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February 2013 Archives

Planning the distribution of assets to stepchildren

An estate plan involves the use of legal instruments such as wills and trusts to distribute the assets of an estate. Many families are blended from more than one biological family, so estate planning often involves stepchildren. Readers in Oakland and Mccomb counties will want to learn more about planning an estate for stepchildren.

Resident injured while signing lease agreement sues housing authority

As many commercial real estate property owners in the state of Michigan are already aware, there are certain legal responsibilities that you must adhere to by state law. One such responsibility is that of providing a safe premise. If a person slips and falls on your property, you could be held liable for any injury that person receives.

Dan Gilbert aims to transform Detroit into tech-centered downtown

A vision for a livelier downtown Detroit is the dream of Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert. He's calling it "Detroit 2.0," and with his recent purchases of 15 downtown buildings and his investment in the M1 Rail transit project, Gilbert hopes to transform Detroit into a tech center akin to California's Silicon Valley.

Senior citizens protest against landlord for upkeep of rental properties

We can never stop the news from happening; everyone in Michigan knows that. But when we hear a news story about poor living conditions and property managers who seem to be avoiding their responsibilities, most residents in Michigan can only hope that it's not happening to them.

Michigan church ordered to surrender endowment to school

Incorporating an endowment into an estate plan allows Michigan residents to lend financial support to cherished foundations beyond the planner's own lifetime. Estate planning strategies typically include establishing specific conditions to preserve assets, regulate distribution and prevent inappropriate spending. A recent dispute involving a Michigan church demonstrates the role a detailed estate plan can play in protecting beneficiaries.

How keeping too many pets can get you in trouble with your landlord

As many Michigan tenants know, many apartment buildings have strict pet policies that if broken, can cause you to become evicted from your property. But as we'll see in a few moments, sometimes you may be evicted not for what type of pet you brought onto your property but how many you were keeping.

High court upholds probate court decision to cut out heir

A person's death may be felt by a wide range of people, but it is usually up to surviving family members to deal with the difficult task of finalizing the estate of the deceased. This can become complicated if some of the heirs do not agree with the terms of a trust or will. Trust litigation can be drawn out and emotionally taxing when family members fight against one another. A state Supreme Court recently ruled against one daughter of a late millionaire who had challenged the terms of her father's trust in this way.

Saving money in 2013 by negotiating your lease

Imagine that you are a renter-or maybe you already are one-at a Michigan apartment building. You love your unit; it has everything you could want as far as amenities, as well as a few extras you didn't think you would end up liking. But your rent has increased since the first time you signed your lease and now that unit in the apartment down the street, though unappealing at first, is starting to look like a better-and cheaper-option.

Community divided over site plan, council meeting weighs in both sides

When the city of Ann Arbor zoned a particular part of land for D2 use in the northeast corner of the city, they instantly knew it would cause problems for developers down the road. People who supported the decision saw the potential for economic growth if taller buildings were allowed to build in that part of the city, while advocates have balked at this idea, pointing out that the proposed building idea did not blend well with the historic landmarks in the surrounding area.

Rare half-cent coin hidden for 50 years sells for $357,000

High-value assets can be good investments. However, passing along such assets to family members or beneficiaries is not always simple. When a person dies, an inventory must be made of both debts and assets. Any debts must be paid before the intended recipients can inherit from an estate. Proper estate administration can help to handle the details of transferring ownership.

Celebrity actress moves to hotel to avoid eviction

Readers of our blog know that we often times try to steer away from celebrity gossip unless we know that a story relates to the residents of Michigan. For apartment tenants in Huntington Woods and beyond, this next story could make some people reread their lease agreements and be leery of what their neighbors could be saying about them behind their backs.

Old buildings, new purposes: Renovating Michigan's past

Many Huntington Woods residents don't usually think about the goings-on in the Upper Peninsula unless we're making plans for a vacation getaway. But when the Keweenaw Peninsula isn't being visited by vacationers from the Lower Peninsula, many of the towns up north are thriving communities; this could be due in part to the recent renovation projects that are transforming communities in the U.P.

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