Now Accepting New Clients!
Blog

WILLS/TRUSTS 17: The probate court’s role is to ascertain and give effect to a testator’s intent.

R executed his last will and testament on July 21, 2015. The will contains the following provision at issue in this case:

Upon my death, I direct that all of my personal belongings shall be distributed as follows: G and N shall sort through all of the household goods, antiques, tools, and all other items of personal property and identify those items which shall stay within the family. Those items identified shall be distributed to members of those families.

The remainder of personal property shall be placed for sale at auction and any proceeds therefrom shall be distributed pursuant to a list of persons and charities to which the proceeds should be given.

In February 2016, N met with five other nieces and nephews and distributed personal belongings. N retained a John Deere tractor for herself and later sold it for $2,000. P subsequently moved the probate court for an order requiring Null to return the $2,000 and any other items removed from the home.

According to the motion, Article III only allowed the identification and distribution of heirlooms, not all personal property. P argued that the John Deere tractor and other valuable items were not heirlooms and should not have been distributed to N.

N responded that Article III mandated the identification and distribution of all the personal property and that she had not acted beyond the scope of her authority.

The probate court adopted P’s interpretation of the will, holding that Article III only provided for the identification and distribution of heirlooms.  The probate court ordered Null to return the $2,000 received from the sale of the tractor.

Wills are an essential part of any estate plan. Without a validly executed will, that is clear, you may or may not achieve your goals. A carefully drafted and properly executed will can pass your property to your loved ones in the manner of your choosing. A will can also help ensure that your children and other family members understand your wishes, thus minimizing the risk of disputes and litigation.

Aldrich Legal Services is pleased to assist you with your estate planning needs.

We draft and review wills, trusts and other estate planning documents to help our clients with their estate objectives. Located in Plymouth, Michigan, we assist clients throughout southeast Michigan.

Contact Aldrich Legal Services

A Cheap Divorce is Not Worth It

Money is an important factor whenever you work with a professional. When you go through a divorce, your money and time can get even tighter. Hiring a cheap lawyer to handle your case could be attractive. However, they will end up letting you down....

REAL ESTATE 50: Trial court relied upon warranty deed documents that provided the 2005 Easement superseded the Original Easement.

In reaching this conclusion, the trial court relied upon the 2013 warranty deed documents that twice expressly provided the 2005 Easement superseded the Original Easement. Review of the 2005 Amendment demonstrated that every aspect of the Original Easement was expressly repeated, modified, or omitted. Nothing in the language of the 2005 Amendment suggests that it is intended to be read in conjunction with the Original Easement.

PROBATE 33: Petitioners filed for co-guardianship of each grandchild.

Pursuant to MCL 700.5204(2)(b), in order for a court to consider appointing a guardian, a petitioner must first establish that 1) the parent permits the minor child to reside with another person; 2) the parent does not provide the other person with legal authority for the minor’s care and maintenance; and 3) the minor is not residing with his or her parent when the petition is filed.

What are Replevin Bonds or Surety Bonds?

It would be a wonderful world if people followed through on the agreements they make. There would be less stress, anxiety, and time wasted if people held up their end of a contract 100% of the time. The legal process would run much more smoothly and...

Are Juvenile Records Public or Can They be Expunged?

There is something in most people’s life they regret - if they could redo a moment, they would have done it better. Although there is no physical way to erase the past or redo past wrongs, there is a legal way to prevent some of the crimes...

FAMILY LAW 42: Motion to modify custody denied due to lack of supporting affidavits or documentation.

The lack of substantiation, again and again, could reasonably call into question plaintiff’s motives and credibility on all matters. The trial court appeared more than open to further considering a motion to modify custody if plaintiff would come forward with supporting documentary evidence, explaining why the court took the unusual step of denying the motion without prejudice.

WILLS/TRUSTS 21: Plaintiff alleged the University failed to use the funds consistent with the terms of the trust.

On April 23, 2018, plaintiff filed suit, alleging (1) breach of contract, namely the University’s failure to use the funds consistent with the terms of the Gift Agreement, and seeking damages or specific performance; (2) breach of fiduciary duty, on account of the University’s failure, as trustee of the charitable trust established by Professor’s gift, to comply with the terms and conditions of the resulting charitable trust; (3) violation of the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act, MCL 451.921 et seq.; and (4) the need for injunctive relief prohibiting the dissipation of funds during the pendency of the case.

What is Collaborative Divorce Family Law?

Coming to the end of a happy time is a challenge no one wants to deal with in life. The end of a marriage through a divorce can especially be a tough, emotional, and complicated period. Lawyers and judges deciding your future, remembering important...

FAMILY LAW 41: To minimize disruptive changes in children’s custody, moving party must establish cause or a change of circumstance.

To minimize unwarranted and disruptive changes in children’s custody, a trial court may only modify children’s custody if the moving party first establishes a proper cause or a change of circumstances. The purpose of this framework is to erect a barrier against removal of a child from an established custodial environment and to minimize unwarranted and disruptive changes of custody orders.

DIVORCE 35: Proceeds received by one spouse in a personal injury lawsuit are generally considered separate property.

Proceeds received by one spouse in a personal injury lawsuit meant to compensate for pain and suffering, as opposed to lost wages, are generally considered separate property. Moreover, separate assets may lose their character as separate property and transform into marital property if they are commingled with marital assets and treated by the parties as marital property.

4 Common Real Estate Disputes to Watch Out For

Creating a mutually beneficial real estate deal usually goes through smoothly with both sides presenting their interests then negotiating toward a middle ground they can both agree to uphold. Unfortunately, not all deals go through without an issue....

Is My Conviction Eligible for Expungement?

At one point or another, we have all made mistakes. For some people, those mistakes involved breaking the law. Convictions have a large impact on someone’s life. Beyond the sentencing ranging from community service to fines, to jail or prison...

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
consultation
and secure reliable and trustworthy representation today!
Get the Help You Need From a Team You Can Truly Count On: (734) 404-3000
734-237-6482
734-366-4405