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

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

Landlords & Tenants: The Deadly Consequences of Self Help Eviction

Posted By Kelli King-Penner on March 17, 2015

What is Self-Help? A self-help eviction is where a landlord takes actions to evict a tenant without first obtaining a court order allowing the eviction.  Examples of self-help eviction include changing locks, removing a tenant’s possessions, and boarding up the premises.  Self-help is prohibited under Michigan law and a landlord engaging in self-help evictions can be sued for wrongful eviction.  MCL 600.2918(1)-(2) and Deroshia v Union Terminal Piers, 151 Mich App 715 (1986). Self-help evictions are not only illegal, not following the proper eviction steps may even prove deadly.  The Detroit Free Press highlighted the dangers this past Thanksgiving when two people were shot and killed during a self-help residential eviction

Buying or Selling Real Estate: Think Beyond the Form

Posted By Kelli King-Penner on November 5, 2014

Thinking about buying a home?  Or perhaps you’re in the market for a new residence and are planning on selling your current home? Your home is one of the biggest purchases or sales you make in your lifetime.  However, when either buying or selling this asset, many resort to using pre-printed purchase agreements provided by their real estate agent or broker believing they can avoid the expense of an attorney or expecting that the transaction is a “simple” deal.  While this method may save money and time in the short run, the potential long term consequences could be costly. A Purchase Agreement is a legal contract containing the terms and conditions of the sale and purchase of real property.  It is the roadmap for completing

Using Website Terms and Conditions to Protect Your Business

Posted By Scot Putzig on August 21, 2014

Terms and conditions for a website are an important legal document for any business. The terms and conditions constitute a license agreement spelling out the rights and obligations in connection with any person’s use of your business website. Despite the fact that terms and conditions are an important and binding legal agreement, many businesses simply copy and paste terms and conditions from other websites. However, many of the terms and conditions available on the internet are not drafted by an attorney and therefore often do not properly comply with legal requirements or grant your business full liability protection. In our modern era of online and mobile commerce, the existence of a website may expose your business to

Digital Assets: Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning in the Age of Facebook, Twitter, and Cell Phones that are Minicomputers

Posted By Robert Miller on July 14, 2014

There have been many articles written, and will be many articles written, regarding estate planning in the age of digital assets.  Even the meaning of “digital assets” is being defined as we speak.  Just because this area of law is still being defined and developed is no reason why your current Wills, Trusts, and estate plans should not attempt to deal with this.  As a matter of fact, because of the uncertainty surrounding digital assets, it is most important that your current estate plan actually does deal with these concepts.  In a recent case where the Supreme Court of The United States acknowledged the personal, intimate nature of a Smartphone by indicating that a police officer needs a warrant to search a Smartphone, Chief

Michigan Real Estate Law: Should I Appeal My Property Tax Assessment?

Posted By Scot Putzig on February 18, 2014

Time is of the Essence: Now is the time to decide whether to appeal your current residential or industrial/commercial property tax assessment. When you receive your assessment notice for your home or business, should you discuss it with a real estate attorney? If you own industrial/commercial property, the deadline for filing an appeal with the Michigan Tax Tribunal is during the summer. However, if you own residential property, your first step is the local taxing authority’s board of review held annually in March. In addition, appeal assessments in Grand Rapids or Detroit require you to participate in an assessor’s review prior to appealing to your local board of review. It is important to plan ahead to avoid running afoul