Kalamazoo Wills & Probate Lawyer, Michigan

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Includes: Estate Administration, Living Wills, Wills

Michael J. Willis Lawyer

Michael J. Willis

VERIFIED
Business Organization, Wills & Probate, Contract, Elder Law, Estate Planning
Dedicated to Excellence in Client Service

Michael Willis founded this firm with his brother, Shaun Patrick Willis. Their father, Hon. Frank D. Willis, is the probate judge for Van Buren Count... (more)

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CONTACT

800-909-2450

Vern J. Steffel

Banking & Finance, Corporate, Construction, Estate Administration
Status:  In Good Standing           

Joseph W. Vander Horst

Wills, Wills & Probate, Family Law, Corporate
Status:  In Good Standing           Licensed:  28 Years

Louise B. Wright

Real Estate, Trusts, Wills & Probate, Estate
Status:  Suspended           Licensed:  30 Years
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Jennifer Herrick Coles

Elder Law, Wills & Probate, Trusts
Status:  In Good Standing           

Jonathan W. Willoughby

Estate Administration, Estate, Civil & Human Rights, Accident & Injury
Status:  In Good Standing           Licensed:  34 Years

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Free Help: Use This Form or Call 800-943-8690

Member Representative

Call me for fastest results!
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By submitting this lawyer request, I confirm I have read and agree to the Consent to Receive Email, Phone, Text Messages, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy. Information provided is not privileged or confidential.

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LEGAL TERMS

CURATOR

See conservator.

LAPSE

Under a will, the failure of a gift of property. A gift lapses when the beneficiary dies before the person who made the will, and no alternate has been named. S... (more...)
Under a will, the failure of a gift of property. A gift lapses when the beneficiary dies before the person who made the will, and no alternate has been named. Some states have anti-lapse statutes, which prevent gifts to relatives of the deceased person from lapsing unless the relative has no heirs of his or her own. A lapsed gift becomes part of the residuary estate.

ACCUMULATION TRUST

A trust in which the income is retained and not paid out to beneficiaries until certain conditions are met. For example, if Uncle Pierre creates a trust for Nic... (more...)
A trust in which the income is retained and not paid out to beneficiaries until certain conditions are met. For example, if Uncle Pierre creates a trust for Nick's benefit but stipulates that Nick will not get a penny until he gets a Ph.D. in French; Nick is the beneficiary of an accumulation trust.

PROBATE

The court process following a person's death that includes proving the authenticity of the deceased person's will appointing someone to handle the deceased pers... (more...)
The court process following a person's death that includes proving the authenticity of the deceased person's will appointing someone to handle the deceased person's affairs identifying and inventorying the deceased person's property paying debts and taxes identifying heirs, and distributing the deceased person's property according to the will or, if there is no will, according to state law. Formal court-supervised probate is a costly, time-consuming process -- a windfall for lawyers -- which is best avoided if possible.

CREDIT SHELTER TRUST

See AB trust.

ESTATE PLANNING

The art of continuing to prosper when you're alive, and passing your property to your loved ones with a minimum of fuss and expense after you die. Planning your... (more...)
The art of continuing to prosper when you're alive, and passing your property to your loved ones with a minimum of fuss and expense after you die. Planning your estate may involve making a will, living trust, healthcare directives, durable power of attorney for finances or other documents.

GROSS ESTATE

For federal estate tax filing purposes, the total of all property owned at death, without regard to any debts or liens against the property or the costs of prob... (more...)
For federal estate tax filing purposes, the total of all property owned at death, without regard to any debts or liens against the property or the costs of probate. Taxes are due only on the value of the property the person actually owned (the net estate) plus the amount of any taxable gifts made during life. In a few states, the gross estate is used when computing attorney fees for probating estates; the lawyer gets a percentage of the gross estate.

COUNTERCLAIM

A defendant's court papers that seek to reverse the thrust of the lawsuit by claiming that it was the plaintiff -- not the defendant -- who committed legal wron... (more...)
A defendant's court papers that seek to reverse the thrust of the lawsuit by claiming that it was the plaintiff -- not the defendant -- who committed legal wrongs, and that as a result it is the defendant who is entitled to money damages or other relief. Usually filed as part of the defendant's answer -- which also denies plaintiff's claims -- a counterclaim is commonly but not always based on the same events that form the basis of the plaintiff's complaint. For example, a defendant in an auto accident lawsuit might file a counterclaim alleging that it was really the plaintiff who caused the accident. In some states, the counterclaim has been replaced by a similar legal pleading called a cross-complaint. In other states and in federal court, where counterclaims are still used, a defendant must file any counterclaim that stems from the same events covered by the plaintiff's complaint or forever lose the right to do so. In still other states where counterclaims are used, they are not mandatory, meaning a defendant is free to raise a claim that it was really the plaintiff who was at fault either in a counterclaim or later as part of a separate lawsuit.

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.

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

In re Temple Marital Trust

... Wallace Temple, Petitioner-Appellant, v. Clinton Probate Court Ralph Temple and Dean Temple, Respondents-Appellees. Docket No. 273911. ... Petitioner petitioned the probate court to construe the trust as not allowing Clarence to amend it after Florence's death. . . . ...

In re Smith Trust

... The respondent refused to sell the property to the petitioners. The petitioners filed a petition in the Sanilac County Probate Court, seeking to compel the sale of the land pursuant to the lease agreement. ... As a result, the probate court held that no enforceable agreement existed. ...

In re Kostin Estate

... In Docket No. 272767, respondent Camille A. Kent appeals as of right the probate court's judgment and order following a bench trial, interpreting a will and trust, determining heirs and devisees, and determining title to property after decedent Juanita Kostin's death in 2004. ...