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June 2012 Archives

Modern families still look to estate planning to transfer assets

The country has gone through a wild roller coaster ride in terms of economic issues in recent years. Most Michigan residents have felt some kind of economic effect from the recession. Yet, at least one study says that more than $20 trillion will be transferred through inheritance in the next 50 years. That amount represents the largest transfer of wealth in our nation's history, according to the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College.

Estranged wife, girlfriend fight in probate over Thomas Kinkade estate

The probate laws of each state generally set up specific formalities that must be met in order for a last will and testament to be considered valid. Many people in Michigan who have considered creating an estate plan are aware that a will can be valuable in providing loved ones with a road map of how assets should be distributed. Wills can serve to reduce conflict after a person's death.

Court agrees to seal Joe Paterno probate court file

With the Jerry Sandusky trial underway, a great deal of attention is focused on the day to day happenings in that court proceeding. Generally, many courts in the United States are open to the public. Information in court files is also typically available for the public.

Dispute over family trust ends in appeal, P. 2

In the last post, this blog began a discussion of a unique dispute over a family trust. The trust was created with a provision that gave more shares to grandchildren who were from larger families as compared to any of their cousins who had fewer siblings. The settlers of the trust reportedly had created two separate instruments in 1972, and the settlers' children contested which instrument should properly govern the trust.

Dispute over family trust ends in appeal, P. 1

When it comes to estate planning, it is important for people in Michigan to know that there are many tools that may be used to accomplish specific purposes. Most people have heard of terms, such as a "will" or a "trust," and recognize that each term may be associated with estate planning. Each state controls its own probate laws, but general principles generally follow through in different states.

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