2017Feb 21
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Probate: A definition, as well as truths and misconceptions

What is probate? Probate is the legal process by which ownership of a deceased individual’s property is transferred to someone entitled to receive it. It includes a procedure to determine and settle the debts and liabilities of the decedent. When is it needed? Probate is required for property and assets owned by the deceased in his or her…

2016Jul 21
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DIGITAL ASSETS AND HANDLING THEM IN YOUR ESTATE PLAN

As our personal, business and social lives become reliant on technology, the number of a person’s digital assets has multiplied. Digital assets may include: Social network accounts (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.) Financial accounts (bank and investment accounts, PayPal, Amazon, WePay, etc.) Cloud storage accounts (Dropbox, Apple iCloud, Microsoft OneDrive, etc.) Digital photograph accounts (Shutterfly, Flickr,…

2016Apr 28
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WHO IS MAKING ‘YOUR’ FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS? NEW LAW GIVES YOU MORE CONTROL

A few days ago, the Michigan Legislature enacted, and the Governor signed into law, a way of designating a funeral representative for one’s funeral arrangements. One might ask why we need a law to have someone make our funeral decisions. Don’t we have families that celebrate our lives rather than fight over our deaths? The answer, in most…

2016Jan 11
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REVOCABLE TRUSTS IN MEDICAID PLANNING

Non-attorneys often seem to have the idea that putting assets into “a trust” will shelter assets from being lost if they or their spouse, need to go into a nursing home on Medicaid. Generally, this is not the case.  However, it takes a bit of explanation to clarify why this is a wrong idea. Most…