Wills, Trusts, Business, Real Estate, and Probate Blog

What's new in estate planning, business, and real estate law.

How does the Department of Transportation Repair Claims Process Work?

Posted By Leslie Card on January 9, 2019

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has jurisdiction over state trunkline (M, I, or US route), not local or county roads. Thus, if your car is damaged on a state truckline, due to the condition of the road condition you can submit a claim to MDOT. If you have a claim for repair on a county or local road you will have to contact your local officials. To file a claim for damages, an individual must fill out a form on MDOT’s website, have the form notarized, and attach any supporting documentation that you possess. The document must then be submitted to the individuals regional MDOT office. If the claim is under $1,000 it will be investigated (claims over $1,000 must be litigated). MDOT states that the investigation

Why it is important to find the time to plan your estate?

Posted By Leslie Card on December 20, 2018

Nobody wants to contemplate their death, but it is important to take control of your estate plan before it is too late. Estate plans help to maintain your wishes. If you want certain people to get certain assets you can designate them to individuals. Further, estate planning is not just about money. When you are planning your estate, you can list potential guardians for minor children, designate a patient advocate to make medical decision when you are unable too, and appoint a Power of Attorney to act as your agent. Creating a Trust or a Will can help to quell the internal fighting between children after the death of their parent, because without such documentation regarding the distribution children may succumb to anger over

Estate Planning When You Are Separated

Posted By Leslie Card on November 14, 2018

Today’s modern family can be complex. In fact, today, many spouses have decided to remain permanently separated from their spouses but not go through the process of divorce. We have seen this with the recent deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, both of whom have estranged spouses that are entitled spousal rights arising out of their deaths. This kind of long-term separation can raise complex estate planning issues, as spouses are given certain rights during the marriage that do not terminate until a final decree of divorce. When a married couple separates, their spouse is still considered their heir entitling them to a wide-range of benefits-from social security benefits to inheritance rights in probate court. As a

Perchville’s Namesake Saved by Trademark Law

Posted By Dylan Loga on October 26, 2018

Trademark Background Michigan trademark law is governed by the Trademarks and Service Marks Act, which is modeled after the federal law governing trademarks, The Lanham Act. A trademark is any word, symbol, phrase, or any combination thereof, adopted and used by a person to identify goods made or sold by someone and to distinguish the goods from similar goods made or sold by others. A trademark protects someone’s word, symbol, or phrase against any other individual from utilizing or marketing a similar mark. When a person files an application for a trademark, a specific class where the trademark will be utilized, must be selected, such as what kind of good or service. More than one class may be occupied by one

Michigan’s State Real Estate Transfer Tax “SRETT” Refund

Posted By Dylan Loga on September 26, 2018

Background and How it Works The housing crisis led to the State of Michigan lending a helping hand. In July 2015, the Michigan Supreme Court readjusted the Michigan Transfer Tax Act to allow more people to recoup taxes paid at the time of the sale of their home. If an individual qualifies for the coveted exemption under the State Real Estate Transfer Tax, a full refund of the sales tax is returned to the seller. So, how do you qualify? 1. The seller utilized the property as their principal residence at the time of the sale; 2. The State Equalized Value (SEV) (what the State of Michigan says your home is worth) of the property in the year of the sale must be equal to or less than the SEV of the property on the date of the