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

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

How I Protect my Family’s Income with Little Additional Expense

Posted By Shinners & Cook on September 21, 2011

How many people do you know who have been injured in an auto accident to the extent their long-term income has been negatively affected? In Michigan, you're required to buy automobile liability insurance to protect others if you screw up and seriously hurt someone seriously. Because it's required, you cannot legally avoid the cost of that coverage although other optional auto related protection is available at an additional cost. Despite Michigan’s no-fault law, any long-term protection of my earnings if I become disabled to the extent I cannot work, comes from liability coverage. Michigan law only requires each driver to buy at least $20,000 per person/ $40,000 per accident of Public Liability coverage should they be found

When Times are Bad. . . or Good.

Posted By Tom Basil on June 2, 2011

We have all experienced the tough economic climate over the last couple of years.  Nowhere has that been harder felt than here in Michigan where job losses have been reported to be as high as 1 in 5, of the job loss of the nation as a whole, over the last ten years.  To put it in perspective, and this is obviously not the actual way the numbers panned out, for every one job the other 49 states lost (one job each) Michigan lost 9.8 jobs during that same period. Thankfully things seem to be on an uptick here with manufacturing picking up pace. As it turns out there are two times when business owners begin to squawk about how much or how little they are making.  And it is these same two times where we see an uptick in corporate

Business Law Update: Are You Aware of the New Cottage Food Law?

Posted By Heidi Hendrick on April 7, 2011

In July of 2010, Michigan became the 18th state to adopt a Cottage Food law, which allows individuals to manufacture and store certain types of foods in an unlicensed home kitchen.  Six other states are currently considering cottage food laws, with bills introduced within the last two months. This law brings new hope for entrepreneurs in a tough economy that may not have the start-up capital to purchase their own industrial kitchen, but have the culinary acumen to make money from their modest homes.  However, critics cite the risks involved, including different labeling requirements than for products sold in grocery stores, less regulation of the product itself, and because home kitchens are not inspected, there may be an

Commercial Leases: What Landlords and Tenants Should Know

Posted By Heidi Hendrick on January 25, 2011

Previously, I wrote about the process for a landlord to evict a residential tenant.  (See: Real Estate Primer for Landlords:  Your Tenant Stops Paying) While the process for evicting a commercial tenant is the same as in a residential setting, the requirements for the lease itself differ greatly.  The parties to a residential lease are governed by strict statutory and common law requirements, while parties to a commercial lease are accorded broad latitude in defining their rights and obligations.  For instance, the Truth in Renting Act and the Landlord and Tenant Relationship Act, which govern the particular duties, rights, and obligations arising between residential landlords and tenants, do not apply to an office lease.  In this

UNINFORMED NEWS REPORT: ELIZABETH EDWARDS CUT JOHN OUT OF WILL

Posted By Robert Miller on January 7, 2011

All of the major news providers (USA Today, CNN.com, Huffingtonpost.com, etc.) reported that Elizabeth’s will has been made public and she has cut her estranged husband, former vice presidential candidate John Edwards, out of her will. Indeed the will, which was recorded on December 22, 2010, has been made public. What is newsworthy here is that when a person dies, the original will must be filed in the county in which the person resided at the time death. In Michigan, it is a misdemeanor if you possess an original will and fail to record it. Once recorded the will becomes public record. It is important to understand that the only thing that is public record under a proper estate plan is the will. In a properly prepared estate