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Michigan Elder Law Today

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Nursing Home Evictions in Michigan


 The thought of enrolling a loved one in a long-term stay at a local nursing home can be devastating enough for families, notwithstanding the alarming uptrend in patient evictions for reasons almost always relating to the ability to pay. When facing an eviction, families are often left scrambling to find appropriate substitute care, which often proves difficult for those patients facing serious medical issues. And, unfortunately, the rash of evictions in Michigan -- as well as nationwide -- is closely correlated to the severity of the patient’s dementia and daily behavior, with the most combative patients facing sudden and abrupt involuntary removals.

According to industry experts, the trend toward evicting the most “difficult” patients can be tied directly to the profitability of the nursing facility, with these patients necessarily requiring additional staff and monitoring. When the cost of supervising the patient becomes too great, facilities do not hesitate to have the patient removed in favor a less-intensive resident.


Read more . . .


Monday, May 23, 2016

Glossary of Estate Planning Terms


Will - a written document specifying a person’s wishes concerning his or her property distribution upon his or her death.

In order to be enforced by a court of law, a will must be signed in accordance with the applicable wills act.

Testator/Testatrix - the person who signs the will.

Heirs - beneficiaries of an estate.

Executor/Executrix - the individual given authority by the testator to make decisions to put the testator’s written directions into effect.
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Monday, May 16, 2016

Is There Anyway a Disinherited Child Could Receive an Inheritance From an Estate?


If your estate plan and related documents are properly and carefully drafted, it is highly unlikely that the court will disregard your wishes and award the excluded child an inheritance.  As unlikely as it may be, there are certain situations where this child could end up receiving an inheritance depending upon a variety of factors.

To understand how a disinherited child could benefit, you must understand how assets pass after death.  How a particular asset passes at death depends upon the type of asset and how it is titled. For example, a jointly titled asset will pass to the surviving joint owner regardless of what a will or a trust says.
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Monday, May 9, 2016

The Rule against Perpetuities


The law allows a person preparing a will to have almost complete control over his or her assets after the testator passes on, but there are limits to such power. A person can restrict a property from being sold, or make sure that it is used for a specific purpose. A property can be bequeathed to a family member as long on condition that the person maintains the family business in a specific city, or exercises daily, or places flowers on the deceased's grave every week, or engages in any other behavior the testator desires. This freedom, however, is not without limits. The time limit on this ability is called the rule against perpetuities.
Read more . . .


Saturday, May 7, 2016

How to Avoid a Will Contest


What is a will contest?

Many individuals who put off writing a Will run the risk that a probate court judge will distribute the property in a manner that does not agree with their wishes. And those who put a will in place may leave their estate open to a will contest if a dispute arises among family members. Contests typically arise when a will is not properly executed, the testator lacked the mental capacity, the appointment of the executor is being challenged, and various other disputes.

There are steps you can take, however, that can prevent a will from becoming a matter for the probate court to decide.

Don't Delay

The first mistake many make is procrastinating and then writing a will when their health is failing.


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Monday, April 25, 2016

Life Insurance and Medicaid Planning


Many people purchase a life insurance policy as a way to ensure that their dependents are protected upon their passing. Generally speaking, there are two basic types of life insurance policies: term life and whole life insurance. With a term policy, the holder pays a monthly, or yearly, premium for the policy which will pay out a death benefit to the beneficiaries upon the holder’s death so long as the policy was in effect. A whole life policy is similar to a term, but also has an investment component which builds cash value over time. This cash value can benefit either the policy holder during his or her lifetime or the beneficiaries.


Read more . . .


Monday, April 18, 2016

Can an Individual be held responsible for his or her deceased loved one's debts?


When a loved one dies, an already difficult experience can be made much more stressful if that loved one held a significant amount of debt. Fortunately, the law addresses how an individual’s debts can be paid after he or she is deceased.

When a person dies, his or her assets are gathered into an estate. Some assets are not included in this process. Assets owned jointly between the deceased and another person pass directly to the other person automatically.


Read more . . .


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Estate Planning in the Digital Age


How can digital assets be managed in an estate plan?

Today, more and more individuals conduct their personal and business affairs online. Social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and email, digital pictures or even on-line investment accounts, are considered to be digital assets. This raises the question of how such assets should be managed in an estate plan, particularly when traditional probate law does not address this issue.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder recently signed a bill into law that provides a mechanism that enables people to provide for the passing of digital assets in a will. The law defines digital assets as "an electronic record in which a user has a right or interest.


Read more . . .


Monday, April 11, 2016

Costs Associated with Dying Without a Will


When someone dies without a will, it is known as dying intestate.  In such cases, state law (of the state in which the person resides) governs how the person's estate is administered. In most states, the individual's assets are split -- with one third of the estate going to the spouse and all surviving children splitting the rest. For people who leave behind large estates, unless they have established trusts or other tax avoidance protections, there may be a tremendous tax liability, including both estate and inheritance tax.

For just about everyone, the cost of having a will prepared by a skilled and knowledgeable attorney is negligible when compared to the cost of dying intestate,  since there are a number of serious consequences involved in dying without a proper will in place.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Beware of Senior Scams


As the population grows older, more senior citizens are becoming the targets of a variety of scams. In fact, the National Council on Aging has declared elder fraud to be the "Crime of the 21st Century."

What is Elder Fraud?

While seniors account for only 12 percent of the population, they are the victims of one-third of a wide range of scams that have come to be classified as elder fraud. While seniors can become the target of predatory home improvement contractors, and telemarketer abuse, elder fraud usually involves financial exploitation. This type of abuse often comes at the hands of unscrupulous financial advisors who churn investment accounts.
Read more . . .


Monday, March 28, 2016

What is a Life Estate?


A life estate is a special designation in probate law referring to a gift to a family member that lasts as long as the life of the recipient. If an individual uses a life estate as part of his or her estate plan, whatever is bequeathed under the life estate will revert back to the residual estate upon the death of the life estate recipient. It is most common in scenarios where an individual starts a new family without children later in life and wants to ensure that the present spouse is taken care of for the remainder of her or his life. The owner of a life estate is called a life tenant. A life estate is often used as an alternative to a trust because it provides the life tenant with more control over the transferred asset.
Read more . . .


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Elder Law, Estate Planning, and Probate attorney Andrew Byers helps people in Troy, MI and throughout Oakland County, MI including Royal Oak, Clawson, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Rochester Hills, as well as throughout the metro Detroit area, including Macomb County and Wayne County, Michigan.



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