Now Accepting New Clients!

PROBATE 5: Estate was not entitled to a principal residence exemption (PRE).

Petitioner, as personal representative for the Estate, appeals as of right the Tax Tribunal order determining that the Estate was not entitled to a principal residence exemption (PRE).

The subject property is a residential property located in Michigan.  Deceased and her husband purchased the property in 1977. According to petitioner, deceased first filed an affidavit claiming a PRE for the property in 1994, and it was granted at that time. It appears that from 1994 until 2013, she continued to claim and receive a PRE on the property. However, around August 2013, the Department began an audit on the property. And, on November 14, 2013, the PRE was denied for the 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 tax years after the Department determined that it was not owned and occupied as deceased’s principal residence.

Her son explained at the conference that she seasonally resided in Florida, Arizona, Midland, and Ludington, but that she spent most of the year at the Ludington property. He maintained that she only kept an apartment in Midland for convenience. In the summer of 2012, she moved into a rehabilitation center, where she stayed until September or October 2012. She then returned to the subject property. In the fall of 2013, she entered a different rehabilitation facility, where she remained until her death in 2014.

Despite the facts presented by petitioner, the Department maintained that its denial of the PRE was proper for a number of reasons.

  • First, it questioned whether she was an “owner” as defined by MCL 211.7dd(a).
  • Second, it contended that there was no evidence that she occupied the property as her principal residence during the 2010 through 2013 tax years.
  • Third, the Department asserted that in 2012 and 2013, when she was at the rehabilitation facilities, she did not maintain an intent to return to the subject property and she did not meet the requirements to retain the exemption under MCL 211.7cc(5)(a), (b), or (c).

The informal conference referee found that she was an owner of the property because she was a grantor who had placed her property in a revocable trust.  The referee, however, determined that petitioner had failed to present any documentation showing that the property was the deceased’s principal residence, whereas the Department presented a number of documents to show that the deceased’s principal residence was her Midland apartment. The referee further stated that because there was no evidence that the property was the deceased’s principal residence during the 2010 through 2012 tax years, petitioner could not establish that she was entitled to retain the exemption.

If you have lost a loved one, the last thing you should have to deal with at this time is the confusing and often frustrating process of probate. Let an experienced probate lawyer from Aldrich Legal Services focus on your legal needs so you can focus on your friends and family at this difficult time.

Contact Aldrich Legal Services

Refusing A Blood Alcohol Test in Michigan

In the state of Michigan, the law requires you to take either a blood, breath or urine test if arrested for an OWI. Michigan has an “implied consent” law which states that if someone lawfully arrested by an officer who has probable cause...

Do Background Checks Show Misdemeanors?

  Misdemeanors are often considered a less serious criminal offense compared to their felony counterpart. Common misdemeanors include reckless driving, petty theft, public intoxication, trespassing and more. Although misdemeanors don’t...

REAL ESTATE 11: Homeowner association wins in paint color dispute.

Under this section, a homeowner must seek prior approval from the Association before he or she can change the exterior color of his or her home. If that requirement is violated, the Association is entitled to have the color changed and the home repainted a different color at the homeowner’s expense.

REAL ESTATE 7: Even without an express contract, there can be an implied contract.

Contracts can be divided into two categories: express contracts and implied contracts. An express contract is one where the intention of the parties and the terms of the agreement are declared or expressed by the parties, in writing or orally. Alternatively, a contract may be implied from the conduct of the parties, language used or things done by them, or other pertinent circumstances attending the transaction.

PROBATE 2: Can you remove a guardian that holds power of attorney?

Under the EPIC, a “suitable” guardian is one who is qualified and able to provide for the ward’s care, custody, and control. When a preponderance of the evidence weighs against the suitability of the ward’s current choice for guardian, the probate court must remove that person as guardian.

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