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Do You Need To Avoid Probate?

probate Nov 08, 2022

Michigan Probate:

DO YOU NEED TO AVOID PROBATE? 

 

What is probate?  This is our definition and the true reality:

“Probate is a lawsuit you file against yourself, with your own money, on behalf of your creditors.”

Probate is the legal process of presenting your Will to the Court after your death to authenticate it and appoint your Executor/Personal Representative. Your Executor/Personal Representative must be appointed by the Court to collect and distribute your assets as stated in your Will. However, because it is a legal process, many steps must be followed before your Executor can be appointed.

  • The Michigan probate process requires a Personal Representative to be appointed - even in simple and/or uncontested cases.  
  •  The Personal Representative must file numerous forms, follow an extensive and somewhat complicated process, and pay attention to deadlines and criteria throughout the entire process.  Most people find this...
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Gift Tax: Why Giving Away $15,000 Is a Trap For the Unwary

Have you ever heard that you can give away up to $15,000 per person per year to avoid gift tax? 

Spoiler alert: the government gives with one hand and takes away with the other.

Giving away money and things is actually a lot trickier than you may realize. There are so many times when somebody will come into my office, and they'll say something to me like, "Oh, but I know that you can give away 10,000 or 11,000 or 15,000 per person per year, and It'll be okay!". However, that statement is very problematic.

First, I want to explain what gifting is in the eyes of the law. "A gift is property, money, or assets that one person gives to another while receiving nothing or less than fair market value in return." That seems pretty simple, right? Where people get confused is when they give away certain things that may not seem like gifts.

For example, let's say you want to give your car to your grandchild. You sell it to them "for $1", but according to the vehicle's market...

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The Great Grandparent Scam | How To Start Important Conversations With Your Elderly Loved Ones About Various Scams & Elder Abuse.

The FBI estimates that seniors lose more than $3 billion each year to fraud. 

So what happens when a beloved grandchild calls, begging for money because a bad thing happened to them. Well, you know the answer. That's why this has to be a family conversation right now. 

The following is a story we've heard many, many times. The scammer will call an older person and say something along the lines of:

"Hi Grandma, do you know who this is?"

When the unsuspecting grandparent guesses a grandchild's name that the scammer sounds like, the scammer establishes a fake identity without doing any background research or doing any heavy lifting at all. 

Then the fake grandchild will ask for money to solve some unexpected financial problem. Usually, it's something like:

  • Overdue rent or bills

  • They need their car repaired

  • Or they got into trouble and are in jail and need bond

The scammer makes it seem as if their grandchild needs help immediately and is...

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Michigan Probate | What Is Probate And What Should You Do About It?

What is Michigan Probate? 

This is our definition, and the true reality:

“Probate is a lawsuit you file against yourself, with your own money, on behalf of your creditors.”

The Facts...

Probate is the legal process of presenting your Will to the Court after your death to authenticate it, and appoint your Executor/Personal Representative. Your Executor/Personal Representative must be appointed by the Court in order to collect and distribute your assets as stated in your Will.

However, because it is a legal process, there are many steps that must be followed before your Executor can be appointed. 

  • The Michigan probate process requires a Personal Representative be appointed - even in simple and/or uncontested cases.  
  • The Personal Representative must file numerous forms, follow an extensive and somewhat complicated process, and pay attention to deadlines and criteria throughout the entire process.  Most people find this to be exhausting, confusing,...
Continue Reading...

How Can Life be Handled With an Aging Parent and Young Kids?

It’s never easy to watch our parents get older and lose the capabilities to do certain tasks independently. It’s even harder for those whose parents have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia while raising a young family of your own simultaneously. Not only does this diagnosis guarantee a parent’s eventual loss of skills and independence, but it could also mean a loss of personality traits and characteristics of the person who raised them.

 

Below is a letter I think unfortunately many of us can relate too. Written by a member of the Sandwich Generation to sociologist and coach Christine Carter about her struggles with feeling overwhelmed, sad, and stuck.

“My mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s two years ago, just before I got pregnant with my second daughter. I was fortunate to have a stellar short-term therapist available through a pregnancy program at work to help me come to grips with my mom’s...

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How Old Should You Be Before You Get Powers of Attorney?

