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Livonia Family Law Blog

Don't let one of these estate planning mistakes impact you

Are you concerned about tackling the estate planning process? Are you worried that you could make a few mistakes that cause you and your family harm? Are you hoping to adjust your approach in order to avoid this situation?

Any estate planning mistake, even one that is minor, could cost you and your family time and money. Furthermore, some mistakes, such as forgetting to create a will or trust, could lead to serious problems for your loved ones after your passing.

Digital Estate Plan

Estate planning mainly centers on planning for tangible assets, like property you own, investments, bank accounts, family heirlooms and other items of value. But, you may want to include provisions for your digital assets. That includes things like:

How do I protect my children from our divorce?

When two parents choose to divorce, their children often are more than affected any other members of the family. Unfortunately, some parents choose to stay in unhealthy marriages instead of respectfully moving on because they fear that the divorce may leave their children with emotional baggage for the rest of their lives.

This is a reasonable fear, and one that grounded in a strong desire to keep children from unnecessary harm. However, keeping children in a family situation that is truly past its expiration date also presents a number of serious emotional and developmental dangers.

Information on Kevin McLean's Brief on Internet Restrictions

Kevin McLean, an Associate with Creighton McLean & Shea, PLC, worked in conjunction with SADO (State Appellate Defender's Office) while he was a student at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. During the Fall 2015 term, Kevin wrote a brief for the Michigan Court of Appeals challenging computer and internet restrictions imposed on a SADO Clinic client as a condition of that client's probation. The Court of Appeals initially denied leave to appeal, however, the Michigan Supreme Court remanded the case for review by the Court of Appeals.

What is a Property Transfer Affidavit?

A Property Transfer Affidavit is a form that notifies the local taxing authority of a transfer of ownership of real estate. It is required by law, so that the local taxing authority knows (a) who owns the property, (b) where to send the tax bill, (c) whether the property is entitled to the lower "homestead" tax rate, and (d) whether it is time to adjust (or "uncap") the property taxes. The law requires a new owner to file this within 45 days after a transfer of ownership. Generally, a transfer will cause the property taxes to be "uncapped," but there are many exceptions to that rule. If you fall under one of those exceptions, and you select the correct exception on the form, you may be able to avoid a property tax increase. But the law is very precise; we recommend that you consult with an experienced real estate lawyer at Creighton McLean & Shea PLC whenever you transfer property, to be sure you tax advantage of any exception that you may be entitled to.

Parental alienation can ruin relationships

Parental alienation is a serious accusation, but it is one that the courts have to take seriously. Parental alienation can come in a few forms, but in every situation, one parent is speaking or acting in a way that makes the couple's children begin to feel hurt, disgusted by or afraid of the other parent. This alienation technique is sometimes used to try to eliminate the other parent from the children's lives, even when they should still be allowed visitation or custody.

It can be hard to deal with parental alienation, particularly because what the children say may have some sway in court. With enough prompting, a court could even end up eliminating a person's custody rights or visitation completely.

How does exercise help the brain?

Information shows that memory decline actually starts at age 25 and continues throughout our life. Since there are no medicine or medical treatment to reverse mental decline, what can we do to maintain our memory?

Dower rights abolished

Any person who deals with real estate in Michigan has run across an odd law regarding a wife's "dower interest" in property owned by her husband. The concept of dower extends as far back as the Magna Carta in 1215, when English nobles wanted assurance that when they died, their widows would receive some portion of their land. (At that time, any land owned by a nobleman at the time of his death automatically reverted to the king, leaving the widow destitute.)

How an estate plan helps you and your family

When a Michigan resident passes away without an estate plan, it can have devastating consequences for surviving family members and potential heirs. For example, imagine your mother died without a will and the court must divide her estate between you and your five siblings.

Since no will exists, the estate dispensation of your mother's assets will happen according to Michigan state intestacy laws. A probate court will make all the decisions about who gets what. If family members disagree, they might file legal actions to assert their wishes in court, which can result in expensive litigation.

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14881 Farmington Road
Livonia, MI 48154

Phone: 734-245-9289
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