Is This Deed Valid? When (and How) to Challenge a Deed

mortgage deed and keys

A deed is something you probably don’t think much about until you have to buy, sell, or otherwise transfer real property. A deed is the legal instrument that transfers ownership of that property from one party to another. So when you are the person granting the deed (the grantor), and especially when you’re the person […]

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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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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 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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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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When Is It a Good Idea to Go Through Probate?

Probate Judge with Gavel

Often, when we ask clients what their goals for estate planning are, we hear, “I want to avoid probate.” Much of the time, this is a very reasonable goal. Probate, while simpler than it may have been in years past, is still a process that can take many months, or even longer. During that time […]

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Should You Agree to Serve as Executor of an Estate?

Woman shrugging: Should I Be Executor?

It’s both a great honor and a serious responsibility to be named as the executor of a loved one’s estate. Most of the time, someone who is considering naming you as their executor will ask you in advance if you would be willing to serve. It’s also possible that you could be named as executor […]

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