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

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

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

Supreme Court Expands Protections for Federal Trademarks

Posted By Scot Putzig on August 22, 2017

On June 19, 2017, the Supreme Court ruled in Matal v. Tam, that the anti-disparagement provisions of the federal Lanham Act, which governs federal trademark applications, infringes on free speech rights of trademark applicants. The Supreme Court held that Asian-American members of the rock band “The Slants” have the right to trademark their disparaging name in a ruling that will potentially have a broad impact on how the First Amendment is applied to federal trademarks. The United States Patent and Trademark Office rejected the band’s federal trademark application and cited the anti-disparagement provision of the Lanham Act prohibiting federal trademarks that “disparage…or bring…into contempt or disrepute” any “persons, living

Michigan Court of Appeals Affirms Corporate Limited Liability Protections

Posted By Scot Putzig on July 10, 2017

Under Michigan law, corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) are treated as separate and distinct entities or “persons.” Shareholders, owners, and members are presumably not liable for business obligations as a general rule. This enables business shareholders, owners, and members to be free from personal liability for business obligations, liabilities, and debts. However, there is an exception to this rule known as “piercing the corporate veil.” “Piercing the corporate veil” of corporate limited liability sometimes occurs in Michigan business litigation. Under this exception, owners of a corporation or limited liability company can be found liable for the business’s obligations by failing to adhere to corporate