loved ones to really avoid Probate? Go all the way!!

When it comes to avoiding the Probate Process, there is one thing that is more important than having a Will or a Trust: Making sure all of your property is titled correctly. This includes accounts, policies, real property and the like. A big concern that a lot of clients have when they come to us

Your estate v. Medicaid? Avoid this battle!

Take a look at this Michigan Court of Appeals case where the court ruled in favor of the Department of Community Health (DCH) in a suit to recover Medicaid benefits paid out for nursing home care. While his mother was alive, Larry Wykle enrolled her in Medicaid to assist with her nursing home care. The

Co-Agents – Sometimes even “Two” is a crowd!!!

You are ready to have your Power of Attorney done. You want both of your children or siblings to serve as co-agents, which means they will have joint power/ responsibility for decision making if you become unable. Simple, right? Maybe not. There are drawbacks with a shared power of attorney. Your intentions may be to

Court orders dad removed as conservator and to repay funds!

Take a look at this recent Michigan Court of Appeals case where the court upheld an order removing a father as his son’s conservator, after finding that the father wrongfully withdrew and spent life insurance proceeds. After his seven-year-old son’s mother died, the court appointed Marcus Owens as conservator. His child received a total of

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

You’re inheriting your loved one’s estate- does that mean you are inheriting his or her bills? Let’s talk about in the case of parents. Generally, heirs are NOT responsible for their parents’ outstanding bills. While creditors can go after the assets in the ESTATE to satisfy debt (potentially reducing what ultimately is given to heirs),

Conservatorship: Know the ropes!

Taking on the job of conservator? Make sure you truly understand what it entails and what it will require of you! A conservator has broad power to handle assets on behalf of someone that has been deemed a “protected individual”, that is essentially, legally determined to be unable to manage his/ her affairs. A lot

When probate goes deadly wrong….

Can you believe this?! When probate matters go deadly wrong… Take a look at this recent, rather disturbing Michigan Court of Appeals case. Here, the court held that per Michigan statute, a killer or felon cannot profit from his or her wrongdoing. In this case, the estate holder’s son was convicted of bludgeoning him to

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