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October 2014 Archives

What duties does a guardian or conservator have?

Michigan individuals who do not make alternative arrangements through estate planning may find that others are appointed as a guardian or conservator if they are declared incapacitated by a court of competent jurisdiction. The duties of guardians and conservators differ considerably.

No "free lunch" when it comes to estate planning

Proper estate planning is an important consideration for many Michigan residents, but it is a subject rife with misinformation that some unscrupulous businesses attempt to exploit. For example, some businesses promote "free lunch" seminars that claim to offer attendees educational information about estate planning over a free meal, but these seminars are often high-pressure sales pitches in disguise. By stoking an attendee's fear of losing their life savings to taxes or court battles, sales agents attempt to sell estate-planning products, such as one-size-fits-all living trusts, that may or may not be suited to an attendee's individual needs.

What is a durable power of attorney?

Michigan law allows a person to designate another to act on his or her behalf by means of a power of attorney. Delegation can be made for specific tasks or for more general purposes. The person making the grant is known as the principal and the person to whom the power is granted is known as the attorney-in-fact. A durable power of attorney is one that may take effect or continue to be effective after the principal becomes incapacitated or disabled.

Estate administration in Michigan

The administration of an individual's estate after their death is regulated under Michigan probate court rules. An estate is opened in the county in which the decedent lived at the time of death or, if not domiciled in Michigan at the time of death, the county in which the decedent owned property. Once the petition is filed in probate court, a hearing is held unless all interested parties consent to the filing or waive the need for a hearing. The judge may assign a personal representative.

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