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The attorneys at Serafini, Michalowski, & Derkacz are proud of our successful record of serving clients throughout Michigan with experienced, personal... (more)

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800-786-1931

Walter Bieber

Federal Appellate Practice, Trusts, Divorce, Personal Injury
Status:  In Good Standing           

Walter J. Czechowski

Federal Appellate Practice, Trusts, Family Law, Personal Injury
Status:  In Good Standing           

John C. Elkhoury

Landlord-Tenant, Traffic, Trusts, Criminal
Status:  In Good Standing           Licensed:  9 Years
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John Patrick Lareau

Trusts, Estate Planning, Estate, Family Law
Status:  In Good Standing           Licensed:  7 Years

Ryan W. Barr

Medicare & Medicaid, Trusts, Guardianships & Conservatorships, Elder Law
Status:  In Good Standing           Licensed:  15 Years

Martin J. Brosnan

Landlord-Tenant, Trusts, Guardianships & Conservatorships, Elder Law
Status:  In Good Standing           Licensed:  37 Years

Patrick Edward Cahill

Traffic, Trusts, Adoption, Collection
Status:  In Good Standing           Licensed:  10 Years

Benjamin Thomas Vader

Trusts, Estate Planning, Elder Law, Administrative Law
Status:  In Good Standing           Licensed:  11 Years

Robert Alex Piraino

Contract, Divorce, Trusts, Medical Products & Devices
Status:  In Good Standing           Licensed:  6 Years

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LEGAL TERMS

TAKING AGAINST THE WILL

A procedure under state law that gives a surviving spouse the right to demand a certain share (usually one-third to one-half) of the deceased spouse's property.... (more...)
A procedure under state law that gives a surviving spouse the right to demand a certain share (usually one-third to one-half) of the deceased spouse's property. The surviving spouse can take that share instead of accepting whatever he or she inherited through the deceased spouse's will. If the surviving spouse decides to take the statutory share, it's called 'taking against the will.' Dower and curtesy is another name for the same legal process.

MARITAL LIFE ESTATE TRUST

See AB trust.

ADEMPTION

The failure of a bequest of property in a will. The gift fails (is 'adeemed') because the person who made the will no longer owns the property when he or she di... (more...)
The failure of a bequest of property in a will. The gift fails (is 'adeemed') because the person who made the will no longer owns the property when he or she dies. Often this happens because the property has been sold, destroyed or given away to someone other than the beneficiary named in the will. A bequest may also be adeemed when the will maker, while still living, gives the property to the intended beneficiary (called 'ademption by satisfaction'). When a bequest is adeemed, the beneficiary named in the will is out of luck; he or she doesn't get cash or a different item of property to replace the one that was described in the will. For example, Mark writes in his will, 'I leave to Rob the family vehicle,' but then trades in his car in for a jet ski. When Mark dies, Rob will receive nothing. Frustrated beneficiaries may challenge an ademption in court, especially if the property was not clearly identified in the first place.

NET ESTATE

The value of all property owned at death less liabilities or debts.

TRUSTEE

The person who manages assets owned by a trust under the terms of the trust document. A trustee's purpose is to safeguard the trust and distribute trust income ... (more...)
The person who manages assets owned by a trust under the terms of the trust document. A trustee's purpose is to safeguard the trust and distribute trust income or principal as directed in the trust document. With a simple probate-avoidance living trust, the person who creates the trust is also the trustee.

EXEMPTION TRUST

A bypass trust funded with an amount no larger than the personal federal estate tax exemption in the year of death. If the trust grantor leaves property worth m... (more...)
A bypass trust funded with an amount no larger than the personal federal estate tax exemption in the year of death. If the trust grantor leaves property worth more than that amount, it usually goes to the surviving spouse. The trust property passes free from estate tax because of the personal exemption, and the rest is shielded from tax under the surviving spouse's marital deduction.

PERSONAL PROPERTY

All property other than land and buildings attached to land. Cars, bank accounts, wages, securities, a small business, furniture, insurance policies, jewelry, p... (more...)
All property other than land and buildings attached to land. Cars, bank accounts, wages, securities, a small business, furniture, insurance policies, jewelry, patents, pets and season baseball tickets are all examples of personal property. Personal property may also be called personal effects, movable property, goods and chattel, and personalty. Compare real estate.

HOLOGRAPHIC WILL

A will that is completely handwritten, dated and signed by the person making it. Holographic wills are generally not witnessed. Although it's legal in many stat... (more...)
A will that is completely handwritten, dated and signed by the person making it. Holographic wills are generally not witnessed. Although it's legal in many states, making a holographic will is never advised except as a last resort.

TRUST CORPUS

Latin for 'the body' of the trust. This term refers to all the property transferred to a trust. For example, if a trust is established (funded) with $250,000, t... (more...)
Latin for 'the body' of the trust. This term refers to all the property transferred to a trust. For example, if a trust is established (funded) with $250,000, that money is the corpus. Sometimes the trust corpus is known as the 'res,' a Latin word meaning 'thing.'

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

In re Kostin Estate

... We find that, by statute, the trial court was obliged to honor the Totten trusts. Michigan law honors Totten trusts. MCL 487.702 provides, in relevant part: ... Michigan law also provides: Express trusts may be created for any or either of the following purposes: * * *. Fifth. ...

In re Temple Marital Trust

... But appeals from a probate court decision are on the record, not de novo. See MCL 700.1305; MCL 600.866(1); MCR 5.802(B)(1); In re Webb H. Coe Marital and Residuary Trusts, 233 Mich.App. ... In re Coe Trusts, supra; In re Baldwin Trust, supra at 396-397, 733 NW2d 419. ...

In re Mary E. Griffin Revocable Grantor Trust

... Although MCL 700.2518 does not apply to trusts, we conclude that it reflects this state's public policy that a no-contest clause in a trust agreement is unenforceable if there is probable cause for challenging the trust. ... 2 Restatement Trusts, 3d, § 29(c), pp. ...