Keeping Retirement Benefits Out of Probate

Human Hand Drawing Retirement Plan Growth Concept On Notebook

Avoiding probate is a priority for many people when making their estate plans. Probate is the court-supervised process of identifying, gathering, and distributing a person’s assets after their death. While many states have simplified their probate procedures, going through probate can still be a time-consuming and costly process. Accordingly, most people try to keep assets […]

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What is Title Insurance, and Why Do I Need it?

Purchase agreement for new house next to a small model home

If you are buying real estate, you may have heard of title insurance. What is title insurance? Is it required in Michigan? What does it do, how much does it cost, and how do you get it? Perhaps most importantly, what are the risks if you don’t have title insurance? This blog post will answer […]

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What is the Timeline for a Michigan Divorce?

Close up of wedding rings and judge gavel

If you are planning to divorce in Michigan, you are probably wondering just how long it will take, and what you will encounter during the divorce process. The answer, as you might suspect, depends somewhat on the facts of your case, but there is much that is predictable about the timeline for a Michigan divorce. […]

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Legal Risks of Backing Out of a Real Estate Contract

Woman tearing contract paper in half

Buying a house is one of the biggest legal transactions most people will ever take part in. Searching for and finding the right house is exciting, but of course, such a major purchase also carries risks. When you are making such a large commitment, you want to make sure nothing goes wrong—but what happens if […]

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Settling Debts in Michigan Probate

Paid Invoice for Debt

People tend to think of probate as the process by which a person’s assets get distributed after their death. While this is true, it overlooks one very important part of the process: before assets can be distributed, the legitimate debts of the estate must be resolved. Failure to do this means that creditors might try […]

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What is an “As Is” Sale of Real Estate?

Old Home to be Sold "As Is"

An “as is” sale of real estate is pretty much what it sounds like: the seller is listing the house in its current condition, and is not willing to make repairs or improvements, nor to give a buyer credit for needed repairs or improvements. With a house that is being sold as is, the price […]

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Buying a Home? Look for These Red Flags

Homes for Sale

Buying a home is something of an adventure; if it weren’t, there wouldn’t be an entire network devoted to shows about house hunting. But adventures can go wrong quickly, and not every quest for a new home ends with the happy ending you see on TV. Here are some red flags you should look for […]

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What is a No-Contest Clause in a Will?

Last Will and Testament

Will contests happen much more frequently in the movies than in real life, but when they do happen, they can cause great hostility and turmoil in a family, not to mention the expense of probate litigation that diminishes the assets in the estate. What is a “no-contest” clause in a last will and testament, how […]

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How Can I Keep My Estate Plan Private?

Estate Plan File Protected by Padlock

Have you ever wondered, “How can I keep my estate plan private?” Probably not. But with the recent death of music legend Aretha Franklin, a revelation emerged: the Queen of Soul had no estate plan, not even a will. With multiple lawyers on retainer, and a life-threatening illness she had been fighting for years, it’s […]

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Five Mistakes to Avoid When Serving as Executor of an Estate

Estate Administration Documents and House Key

So you’re the executor of an estate, most likely that of a loved one. In addition to working through your own grief, you’re now responsible for disposing of your loved one’s possessions and assets and settling any debts they owed. Some estates are small and straightforward, others large and complex, but even in the simplest […]

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