Trusts, Estates and Probate

Can You Keep a (Trust) Secret?

By Attorney Kenneth F. Silver A few weeks ago, I posted a blog about how one cannot keep a will secret postmortem. But the same issue also comes up often with respect to trusts. The answer this…

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You Can’t Keep a (Will) Secret!

Can you keep a secret…? If so, how long?   For the answer to the above questions, please read the below blog written by Attorney Kenneth Silver to see why you shouldn’t!  One of the most common questions…

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The Michigan Supreme Court Can’t Decide Whether It Is Proper For An Attorney To Write Himself Into His Client’s Will

The Michigan Supreme Court on June 21, 2018 issued their much-anticipated opinion in the case of In re Mardigian Estate. In that case attorney Mark Papazian prepared a trust amendment and corresponding will for his client and friend Robert…

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Michigan Abolishes Dower Rights

Effective April 6, 2017, dower rights in Michigan are abolished. Dower is a centuries old legal principle that a wife has an interest in a portion of all real property owned by her husband during their marriage. The common…

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PLEASE RELEASE ME

“Release Me” was a popular song written by Eddie Miller and Robert Yount in 1949 and made into an international hit by Englebert Humperdinck in 1967. The opening line of the song “[Please release me, let me go,” is…

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The Thrill is Gone, But the Problems are Just Beginning: A Cautionary Tale

2015 saw the end of legendary bluesman B.B. King. While the 15-time Grammy winner died peacefully in his sleep, the time since his passing has been decidedly less so. King’s estate, which is estimated to be anywhere between $5…

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Videotape Testimony Can Be Powerful Evidence When Mental Competency is Questioned

A California judge dismissed a challenge to the mental competency of 92 year old billionaire Sumner Redstone (Viacom and CBS’s controlling shareholder) after reviewing videotaped testimony where Mr. Redstone appeared to be competent and clearly indicated his desires to…

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Can Your Lawyer Inherit Your Assets?

Is it acceptable practice for a lawyer to prepare estate planning documents that leave a client’s assets to him or her? A very interesting case pending before the Michigan Supreme Court should answer this question. The Michigan Code of…

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Real Probate? A Successful Combination in Law

Many lawyers have multiple specialties that seem to go hand in hand. People often think of lawyers with dual specialties as having only one. Tax AND estate planning, medical malpractice AND personal injury, corporate AND securities are but a…

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Grandma Passed The Test!

One of the most fruitful and confused areas of estate and trust litigation involves the mental capacity of the grantor of a trust. Not too long ago, the Michigan legislature made it clear that the mental capacity necessary to…

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