Starting A New Business in Michigan

Launching a successful business requires more than just a good business plan or a new idea. Making informed decisions during the start-up process can place your business on course to succeed!

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What are the most essential estate planning documents needed by adult children?

If you have adult children (18-years of age or older) you will want to be certain that they sign, both a Health Care (“Patient Advocate Designation”) Power of Attorney, and a Durable Power of Attorney with a HIPAA release.  

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What is a “Conservatorship”?

Conservatorship, for our purposes is a legal concept where an individual is subjected to the legal control of another person, known as a Conservator. Conservatorship is established by court order.

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Michigan Law Now Requires Power of Attorney “Acceptance”

A recently revised Michigan Statute requires power of attorney “Acceptance” (and Other Formalities). Michigan law has long required signed “acceptances” for Medical Powers of Attorneys/Patient Advocate Designations. But now, the passage of Michigan Public Act 141 of 2012 marks a significant change in Michigan’s estate planning arena.

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More on Living Wills

A Living Will is a term that is often used in conjunction with “Medical Directive”, “Medical Power of Attorney”, or “Health Care Directive”.  It is a document that expresses the principal’s wishes for medical treatment in the case where he or she becomes incapacitated.

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Transferring Home Out From Trust

As a general rule when one refinances their Michigan home or cottage after having placed it in their revocable living trust the lender requires a transfer back into the name of the individual homeowner(s).  The rationale for this is that the refinance loan is approved based upon the borrower’s income.  Most revocable living trusts do not have sufficient income to qualify for such a loan.

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Funding/Accessing Trust Assets

We have a client who is listed as his parent’s first choice to be the Successor Trustee of their Living Trust.  He asked me a couple of questions on funding the Trust and on accessing the assets in the Trust as a Successor Trustee.  As these questions come up often, I thought that there might others out there who would appreciate this discussion!

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Titling Assets

Did you know that your estate does not necessarily avoid going through the probate court process just because you established a living trust?  You must also arrange to transfer “titled” assets, with some of them going into your trust.  The key to avoiding probate is that you should not have assets titled solely in your name when our Lord says that your time is up.

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Mental Capacity

On our “Frequently Asked Questions” page we discuss the issue of incompetence or other disability.  How is this matter defined under Michigan law?  In Michigan, an individual who is 18 years of age or older and who has sufficient mental capacity may make a will. “Sufficient mental capacity” means that the person:

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Status of Federal Estate Tax

In our last posting we mentioned the “Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010” (how is that for a name!) and the changes it brought to the federal estate tax.  The new legislation also provides some flexibility for the estates of individuals who died in 2010.  Personal Representatives of Decedent’s estates will be permitted to select either:

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