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

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

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

Law4U-Estate Planning YouTube Series

Posted By Robert Miller on April 23, 2018

In an attempt to reach younger demographics, Attorney Robert Miller has created a YouTube series, “Estate Planning is not just for the wealthy.” Please watch, subscribe, and share at www.basiclaw4u.com Click Here

The Death of Billionaire Tom Benson Provides Insight Into Privacy in Wills & Trusts and The Dangers of Challenging Your Father’s Competence

Posted By Robert Miller on March 20, 2018

Former billionaire owner of the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans, Tom Benson, passed away.  He was on his third wife and there was an apparent fight with his daughter in 2015 over his mental competence regarding running these organizations.  Yes, predictable result. It should be noted that Wills tend to be made public because they are filed, and Trusts tend to remain private.  Therefore, what goes into a Will is potentially important for the privacy of the family.  In this case, the Will, which has been filed, appears to be a typical Pour-Over Will, which names the Trustee of his Revocable Living Trust as the benefactor of all his property.  However, Mr. Benson did not stop there. The Will goes on to provide