Blog

Important Medicaid Numbers for 2019

If you or a loved one need to qualify for Medicaid or to plan ahead to make qualification easier, there are some critically important numbers that you need to know.  These numbers are updated every year and are key to being able to qualify or to plan to qualify.  As a...

Transferring a Michigan Automobile After Death

I've been asked this question quite a bit lately: “my relative passed away.  He/she had a car, not really worth all that much.  Is there a way we can just transfer that without a court proceeding?” The short answer is . . . maybe. As with many legal questions, it...

When Do I Need a Guardian or Conservator?

Guardianship and Conservatorship is a topic that is becoming more frequent.  In short, a guardianship is when someone (the guardian) is appointed by a county probate court to be in control of another individual's "person".  That other individual is referred to as the...

I’m a Trustee . . . Now What Do I Do?

Over the years, I have seen an increase in the number of contested probate matters – that is, family and/or friends not getting along, or people taking advantage of others based on their position of power in someone’s estate planning documents. In many of the cases,...

The Michigan Builders’ Trust Fund Act Explained

Many of us have heard the phrase “robbing Peter to pay Paul” in reference to a situation where you shouldn’t take money previously allocated for one expense only to spend it on another expense. Michigan has a statute that codifies this saying, called the Michigan...

Checklist for Hiring a Contractor

As law firm who handles a lot of real estate law matters, our office represents numerous contractors, subcontractors and suppliers in the construction industry. They are a great group of hard-working, trustworthy people. Because of our many relationships, we are often...

What Is a Lien on Property and How Is It Used?

One question I (Joel) frequently receive is “can’t we just put a lien on their property?” While that may be a good idea, you must have a legal right to place a lien on someone else’s property. If you don’t have a legal right to place a lien on someone else’s property,...

Should I have a Will or a Trust?

Is seems like the most common question I receive as a Grand Rapids, Mi estate planning attorney - what is the difference between wills and trusts?  Does my family need a will or a trust?   Well, as you might expect, the answer to the second...

Modern Day Court Decisions With Historic Impact

In the history of the United States Supreme Court, a 1944 decision in the case of Korematsu v. United States has long stood out as a stain that is almost universally recognized as a shameful mistake. Yet that case remained law because no case gave the Court an...

What Are Michigan Letters of Authority?

Recently, I've seen an increase in families seeking help for probating a relatives estate.  Many times what causes them to seek out a Michigan probate attorney is that they have tried to access a bank or other financial account and the financial institution is...

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