The $27,000 ordered to be paid to respondents from the trusts was not a sanction, but instead was reimbursement to the trustees for expenses incurred in defending the petition. The Trust contains language providing for the reimbursement of expenses incurred by trustees in administering the trust.
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The trial court concluded that appellant did not produce sufficient evidence to establish a genuine issue of material fact regarding decedent’s mental capacity to properly execute his 7/14 will.
The age of an adult is not a proper ground for disqualification under EPIC. As adults, the children are fully qualified to serve as guardians and conservators for their father. Adulthood is all that is required under EPIC.
MCL 700.7803 states that a trustee shall act as would a prudent person in dealing with the property of another, including following the standards of the Michigan prudent investor rule. If the trustee has special skills or is named trustee on the basis of representation of special skills or expertise, the trustee is under a duty to use those skills. MCL 700.7810 states that a trustee shall take reasonable steps to take control of and protect the trust property.
PROBATE 17: Government contends it satisfied statute of limitations by filing proof of claim in probate proceeding.
The Michigan probate code states that for purposes of a statute of limitations, the proper presentation of a claim is equivalent to commencement of a proceeding on the claim.
The probate court determined that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the petition because the situs of the trust had been transferred to Florida.
Appellants argue that because they provided medical evidence and appellee did not, the trial court was bound to grant their motion. But appellants cited no legal authority that medical testimony on behalf of the non-moving party is necessary.
The trial court found that both the lease and the legal description of farmland attached to the Trust Agreement are defective because the Trust never owned the property, as evidenced by the quitclaim deed and its recording in April 1998.
WILLS/TRUSTS 9: Probate court can appoint a successor trustee if one cannot be appointed in accordance with the trust.
MCL 700.7704(3) permits the probate court to appoint a successor trustee if one cannot be appointed in accordance with the trust.
The parties agreed that the decedent properly executed the 2005 will with his wife, but the probate court was asked to rule on whether the terms of that will made it irrevocable, which would mean that the decedent could not change his estate plan by way of the 2015 will.
To establish undue influence, it must be shown that the grantor was subjected to threats, misrepresentation, undue flattery, fraud, or physical or moral coercion sufficient to overpower volition, destroy free agency and impel the grantor to act against his inclination and free will.
In terrorem clauses, also called “no-contest” clauses, generally provide that a beneficiary of a will or trust forfeits any interest under the instrument if the beneficiary challenges or contests any of its provisions.
As set forth in MCL 700.2502(1), there are specific formalities that are generally required to execute a valid will. However, as expressly stated in MCL 700.2502(1), there are several exceptions to these formalities.
Plaintiffs advised the probate court that they intentionally failed to file a witness list and an exhibit list as required by the court’s scheduling order because they objected to and never wanted a trial.
Appellant appealed Probate Court’s order denying his petition seeking enforcement of an option to purchase stock as conferred by the trust.
The probate court’s decision to order the property sold and the proceeds distributed equally among the beneficiaries is consistent with the settlor’s stated intent to distribute the value of the trust assets to the beneficiaries.
MCL 700.7111(1) provides that interested persons may enter into a binding nonjudicial settlement agreement with respect to any matter involving a trust, including the approval of a trustee’s report or accounting.
A noncharitable irrevocable trust may be modified or terminated by the court upon the consent of the trustee and the qualified trust beneficiaries, if the court concludes that the modification or termination of the trust is consistent with the material purposes of the trust or that continuance of the trust is not necessary to achieve any material purpose of the trust.
MCL 700.7602(3)(a) controls a situation of whether a trust can be amended. It provides as follows: The settlor may revoke or amend a revocable trust by substantially complying with a method provided in the terms of the trust.
In the application, petitioner stated that the decedent died intestate, and after exercising reasonable diligence, was unaware of any unrevoked testamentary instrument relating to property located in this state.
If you become incapacitated, you will need someone to make decisions on your behalf. These are decisions regarding what medical treatment you receive, paying bills, managing your bank accounts and potentially selling assets. Tales of people abusing their power of attorney designations are common. Many people designate their children, but is this the best choice?
An person who proceeds in propria persona is generally held to the same standards as attorneys. Accordingly, a litigant who decides to proceed without counsel is bound by the burdens that accompany such election.
Appellant appeals from an order of the Probate Court denying his petition to reopen his deceased mother’s estate.
In this contest over the probate and non-probate assets of Decedent, appellate petitioned to set aside pour-over will and trust documents executed by Decedent
Washtenaw Probate Court. The dispute in this case involves the meaning of the term "then beneficiary" in the Trust. This term defines the party or parties who are entitled to vote on the removal of a trustee and the appointment of a...
