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Estate Administration & Probate Archives

Do young Michigan families need an estate plan?

Many of our previous posts have focused on the variety of approaches a Michigan resident can take with estate planning. Estate administration can be a complicated and delicate process, so it is of the utmost importance that all estate planning documents are in the highest level of detail and stored in a manner which will make the probate process as quick and easy as possible. But who is it, really, that needs an estate plan? Is it only wealthy individuals with thousands, if not millions, in assets which need to be designated for distribution? The answer is, quite simply, absolutely not. Even a young couple, perhaps recently married or with a newborn baby, should be sure to complete the necessary documents of an estate plan.

Kevorkian assets in tug-of-war, but settlement finally reached

Most of our Michigan readers probably remember Dr. Jack Kevorkian. The nationally known advocate for assisted-suicide died in the Detroit area in June of this year at the age of 83. Of course, this was only after he served a prison sentence after being convicted in 1999 of second-degree murder for his role in the assisted suicide of a terminally ill Michigan resident. He was released in 2007. Now, in the course of Kevorkian's ongoing estate administration, it looks as if some of his personal property will be returning to his designated heir.

Gay couple becomes embroiled in estate administration controversy

With the advances in reproductive technology showing up at a fast and furious pace, the law has struggled to keep up. Today's modern family can look very different than most did in the 1950's, especially with more states protecting the rights of gay couples to adopt children or raise children as a married couple. The family law courts are where most people see the clash between modern day family structure, reproductive technology and the law, but a recent story shows how alternative family arrangements can stretch over into the realm of estate administration.

Jackson family strife shows pitfalls of probate litigation

Some of our Oakland County readers may be keeping up with the family strife that is tearing the world-famous Jackson family apart these days. Michael Jackson's death was both sudden and tragic, and even after so much time has passed since then, his family members are waging a very public and, at times, very nasty fight over perceived problems with his estate administration.

Detroit probate dispute over casino mogul's estate gets ugly

When litigation begins in a case, most of our Oakland County readers would expect their attorneys to be highly professional and competent in the matter for which they were hired. Everyone desires a zealous advocate in court, but sometimes "zealous" can be taken to the point of contempt.

Audit of Michigan probate courts raises serious concerns

Most people, including our Detroit-area readers, would probably rather avoid going to court if they can. After all, court hearings usually only occur when the conflict between two parties reaches a point where the issue cannot be resolved through alternative means. But whenever parties do end up in court, most would like to think that all of the best practices are being followed. A recent audit of Michigan's probate courts, however, found a few bugs in the system.

Probate dispute could get tricky in Kinkade case

Many of our Detroit-area readers are probably familiar with the artwork of Thomas Kinkade. His painting style spawned a huge commercial art enterprise that made him a very wealthy man. Sadly, Kinkade passed away back in April, and although he had a will at the time of his death, a dispute over some of his handwritten notations has resulted in probate litigation.

Do Michigan residents feel obligated to leave an inheritance?

Readers in the Detroit area may be interested in a recent survey showing that just 19 percent of baby boomers feel obligated to leave their children an inheritance. But this percentage is higher than in 2005, prior to the nation's crushing economic downturn, when just 3 percent of baby boomers reported feeling obligated to pass on estate assets to heirs.

Probate litigation over Gary Coleman's estate enters trial phase

Our Detroit-area readers may be familiar with Gary Coleman, the actor who starred in the television show "Diff'rent Strokes" from 1978 until 1986. Coleman died in 2010 at the age of 42 following an accident at his home that resulted in a serious brain injury. At the time of his death, Coleman was struggling financially, but he did have a will. However, that has not stopped two women in his life from fighting to establish his intent during recent probate litigation.

Estate planning mistakes Michigan residents should avoid

Detroit-area readers may have noticed that previous posts usually mention the need for a comprehensive estate plan. Whether your goal is to avoid litigation between family members, ensure your wishes are followed in the distribution of your assets, or set up long-term care options, comprehensive estate plans can prevent an untold number of headaches.

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