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The estate tax is one of the most controversial taxes passed and for about 11 years estate planning attorneys have been wondering what will happen. As Congress debated the fiscal cliff tax changes in December, many feared that estate tax limits could roll back to $1 million, the levels that were in place when Bill Clinton was president and a level that could have affected many middle class families. And with tax season looming, many were wondering how they could be affected in the future.
As a Michigan elder law attorney, I hear it all the time: “My uncle told me . . . “ or “My friend’s brother is a lawyer and he said. . .” or “This worked for my grandfather a long time ago, I’m sure it will work now. . .”
Come see us at the Livingston County Caregiver Fair at Brighton High School. We will be there, along with many other elder care professionals, on Saturday, April 28, 2012, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. We will be answering questions about elder law, estate planning and Veterans' benefits, including Veterans' pension plus aid and attendance.
Michigan homeowners may be able to challenge their foreclosures as a result of a recent Michigan Court decision. The case is Kim v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, and the Michigan Court of Appeals held that Chase Bank was not authorized to have the foreclosure sale (known as a "sheriff's sale") before the bank's mortgage interest was recorded. In short, the Court held that Chase Bank did not record its mortgage interest before the foreclosure sale and, as a result, could not foreclose.
"What is a Lady Bird Deed?" I have been hearing this question more and more lately, likely because this type of deed with a curious name has become a much more popular estate planning strategy in Michigan.
As a Michigan elder law and Medicaid planning attorney, I am always looking for alternatives to paying out-of-pocket for nursing home care. One of those alternatives is long-term care insurance.
For those of you who have purchased long-term care insurance, keep an eye on your mailbox -- a large premium increase may be on the way.
Michigan probate law is a strange creature. Sometimes when you plan without fully understanding this creature, the result is directly opposite what you intended. Let me tell you a sad story about "Mrs. Smith".
The following was publishied in our weekly "Ask the Lawyer" column
Question: I just got remarried and both my husband and I have children from previous marriages. I am worried that my son and daughter won’t get anything if I die first.
Many Michigan homeowners who had previously been foreclosed on by MERS (or, more formally, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.) had kept their hopes alive based on the recent Michigan Court of Appeals' decision holding that MERS could not foreclose by advertisement in Michigan. That decision has now been reversed by the Michigan Supreme Court.
The Michigan Court of Appeals issued a decision on April 21, 2011 that will have a major impact on past and present foreclosures in Michigan. The Court held that foreclosures by advertisement started by the Michigan Electronic Registration System (MERS) are against the law. This important decision leaves in question the title to potentially thousands of homes that were previously foreclosed on by MERS in Michigan.