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April 2013 Archives

Michigan city owes $115,000 over not disclosing lead paint

A failure to warn the buyer of a 110-year-old home that it could contain lead-based paint means the city of Kalamazoo, Michigan has to pay $115,000. A hearing is scheduled in probate court to determine if that settlement amount is in the best interest of her minor child, who suffered elevated lead levels. Any Michigan resident could face a similar problem and need help with probate, personal property and estate administration as a result.The city sold the foreclosed property without providing the warning required by the Environmental Protection Agency for homes built before 1978. City officials say they did not test the property or know it contained lead. A few months after the sale, the city officials informed the homeowner they had failed to provide the required lead paint documents at the closing.

Plan your estate before you need an estate plan

Estate planning is a varied process. It encompasses everything from the drafting of a will and the creating of trusts, to determining who should make decisions regarding your healthcare should be become incapacitated. The advantage of planning is that it allows everyone involved to understand you intentions while you are fully capable of explaining them.

The luck of the Irish?

Estate planning attorneys will always encourage you to plan your estate, and there is a reason beyond that they like to be employed. Strange things can happen when you fail to plan. There may be tax consequences that are unfortunate, and that could have been avoided. Some of your estate may go to people whom you do not know and that you would not have wanted to receive a share.

Two brothers run a business begun by their father...what could go wrong?

The news story describing this tale of family-business-estate-planning-gone-wrong starts off, "An episode of 'My Three Sons' it wasn't." The writer goes on to describe it as more like Mortal Combat. It is also reminiscent of Shakespeare's King Lear, only with Lear dying at the beginning. This case highlights the dangers of transferring a business to the children of a founder.

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