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January 2013 Archives

New scholarship program created by $2 million estate endowment

For many people in Macomb County, drafting a will represents a real opportunity to give something back to the community they care about. Early on in the estate planning process -- or even before it begins -- some individuals define a number of entities or organizations they want to help. Other people decide to start a new legacy altogether by creating a charitable foundation.

What to expect from the housing market in 2013

Our blog readers know how closely we've been following the housing market since the recession ended. Would it rebound as quickly as we hoped it would? Would prices ever reach acceptable levels again? How would both the personal and commercial real estate markets change in the New Year?

With commercial real estate scarce, experts say it's time to build

When the economy tanked in 2007, the United States was in the midst of what was to become the longest recession since World War II. But as the economy slowly began to rebound, consumer confidence grew lending aid to the boom in business ventures across the nation.

City inherits historic property, plans to auction it off

Working hard, saving and investing are good ways to prepare for the future. If those preparations include estate planning, someone will have to be in charge of handling the estate owner's assets after that person passes away. Estate administration can clear up any possible confusion over a deceased person's debts, tax responsibilities and asset distribution.

Dip in home sales in December no reason for concern says experts

Even though the National Association of Realtors announced this month that it has noticed a 1.0 percent drop in existing home sales last month, many real estate experts say that this probably won't affect the overall growth the housing market has witnessed in the past few months.

Tenants sue after enduring 7 months without gas for cooking

As people here in Michigan are aware, landlord-tenant disputes can happen anywhere; and although many of them can be resolved without assistance from legal representation, some cases are simply too difficult to sort out without the help of a court judge.

Trustees asked to improve disabled beneficiaries' lives

In many cases, trust beneficiaries are disabled, and Michigan residents who are in charge of trust administration may need to take steps to better a disabled beneficiary's life. In doing so, it's important to be aware of the legal rights of everyone involved.

Readers in Oakland County might be interested in some recent news about trust administration. On Dec. 31, a surrogate judge ordered two trustees to answer for the lack of use of an account that was provided to a disabled beneficiary. The judge is said to have criticized the trustees for failing to note the needs of the disabled man and failing to improve his life by spending the funds in ways that could help him.

Out-of-state investors helping to boost commercial real estate

There's no doubt that commercial real estate market took a massive hit during the most recent recession. With so many companies going out of business, many shops and store fronts across the state, including here in Huntington Woods, were left vacant and unused.

Inheritance and estate taxes remain a key part of estate planning

Planning for inheritance and estate taxes is essential to ensure that your loved ones and beneficiaries receive the maximum amount of your assets when you pass away. Estate planning relies on careful knowledge of both tax implications and existing laws that can affect the value of an inheritance. Those looking to preserve assets for their heirs should strive to understand how current and upcoming changes to laws may affect the value of their estates.

Many include charitable donations in estate plans

There are many Michigan residents who have favorite charities. Maybe it is a charity that provides support and research to patients battling certain illnesses, like cancer or heart disease. Or, maybe it is a religious congregation that one feels particularly connected to.

Parking structure at the center of messy litigation in Pontiac

The city of Pontiac, several miles northwest of Detroit, is continuing its legal dispute with the Ottawa Towers office buildings this year over the use of an adjacent parking garage.

Congress helps struggling homeowners by extending tax provisions

In a December post, readers of our blog received a brief-albeit it uncertain-answer to the question: can you avoid falling over the fiscal cliff with a short sale? The answer to this question hinged on whether Congress could come to a consensus on what to do with many of the tax laws that were set to expire at the end of 2012.

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