Black and white chess game.

‘Tis the Season to Think About Estate Planning

By Christine Steinmetz, J.D., Hotline Attorney The holiday season is a busy time for everyone. We are decorating homes, preparing meals, baking cookies, visiting loved ones, and buying gifts for others. One thing we often overlook is taking care of others by having our estate plan in place. People often wait to call an attorney for estate planning documents before going on a big trip or having major surgery.  However, this is the … Continue reading ‘Tis the Season to Think About Estate Planning

Be Thrifty: Donate Your Body to a Medical School

by Ellen Mason, Hotline Attorney We’re the “do-good generation.” The generation that grew up in the 60’s. The generation whose mantra was “peace and love.” No wonder you’ve intended to donate your organs since you were in your 20’s. But let’s face it: nobody wants a 75-year-old heart; 72-year-old cataract-surgery eyes; a hip that’s been replaced twice; and on-and-on. (We have more rusty parts than a … Continue reading Be Thrifty: Donate Your Body to a Medical School

Woman holding her glasses

Funeral Representative Bill Signed into Law

by Jadranko Tomic-Bobas, Managing Hotline Attorney On March 29, 2016, Governor Snyder signed Senate Bill 551 into law. The bill makes it possible for a person to appoint a “funeral representative.” The funeral representative will be able to make funeral and other arrangements regarding the disposition of the remains. Currently, the next of kin has the authority to control the funeral and burial arrangement, which has … Continue reading Funeral Representative Bill Signed into Law

Couple standing around a computer.

Wills vs. Trusts – Part 8

by Christine Steinmetz, J.D., Hotline Attorney This is the final post in our series regarding wills, trusts, and estate planning. Other posts in the series can be found here. In our previous posts, we discussed the different types of wills and trusts. There is one other estate planning document that we haven’t discussed that allows you to transfer real estate to your beneficiaries without probate. … Continue reading Wills vs. Trusts – Part 8

Wills vs. Trusts – Part 7

by Christine Steinmetz, JD This post is the seventh in a series regarding wills, trusts, and estate planning. Other posts in the series can be found here. In our previous post, we discussed how a revocable grantor trust DOES NOT shelter assets, including one’s homestead, for Medicaid eligibility. In addition, the fact that a homestead has been held in the trust for longer than the … Continue reading Wills vs. Trusts – Part 7

Caregiver helping a senior.

Wills vs. Trusts – Part 6

by Christine Steinmetz, JD This post is the sixth part of a series regarding wills and trusts. Other posts in the series can be found here. In our previous posts, we discussed that a will always goes through probate. We also discussed how a trust avoids probate. As previously discussed, probate administration is the court process to distribute property that is owned by an individual … Continue reading Wills vs. Trusts – Part 6

A family barbequing outside.

Wills vs. Trusts – Part 5

by Christine Steinmetz, J.D., Hotline Attorney This post is part of a series regarding wills and trusts. Previous posts in this series can be found here. In our previous posts, we discussed that a will always goes through probate. We also began talking about how a trust avoids probate. As we discussed previously, probate administration is the court process to distribute property owned by an individual … Continue reading Wills vs. Trusts – Part 5