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Risking estate administration and probate without legal help

When a family remains close, it is common for grandparents to want to leave a little something for their loved ones. Those in Michigan who have particular wishes for their assets create a will or trust by speaking with an attorney with experience in estate administration and probate. Without leaving a plan, well-meaning grandparents may instead leave headaches for their loved ones.

One family in another state excitedly accepted the inheritance of a home as a miracle. The family had been struggling financially, and their poor credit did not allow them to purchase their own home. When their grandmother died and left them her home, they were not intimidated by its state of disrepair. Instead, they began in earnest to repair and renovate the home.

It was the understanding of the deceased woman's daughter that her mother had paid off her mortgage, so when the daughter was named executor of the estate, she did not think to investigate further before handing ownership to her son and his family. The family was then shocked to receive a warning from the bank that they owed $30,000 from a second mortgage the grandmother had taken with the intention of repairing the house. The letter from the bank demanded more than $4,000 immediately to halt foreclosure.

With the right legal advice, this family may have avoided a potentially devastating situation. Many in Michigan underestimate the complexity of estate administration and probate, and the results may create financial hardships out of what was intended to be a windfall. Seeking advice from an experienced attorney is a wise move for anyone facing probate or other estate planning issues.

Source: wcpo.com, "Inherited home comes with $30K mortgage surprise", John Matarese, July 28, 2017

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