For the first time, the Court of Appeals held that the decedent's unsigned will could be admitted to probate.
The Court of Appeals held that "MCL 700.2503 permits the admission of a will to probate that does not meet the signature requirement in MCL 700.2502(1)(b), as long as the proponent establishes by clear and convincing evidence that the decedent...
When considering estate planning, you are probably aware of the role of a will. While the traditional thought associated with a will is how property is handled after death, it can also be used to plan for medical treatment if you cannot make...
It can be difficult to consider the end of our lives when we are in good health, but lives can change at any moment so it is wise to be prepared for any situation that may arise. Despite the many benefits of a last will and testament, studies have...
Concluding that the probate court's refusal to set aside the judgment was harmless, the court found no basis for reversing the denial of the petitioner's motion to set aside the judgment in this will contest.
Petitioner, the decedent's son, asserted that the decedent executed a will leaving almost the whole estate to him. Respondent, the decedent's daughter, contended that he "forged the document he wished to enter into probate, and thus that the...
The court affirmed the circuit court's holding that it lacked subject-matter jurisdiction and remanded the issue of reasonable compensation for an evidentiary hearing.
The case involved plaintiff's challenge to an amendment of the Trust that disinherited him. Both plaintiff and defendant-Paul M. Lubienski (secondary successor trustee) jointly argued that the circuit court erred in concluding that it lacked...
The court held that the probate court did not abuse its discretion in finding the appellant had not pled a claim for reimbursement or in denying his request to amend the pleadings where there was undue delay and a repeated failure to cure the deficie
The parties-siblings disagreed as to the terms of their father's trust, which included a 300-acre farm. During their dispute, Daniel claimed that a settlement agreement between them did not preclude him from seeking compensation and reimbursement...
While the respondent-trustee (Juzenas) violated MCL 700.7814, the court concluded that the probate court abused its discretion in charging her for insurance and tax obligations that she paid from her own pocket and denying her request for reimburseme
Walter and Yvonne Massie established the trust in 1995. The only asset in the trust was their home. Petitioners charged that Juzenas was required to provide them an accounting every year beginning in 2009, and was required to provide notification...
The court held that the trial court erred by ruling that a document that purported to be the decedent's last will and testament was not a valid holographic will.
Decedent wrote out a will while waiting at his lawyer's office, and the lawyer's secretary notarized it. He later committed suicide. The police officers investigating the matter turned over the letter and a copy of the will to the appellant and...
Concluding that the trust at issue was unambiguous, the court affirmed the trial court's order granting summary disposition to the appellees on their claims that the surviving settlor could not modify the trust at issue after the death of the other s
Otto and Margaret signed trust documents in 1993. They amended the trust the next year. Otto died in 2005. In 2011, "Margaret attempted to amend the trust to provide that, on the death of the surviving spouse," a piece of real property would go to...
The Court of Appeals held that the trial court did not err by finding the decedent's (J) will valid.
J had two daughters, the petitioner-Kathy Crowder and intervenor-Nancy Baruzzini, and a brother, intervenor-Jack Donaldson, the husband of the respondent-Veronica Donaldson. The will specifically and explicitly disinherited Nancy and Kathy, and...
A court properly held that a petitioner did not present enough evidence to establish undue influence resulted in his disinheritance
Noting that the petitioner's brief made no effort to address the trial court's ruling deeming admitted the respondent-trustee's requests to admit, and concluding that summary disposition for respondent was appropriate under MCR 2.116(C)(10), the...
The probate court properly found that a trustee of engaged in self-dealing while overseeing her mother's trust and as such, the beneficiaries of the trust were entitled to be compensated
The court held that the appellant waived the affirmative defense of the statute of limitations. Further, it concluded that the probate court did not clearly err in its factual findings that the assets appellant transferred to herself were not gifts...
A trial court clearly erred when it decided to reform a trust in deciding a settlor intended to make distributions to her grandaughters
The court held that the trial court erred in treating the scope of a Disclaimer as a question that remained open on remand, that it departed from the law of the case, and that it clearly erred in finding clear and convincing evidence that...
Trustee not required to allow a substitution of property by trust beneficiary where substituted property is not of equal value
The court held that the trial court did not err in finding that the respondent-trustee of the Rajzer trusts was not required to effect a substitution of property on the petitioner-Rigoni's command, or in its valuation of the membership interests...
Trust deemed to be a support trust rather than a discretionary trust, therefore is subject to collection actions by creditors
Holding that the trusts at issue are not discretionary trusts, and thus, they are reachable by the state, the court reversed the order of the probate court holding that the State Treasurer could not reach the trust assets under the SCFRA, and...