Estate Planning

What does it mean when they say that an estate needs to “go through probate?

Probate Administration is court supervision, of varying degrees, of a descendant’s estate. The Court’s objective is to oversee all aspects of administration including, but not limited to, creditors’ claims, distribution to beneficiaries, Will contests, and estate closure. This frequently requires that a judge appoint a personal representative and that judge will require frequent updates and reports with regard to the inventory of the estate and the progress being made in wrapping it up.

I have a will. Does this mean that I am all set?

It depends. Having a Will is a great first step, but it does not guarantee that everything will occur as you plan, nor does it prepare you for your potential incapacities during your lifetime. A will allows a transfer of belongings at death but does not allow you often desired flexibility with estate administration, nor does it avoid the Probate Court’s supervision. Further planning is needed to do these things.

Family Law

How long does it take to get a divorce in Michigan?

A divorce with minor children involves a mandatory 6 month “reconciliation” period to allow both parties time to adjust to their own living arrangements. A divorce without children involves a mandatory 2 month “reconciliation” period. It is possible that any divorce can last longer than the statutory minimums depending on which issues are contested.

My credit was not good when we bought our house so we put it in my spouse’s name only… Will my spouse get to keep the house?

In Michigan, ALL property that was acquired during the marriage is subject to equitable division. This includes property titled solely in the name of only one spouse.

I am unemployed or my spouse makes more money than me. Will my spouse automatically get the children in a divorce?

Absolutely not! There are many factors that the court will consider in deciding what is in the “best interests of the child/ren. Among these are parental involvement, criminal histories, home and school environment, and many others.