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
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
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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
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
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
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
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
Joint or Separate Trusts for Married Couples??
We came across this highly informative article, written by one of the speakers of the 55th Annual Probate & Estate Planning Institute. It explains the benefits of married couples having separate, as opposed to joint, trusts. Some of the benefits discussed are creditor protection during marriage, creditor protection after a spouse’s death and remarriage protection.
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
Michigan Court of Appeals rules Trustee-Bank needed Settlor’s children’s consent to sell property
State Bar of Michigan E-Journal #57861 In re Maloney Trust; In re Kostin; In re Allen Estate (Unpublished) “The court held that the trial court erred in concluding that the trustee-bank could entertain an unsolicited offer to purchase the property at issue (lake cottages) without the consent of the settlor’s children. Thus, it reversed the