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October 2012 Archives

Hurricane Sandy's effect on the housing market could mean big problems

People trying to sell their homes in Michigan within the last few years can tell you how difficult it's been. After the housing bubble burst, property value dropped drastically giving the nation's housing market the lowest prices it's seen in several decades.

Knowing estate tax changes could result in enormous savings

Estate planning can be a complex process, and when the assets involved in an estate are of high value, it's especially critical to understand all the ways taxes can affect one's estate. That's especially true as 2012 comes to a close, because major changes in gift and estate laws for 2013 could have a massive impact on estates valued over $1 million in the coming year. These changes will not only affect estate planning here in Michigan but throughout the entire United States.

Site for bank slated to become new apartment building

For people in Michigan, we're used to city skylines changing. We're used to seeing buildings go up only to be torn down decades later to become something new. And with space at a premium in most major cities, re-using existing space has become the new poster child for the motto: reduce, reuse, recycle.

Two hundred seventy-six acres of land ready for mall construction

In Michigan, and other states across the nation, the recession not only affected people but businesses as well. Many struggling business owners found it difficult to keep their shops open thus adding to the bleak outlook for the market.

Michael Lohan to seek conservatorship for daughter Lindsay

A conservatorship can be a useful tool for families who have a loved one who may no longer be able to make decisions in their own best interests. Usually these situations arise from an elderly person who may be suffering from dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease or someone who has been injured in an accident and may be incapacitated for a period of time. However there are circumstances in which a person may be considered by a probate court to be unable to make decisions on their own behalf or on behalf of their own children. The case of Britney Spears is one recent example.

Company let out of lease agreement for Grand Rapids parking ramp

When the city of Grand Rapids sold the Comerica building to the Chicago-based real estate firm Franklin Partners, the city knew that they would be needing parking spaces for all of the new employees that would be working in the building.

Rising real estate market could mean change in price negotiations

During the recent recession, hundreds upon thousands of people in Michigan and across the nation watched as housing prices plummeted. With people foreclosing on houses left and right it seemed that it was going to be a buyer's market for quite some time.

Kevorkian estate reaches deal over disputed artwork

The estate of former Michigan resident Jack Kevorkian recently settled with a museum over the ownership of artwork painted by notorious doctor. Having a trustworthy executor who can solve legal disputes such as these during estate administration is important.

Saving restaurants through investment

When you go hiking in the woods, generally there are no paths, there may not be any signs to guide you on your way and usually you're navigating without a map or a sense of direction. You know the road ahead will be dangerous, there will be risks, and sometimes you wonder if you will ever be able to consider it a successful journey.

What regulations should there be on personal ice rinks?

With winter fast approaching, many hockey and skating enthusiasts in the state of Michigan are already coming up with ideas for this year's backyard ice rinks. For many avid fans of winter, there may even be plans to make a rink large enough for the entire neighborhood.

Michigan engineer turns philanthropist with charitable giving

When a person owns substantial assets, a will or trust can play an important part in the distribution of these assets. However, some people would prefer a more complex estate plan than simply passing on their assets to their children or partner. If someone gives assets to a charity, either through a charitable trust or outright donation, it can be beneficial to check how this will affect the overall administration of the estate, particularly with regard to tax issues and benefits when it comes to charitable giving.

Rental property ban sparks legal debate

In many states, including Michigan, renting from a property owner requires that certain documents be filled out and that appropriate identification be presented. Real estate attorneys across that states all agree that it is important to read through lease agreements thoroughly before signing them.

Switch from renting to owning may hurt apartment landlords

In the wake of a particularly rough recession, families in Michigan and across the United States have seen everything from lost jobs to lost homes. When the housing market dipped to its all time low recently, home foreclosures forced many families to choose renting over ownership.

Legal issues regarding access to digital assets growing

As we discussed a few weeks back, online or digital assets can be problematic for some Michigan residents as people increase their online presence, the amount of information they access and store online grows. The growing use of email and paperless bill paying has created a situation where vital records are stored in online accounts only. Those involved in estate administration are having some difficulties in obtaining access to those records, as the laws regarding ownership of online accounts after death have failed to keep up with the popularity of those accounts.

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