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September 2012 Archives

Government sells hundreds of distressed homes

Government officials recently announced the sale of almost 700 distressed homes that it owns as a result of defaulting homeowners with government-backed mortgages. The problem of what to do with all of this real estate has apparently been creating some uncertainty in the market.

Thomas Kinkade estate at center of probate dispute

The death of a loved one can be a difficult matter to handle. Emotions are riding high and level heads are few and far between. If the deceased is without a will to specifically advise survivors on how to distribute the estate's assets and survivors disagree on what should happen to the estate, matters can get complicated quickly. In cases such as this, probate litigation will ensue in order to provide a resolution, as this story demonstrates. That is why it is so important for Michigan residents and others elsewhere to plan for the unexpected with a will or trust.

Renting versus owning

Deciding whether to rent or own a home is a big decision for Oakland County residents. Many families are still getting back on their feet after the tough recession, and choosing how and where to spend money and determining the best type of investments can be difficult. Housing prices and mortgage rates are still low, but it's still important to be cautious when choosing whether to buy a home or condo.

Planning for your online accounts and digital assets - Pt. 2

As discussed in last week's post we will continue this week on the importance of remembering digital assets in estate planning activities. Many in Michigan and elsewhere spend a good portion of their time online performing a variety of activities from gaming to investing and sharing photos. In doing so we are creating an online legacy of sorts in which we may want our loved ones to have access to in the event we become incapacitated. The United States General Services Administration suggests people consider creating a "social media will" of sorts.

Rising home prices signal overall economic improvement

The number of sales of previously occupied home has risen 7.8 percent between August and July this year. The increased activity in the housing market is at its highest level in over two years, at a seasonally adjusted rate of 750,000.

Becoming a first-time landlord

As the housing market in Detroit continues to improve, many residents are considering an investment property or a second home. Others are considering renting out an existing second home or condo to cover mortgage payments while they wait to sell. In an situation, becoming a landlord can be both rewarding and stressful, but there is a lot that prospective landlords can do to make the process easy and profitable.

Planning for your online accounts and digital assets - Pt. 1

Welcome to the digital age where we now have to consider such mundane things as our Facebook login credentials in our estate plan if we want our loved ones to have access to it upon our passing. Many Michiganders often forget about digital assets when planning their estate, both non-financial and financial assets, such as your online trading accounts or your online gossip trading accounts. Think about all the online photo albums you may have stored on various social media and file sharing websites such as Flickr and Facebook, do you want loved ones to be able to access those photos?

Belle Isle park redevelopment plan revealed

City and state officials announced a plan this week to transfer management and fiscal responsibility for Detroit's Belle Isle park to the state government. The lease will run for 30 years and is a part of a larger plan to upgrade and beautiful the deteriorating island.

Breathing new life into Michigan brownfield sites

A bill proposed by Michigan state legislator Mike Kowall (R-White Lake Township) aims to breathe new life into the state's many "brownfield sites." According to the environmental protection agency's (EPA) website, a brownfield site is one that is not easily repurposed, reused or expanded upon due to the "presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant."

Sherman Hemsley's will contested while his body awaits burial

Michigan residents may have heard that iconic television star Sherman Hemsley, star of "The Jeffersons" passed away several weeks back. And as is rather common when a celebrity dies, long lost relatives pop up to contest the will and delay probate for whatever reasons. Such is the case with Sherman Hemsley, whose body will be kept on ice until a local probate court can rule on his will, which is being contested by a man who claims to be Hemsley's brother.

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