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News & Helpful Articles

How Divorce Affects Your Michigan Estate Plan

Divorce is a complicated process of unwinding not just a marriage, but of property and other legal obligations. There are many legal issues to consider. For example, how does a divorce affect your will or other estate planning documents? Divorce (Partially) Revokes Your Will Married couples typically have language in their wills naming the other spouse as executor or beneficiary of their estate. Michigan law assumes divorced couples intend to revoke such language. Therefore, unless the couple's...

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The Role of an Executor in Michigan

An executor, or personal representative, carries out the terms and provisions of a deceased person’s will. Typically, the creator of the will (also known as the testator) will name an executor who is responsible for closing out the testator’s estate, which means taking care of any remaining financial obligations and ensuring that beneficiaries named in the will receive their assets. If the testator does not name an executor, Michigan law specifies, in order of priority, who...

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Making Changes to Your Michigan Will

Once you’ve created an estate plan, it’s important that you maintain it. For example, there might be additional beneficiaries that you want to add to your will or people that you want to take out of it. Remember, if you don’t keep your will up-to-date then your wishes might not be carried out. Different Types of Wills There are several different types of wills that are legal in Michigan. A holographic will is entirely handwritten by the...

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How to Create a Valid Trust

Estate planning is an individual process -- what works for one person might not be the best option for distributing your assets. For example, you don’t have to create a will in order to dispose of your assets after death. Another option is creating a trust (however, you can also include a trust in a will). What Is a Trust? A trust is a legal arrangement in which one person (the trustee) holds legal title to property...

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Being Denied Medicaid in Michigan

Medicaid is a government health insurance program for low-income people. It is jointly funded by the federal government and the states, including Michigan. The Michigan Medicaid plan identifies who is eligible for coverage, what health services plan participants can receive, the state’s reimbursement policy, and other requirements. Who Is Eligible for Medicaid in Michigan? You qualify for Medicaid if your household income is below: 195 percent of the federal poverty level for infants under 1-year-old and pregnant women; 160 percent...

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Not just a fight against nursing home poverty

This week The Law Offices of David L. Carrier announced its plan to donate $1,000.00 to Lisa Cober, a West Michigan woman who works to provide clothes and hygiene products to underprivileged children. Cober, a mother of three who was once homeless herself, understands the struggles of school-aged children faced with homelessness, and is working hard to end the cycle of poverty by providing these students with the basic needs necessary for their success. “I...

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What to Do If Your Will Gets Challenged or Revoked in Michigan

Everyone has heard stories about angry relatives contesting a deceased loved one's will. In reality, over 99 percent of wills are admitted to probate without incident. Michigan courts presume a will is valid unless there is evidence to the contrary. If you want to avoid a potential fight among your own family members, here are some things to keep in mind about making a last will and testament. Legal Requirements for a Michigan Will The law regarding...

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How Retirement Planning Affects Estate Planning

Most Michigan residents have some form of retirement savings. The most common types of retirement accounts are IRAs, 401(k) plans, and Roth IRA plans. Each has specific rules governing how and when withdrawals are made. In addition, there are significant estate planning implications for handling retirement accounts. Is an IRA a Probate Asset? Unlike most personal property that passes under a person's will or living trust, retirement accounts usually have designated beneficiaries. If you have an IRA,...

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Witnessing and Reporting Nursing Home Abuse

Sadly, nursing home abuse is an everyday occurrence in Michigan. In some cases the abuse takes the form of neglect. But sometimes the abuse escalates to physical or even sexual assault. Family members often suspect nursing home abuse but fail to report it, either because they do not know the proper procedures or they simply fear nobody will believe them. Without direct evidence, abuse allegations often lead to a “he said/she said” standoff. As a result,...

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