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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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Albert D. Spalding

International Tax, Trusts, Professional Responsibility, Federal Appellate Practice
Status:  In Good Standing           Licensed:  41 Years

Ali Stephen Ramadan

Bankruptcy, Trusts, Estate, Foreclosure
Status:  In Good Standing           Licensed:  32 Years

Andrew Paul Stamper

Landlord-Tenant, Trusts, Estate Planning, Guardianships & Conservatorships
Status:  In Good Standing           Licensed:  9 Years
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Anthony Urbani

Family Law, Other, Trusts, Landlord-Tenant
Status:  In Good Standing           Licensed:  37 Years

Aric K. Melder

Trusts, Divorce, Contract, Collection
Status:  In Good Standing           

Azhar H. Sheikh

Trusts, Divorce, Contract, Wrongful Death
Status:  In Good Standing           Licensed:  25 Years

Benjamin Thomas Vader

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

Bruce L. Townley

Construction, Trusts, Divorce, Collection
Status:  In Good Standing           Licensed:  28 Years

Carrie L. P Gray

Motor Vehicle, Trusts, Employment, Child Custody
Status:  In Good Standing           Licensed:  35 Years

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LEGAL TERMS

CONSERVATOR

Someone appointed by a judge to oversee the affairs of an incapacitated person. A conservator who manages financial affairs is often called a 'conservator of th... (more...)
Someone appointed by a judge to oversee the affairs of an incapacitated person. A conservator who manages financial affairs is often called a 'conservator of the estate.' One who takes care of personal matters, such as healthcare and living arrangements, is known as a 'conservator of the person.' Sometimes, one conservator is appointed to handle all these tasks. Depending on where you live, a conservator may also be called a guardian, committee or curator.

INVESTOR

A person who makes investments. An investor may act either for herself or on behalf of others. A stock broker or mutual fund manager, for instance, makes invest... (more...)
A person who makes investments. An investor may act either for herself or on behalf of others. A stock broker or mutual fund manager, for instance, makes investments for others who have entrusted her with their money.

RESIDUARY BENEFICIARY

A person who receives any property by a will or trust that is not specifically left to another designated beneficiary. For example, if Antonio makes a will leav... (more...)
A person who receives any property by a will or trust that is not specifically left to another designated beneficiary. For example, if Antonio makes a will leaving his home to Edwina and the remainder of his property to Elmo, then Elmo is the residuary beneficiary.

PREDECEASED SPOUSE

In the law of wills, a spouse who dies before the will maker while still married to him or her.

POUR-OVER WILL

A will that 'pours over' property into a trust when the will maker dies. Property left through the will must go through probate before it goes into the trust.

LETTERS TESTAMENTARY

The document given to an executor by the probate court, authorizing the executor to settle the estate according to either a will or the state's intestate succes... (more...)
The document given to an executor by the probate court, authorizing the executor to settle the estate according to either a will or the state's intestate succession laws.

PER CAPITA

Under a will, the most common method of determining what share of property each beneficiary gets when one of the beneficiaries dies before the willmaker, leavin... (more...)
Under a will, the most common method of determining what share of property each beneficiary gets when one of the beneficiaries dies before the willmaker, leaving children of his or her own. For example, Fred leaves his house jointly to his son Alan and his daughter Julie. But Alan dies before Fred, leaving two young children. If Fred's will states that heirs of a deceased beneficiary are to receive the property per capita, Julie and the two grandchildren will each take a third. If, on the other hand, Fred's will states that heirs of a deceased beneficiary are to receive the property per stirpes, Julie will receive one-half of the property, and Alan's two children will share his half in equal shares (through Alan by right of representation).

MARITAL LIFE ESTATE TRUST

See AB trust.

INTESTATE

The condition of dying without a valid will. The probate court appoints an administrator to distribute the deceased person's property according to state law.

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. ...