FAMILY LAW 29: Quitclaim deed signed after prenuptial agreement prevails.

On February 8, 2006, appellee and the decedent entered into a prenuptial agreement. Of relevance for the issue on appeal,

¶ 3A(1)(e) provides: Husband’s Separate Property [upon divorce or his death] shall include the real property . . . described and listed on Exhibit A, whether the title of such real estate . . . remains solely in the name of the Husband or whether it is subsequently [to the execution of the prenuptial agreement is] owned by Husband and Wife as tenants by the entireties or as joint tenants with the right of survivorship.

And ¶ 3H states: Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, with respect to the real property owned by Husband . . . , all which [is] described and listed on Exhibit A, in the event the Parties, subsequent to this Agreement own the real property . . . as Husband and Wife, whether as tenants by the entireties or as joint tenants with the right of survivorship, . . . in the event of death or divorce, such real property shall be treated as Husband’s Separate Property, as if title in the real estate was solely in the name of Husband, and shall be treated as Husband’s Separate Property in accordance with the terms of Section 3(A) through (G), above, in complete disregard in the method of ownership of the real property.

Further, ¶ 15 provides: No limitation on Inter Vivos Transfers. Nothing in this Agreement shall affect or diminish the right of either Party voluntarily to transfer real or personal property to the other Party, or the right to receive property so transferred by the other Party, during the lifetime of the Parties. Any such transfer, to be effective, must make reference to this Agreement and be acknowledged by both Parties in writing that the transfer is a voluntary transfer in which the provisions of this Agreement as to Separate Property has [sic] no force and effect and that the intent of the Parties is to hold the property as tenants by the entireties or solely by the grantee.

In April 2006, after appellee and the decedent married, the decedent executed a quit claim deed of the real estate at issue and conveyed the property to both himself and appellee as tenants by the entireties. Notably, the deed did not contain an acknowledgement, as contemplated in ¶ 15 of the prenuptial agreement, that the transfer was to be exempt from the various separate property provisions of the agreement.

After the decedent died in December 2016, appellee moved for summary disposition and contended that the property was hers and hers alone due the tenancy by the entireties she and the decedent had in the property

Appellant, however, argued that the prenuptial agreement made it clear that because the deed that purported to create the tenancy by the entireties did not contain the acknowledgement language of ¶ 15 of the agreement, the property was required to be treated as the decedent’s separate property—and therefore its disposition after the decedent’s death was subject to his will.

The trial court agreed with appellee and granted summary disposition in her favor.

In its written opinion, the trial court framed the issue as whether the deeding of the property as a tenancy by the entireties superseded the prenuptial agreement. The court ruled that title to the land prevails and that once the deed was signed, the property became the undivided whole interest for both the decedent and appellee and became appellee’s property upon the decedent’s death. Consequently, the court concluded that the prenuptial agreement did not have any impact on the property rights of appellee in this case.

If you are entering into a second marriage, and you have children from a previous marriage, you may want a prenuptial agreement to protect your wishes and the needs of your children. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, contact us today. From our main office in Plymouth, we serve clients throughout southeast Michigan.

Contact Aldrich Legal Services

REAL ESTATE 40: Tax Tribunal denied petitioner’s claim of a principal residence exemption (PRE).

MCL 211.7cc(2) provides that an owner of property can claim the PRE by filing an affidavit that must state that the property is owned and occupied as a principal residence by that owner of the property on the date that the affidavit is signed and shall state that the owner has not claimed a substantially similar exemption, deduction, or credit on property in another state.

The Steps of Construction Litigation

Most contracting agreements move forward without any problems, but when disputes between contracting parties come up, it can be confusing to understand the legal process to take. The legal experts at Aldrich Legal Services want to make the...

REAL ESTATE 38: Plaintiff fails to make land contract payments.

The land contract stated that T Company sold real property to plaintiff. The land contract further stated that if plaintiff failed to make a monthly payment, T Company could execute the quitclaim deed, thereby terminating plaintiff’s rights to the real property under the land contract.

CONTRACTS 6: Do you understand the clauses in your Purchase Agreement?

The trial court granted defendants’ motion for summary disposition, concluding that the claims against the realty companies were barred by the valid release contained in the purchase agreement and that the claims against sellers were required to be resolved in arbitration because they fell within the scope of the arbitration clause in the purchase agreement.