 

How old should you be before you get powers of attorney? In this video, I was inspired right after leaving a court hearing to answer this VERY important question about why it may not be when, or why, you think.

Use The Amazing Legal Tools Available To Protect Yourself, and Those You Love. 

How?  Contact us Today: (248)278-1511

Prefer to read this information? Below is the video transcript.

So how old should you be before you have a power of attorney?

Hi, I'm Nicole Wipp, the founder and lead attorney of the Family and Aging Law Center.

I'm sitting here in my car after I literally just got out of court in that building right there today, and I got so inspired to make this video because of what happened in court today.

You know, the reason that I was there is because I was representing a woman that is younger than me. She has a husband that got in a terrible car accident, and now is completely unable to make any decisions for himself related to finances and related...

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Aid and Attendance Legal Update -The Veterans Administration Moves The Ball

 

This Aid & Attendance legal update written by attorney Nicole Wipp at the Family & Aging Law Center is not, and should not be construed as, legal advice.  For advice specific to your situation, consult a qualified and accredited Veterans Administration attorney.

One of the most important benefits for long term care is something known as "aid and attendance" or "Veterans Improved Pension."

For several years now, we have been hearing rumblings that the Veterans Administration was going to have a massive change to the rules surrounding this benefit.  

And finally, yes - the Veterans Administration moved the ball.  The old rules are out, and the new rules are in...as of October 18, 2018.  So if you're looking to get this benefit under the "old" rules, all transfers must be completed before that date.

How Does This Affect People Seeking Aid & Attendance Benefits?

Here is a rundown of the most important changes that will affect Veterans and their...

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Why A 204% Increase In Bankruptcy For Older Americans Is A Bigger Threat Than You May Realize

bankruptcy elder law Sep 10, 2018

As an elder law attorney, I see with much more frequency than most how certain issues related to aging cause financial distress in ways that families never expected...and certainly didn’t prepare for. That being said, even I was surprised to read some findings recently put out by the The Federal Reserve’s survey of consumer finances, via the Consumer Bankruptcy Project, about the drastic increase in bankruptcy filings for older Americans (age 65-74).

This study found that filings by older Americans increased by a whopping 204% in the years between 1991-2014. The reasons why, unfortunately, are not surprising to me - but they may be to you.  

 

It is very important to understand that these reasons, especially the two outlined below, are ones that can happen to any family - even families that were financially “secure,” or thought they were.  That is why it is so important to understand the root causes of this massive increase - so that we can be...

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8 Days Of Cooking, Drinking From Waterfalls, And Family - Nicole's Summer Iceland Trip

just for fun Aug 30, 2018
 

There's nothing more satisfying than a job well done...except a vacation from a job well done!

In 8 days we drove 1,363 miles through Iceland in a campervan. I cooked  more these days than I have in the entire last year . We drank from waterfalls and bathed in geothermal pools. We met people from all over the world  and picked up hitchhikers . And most importantly, we spent uninterrupted time together as a family  .

And as you know, at the Family & Aging Law Center - family is at the center of all we do.

A Trip of A Lifetime

At the end of July, I was lucky enough to go on a trip with my husband Marcus and son Marek to the beautiful island nation of Iceland.  While I've been there before, my husband had not ... and either way, it is a trip well worth making more than once.

We decided to do things a little differently this time, and chose to make a campervan trip around the entire island instead of staying in hotels.  The...

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Revocable Living Trust - The Facts

This article regarding revocable living trusts by Michigan lawyer Nicole Wipp and the Family & Aging Law Center PLLC is not, and should not be construed as, legal advice. It is for general informational purposes only. To better understand how this legal concept can be applied to you, consult with an attorney.

REVOCABLE LIVING TRUSTS...

The Facts...

A trust is a contract between the Grantor (the person who creates the trust), the Trustee (one who controls the trust) and the beneficiaries (those entitled to benefit from the trust).

You, as Grantor, determine how the trust will be operated by the Trustee and who benefits, how and when. You can create a trust that permits you to be Trustee and give you the right to receive full benefits from it. This type of trust is often used as a substitute to your Will.  

Get Your Questions Answered - Make an Appointment By Calling (248)278-1511, or Attend One Of Our Workshops

A revocable living trust permits you to keep total...

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