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Category: Estate Planning

The Dingeman & Dancer Blog consists of articles, news, and press releases written and edited by the attorneys and legal professionals at our firm, providing updates on both recent legal developments and established advice and guidance. Choose from the various topics listed in the sidebar menu to narrow in on a particular focus.

Change to Michigan Marketable Title Act Requires Property Owners to Take Action to Preserve Certain Property Interests

Author: Katie J. Sabo, Esq. Earlier this year, a change to Michigan’s Marketable Record Title Act (“Act”) took effect that requires property owners to take action or risk losing certain property interests. In general, the purpose of the Act is to ensure that a property purchaser obtains “marketable title.” According to the Act, title is marketable…

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Four Exit Plan Mistakes for Family Business Owners to Avoid

Author: Dane Carey Many of our clients are family business owners—some large, some smaller. There are many similarities, and many differences among this group of clients. But one thing that all family business owners share is the common need for an established and well thought out exit plan. When working with clients on this issue, we…

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Controversy in Aretha Franklin’s Estate Highlights Importance of Estate Planning

By Katie Sabo It was presumed that Aretha Franklin did not have a will or trust in place when she passed away in August 2018. However, eight months after her death, three handwritten documents were found in her home, each of which appear to be Ms. Franklin’s attempt at a handwritten will. At least one…

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2018 Changes for Federal Gift and Estate Tax Exemption

Author: Dane Carey The IRS announced that the federal gift and estate tax exemption, which increases annually with inflation, will be $5.6 million per individual in 2018 (or $11.2 million for a married couple), a $110,000 increase from the 2017 exemption level of $5.49 million. The increase also applies automatically to the generation-skipping transfer tax exemption. …

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Michigan Abolishes Dower Rights

Author: W. Dane Carey Early this year, Governor Snyder signed into law legislation that abolishes all statutory or common law rights of dower in Michigan. The newly signed law went into effect on April 6, 2017, making transfers of real estate in Michigan are no longer subject to a potential dower claim, with the exception…

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Michigan’s New Asset Protection Tool

Author: W. Dane Carey Michigan has just taken a big step toward modernizing its trust laws. With the recent passage of the Qualified Dispositions in Trusts Act, Michigan is now one of a small group of states that allows individuals to create what is known as a “domestic asset protection trust” (DAPT), which is a flexible tool…

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Loaning Money to Family and Friends

Author: W. Dane Carey Many people have or will lend money to other people in their lifetimes. Parents and grandparents frequently make loans to family members to enable them to buy a home, start a business, or enjoy some of the comforts of life. Sometimes friends lend money to friends. There are many contexts in which…

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Guide to Charitable Giving

Author: W. Dane Carey Continuing the upward trend, charitable giving in the United States increased to $373.25 billion in 2015 (2.1% of GDP). Over the past two years alone, total giving to charitable organizations has increased over 10%. This increase and the overall size of charitable contributions is a testament to the integral role charities play in our society,…

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Charitable IRA Rollovers

Author: Benjamin W. Bryant J.D., University of Michigan Law School What are two things that most retirement-aged individuals value? Charitable donations and tax breaks! Well, maybe not everyone shares the same enthusiasm for philanthropy and avoidance of the Internal Revenue Code, but for those of you who are interested in these exciting topics, it’s time…

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New Law Allows Nomination of Funeral Representatives

Author: W. Dane Carey Effective on June 27, 2016, Public Act 57 of 2016 amends Michigan law to enable an individual to designate a funeral representative to handle disposition of his or her bodily remains after death and make post-death decisions regarding funeral arrangements. Under prior law, when an individual died in Michigan, decisions regarding funeral…

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