DIVORCE 29: Spousal support in gross is non-modifiable, whereas periodic is subject to modification.

As the name implies, periodic spousal support payments are made on a periodic basis. Periodic spousal support payments are subject to any contingency, such as death or remarriage of a spouse, whereas spousal support in gross is paid as a lump sum or a definite sum to be paid in installments. In addition, one major difference between the two types of spousal support is modifiability. Spousal support in gross is non-modifiable, whereas periodic spousal support is subject to modification pursuant to MCL 555.28.1.

How to Dispute an Insurance Adjustment

When something drastic happens, many people need to take extra steps to rebuild your home, recover property, or pay medical bill collectors. Unfortunately, most people believe they have no backup plan if their insurance company refuses their claim...

PROBATE 28: Probate court enters a protective order providing support for a community spouse.

A probate court’s consideration of the couple’s circumstances cannot involve an assumption that the institutionalized spouse should receive 100% free medical care under Medicaid or an assumption that a community spouse is entitled to maintain his or her standard of living. Medicaid is a need-based program, and a Medicaid recipient is obligated to contribute to his or her care.

REAL ESTATE 36: Plaintiff argued that her claim was not time-barred because it did not accrue until the grandmother’s death.

Plaintiff’s interest in the subject property is best characterized as a remainder estate, because her right to possession of the property was postponed until the occurrence of a specific contingency, that being the deaths of the grandparents. Plaintiff pursued this action within the 15-year limitation period; accordingly, this action is not barred by MCL 600.5801(4).

LITIGATION 6: The terms of the agreement prevails over the course of performance.

The trial court determined that under the UCC, the express terms of the parties’ agreements prevailed over the course of their performance and course of dealing. Although a course of performance may show that parties have waived a specific contractual term under MCL 440.1303(6), the statute does not similarly provide that a course of dealing may demonstrate waiver.

PROBATE 27: Petitioner filed a petition for mental-health treatment.

In support of the allegations, petitioner attached clinical certificates from a physician and a psychiatrist who observed respondent at the hospital. Both doctors diagnosed respondent with bipolar disorder, determined that she displayed a likelihood of injuring herself and that she did not understand the need for treatment, and recommended a course of treatment that consisted of 60 days of hospitalization and 90 days of outpatient care.

5 Things Everyone Should Do Before Starting a Business

So, you have a great idea and the experience to back it up. You are in a great starting place, but you have some work to do before jumping into forming your own business. Consider the following steps before you begin the process of starting your...

FAMILY LAW 32: Trial court committed error in failing to address whether there was an established custodial environment.

On appeal, plaintiff argues that the trial court failed to make any findings regarding (1) the child’s established custodial environment, (2) the child’s best interests regarding the grant of primary physical custody to defendant, (3) the child’s best interests with respect to parenting time, and (4) the child’s best interests pertaining to the parties’ dispute over daycare.

PROBATE 25: Daughter removed as personal representative of the estate.

the probate court determined that Daughter J had managed the estate in a manner that promoted her own interests as a beneficiary over the interests of the estate. The probate court found that such management demonstrated mismanagement of the estate and that removal of Daughter J was therefore in the best interests of the estate.

4 Last Minute Ways to Avoid Foreclosure

One tough break seems to lead to another. If you get behind on mortgage payments, you could be in danger of having your house foreclosed upon by the bank. Lenders foreclose on real estate to recoup their losses. But this means you won’t have a...

5 Necessary Sections Your Prenuptial Agreement Needs

Many big decisions come with getting engaged. Planning for marriage can be exciting and romantic, although the thought of adding a prenuptial agreement may not stoke your passion, they can help you now and in the future. Prenuptial agreements are...

REAL ESTATE 32: Plaintiffs and defendants executed a second easement.

Plaintiffs requested that the trial court, either through reformation of the First Easement or interpretation of the Second Easement, quiet title in favor of plaintiffs and declare them to be the owners of an easement to access Lake Superior through the ravine on defendants’ property, enjoin defendants from interfering with their use of the easement, and order compensation for damages to the stairs.

Don't let a bad decision, unfair contract, or a messy divorce get in the way of a promising future!
Contact the experienced team at Aldrich Legal Services today to schedule your free initial
and secure reliable and trustworthy representation today!
Get the Help You Need From a Team You Can Truly Count On: (734) 404-3000