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.
Lead is toxic. Therefore, elevated levels in a person are always a concern. However, that is especially true of children because they are still growing and developing. High lead levels can cause high blood pressure and other problems, including learning disabilities, lower IQ scores and stunted growth. Those problems could mean the child needs medical care or other help throughout life.
A hearing in probate court is necessary since the affected minor is too young to legally make decisions. Presenting the evidence requires a lawyer skilled in litigation, estate planning, power of appointment and wealth protection, among other things. An experienced Estate Planning lawyer may be able to guide families through probate court proceedings.
Source: Michigan Live, "City of Kalamazoo to pay homeowner $115,000 in settlement over lead-based paint," Emily Monacelli, April 16, 2013