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Fowlerville Michigan Family Law Blog

What is conservatorship?

In Michigan, there is a process that allows you to help out someone else who can no longer make his or her own decisions. This process, according to the State Bar of Michigan, is called conservatorship. It is only used when an adult becomes incapacitated. Conservatorship requires that a person cannot make decisions for him or herself. They either do not have the ability to do so or are not mentally able to do so.

If you are seeking a conservatorship, you will help make decisions for this person regarding his or her property. You must petition the court to secure a conservatorship. The court must look at all the provided documentation to make a ruling during the hearing. If the court believes it is necessary, then you will be granted the right as conservator. If there are no objections and the person agrees to the conservatorship, then you may not even have to have a hearing and the court will grant it right away.

Keeping your business assets safe from a divorce

It is a nightmare no business owner wants to experience. The small business the owner has spent years building up is suddenly sold off to pay for a divorce settlement, or the now former spouse has taken control of it. The problem for Michigan business owners is that if a spouse is co-mingled too much with the business, that spouse may end up with a say in the company’s ultimate fate in a possible divorce. There are ways, however, for an owner to help prevent losing a business and its assets should a divorce occur.

For one thing, if your spouse takes an active role in running the business, the spouse can make a claim that he or she helped build the company and is thus entitled to profits, benefits or a piece of ownership. An article on Entrepreneur.com recommends that the spouse be eased out of the company as soon as it is feasible to do so. The longer the spouse stays with the business, the greater the claim the spouse can make on the company's productivity.

What is a big estate planning mistake to avoid at all costs?

Estate plans are critical to prevent the issues that can delay or prevent the transfer of one's assets to future generations. Many people in the Fowlerville area do not realize that their estate plans may not be enough to keep their loved ones from squabbling after they die. In order to maximize the protections and benefits of estate planning, you must remember to structure them to help your family and friends avoid emotional and financial hardship.

After careful planning, it is important for you to inform your loved ones about your concerns and estate plans. Failure to do so can put your final wishes, beneficiaries inheritances and family’s relationships with each other in jeopardy. It can also cause your estate to end up in probate court. Here is why it is essential for you to talk to your family about estate planning.

Child custody disagreements can be resolved amicably

The child custody process doesn't always go smoothly. There will likely be times when you and your ex don't agree on what needs to happen with the children. You should be prepared to try to make these decisions as easy as possible. The last thing that you or your children need is a long, drawn-out battle that upsets all involved.

It might help you to come up with a parenting plan in advance. This gives you a chance to think about what's important to both parents and the children and how you might be able to work through some of the stickier issues. Here are some pointers that might help you:

How does a person disclaim their inheritance?

Many Fowlerville area residents assume that by the time they create their estate plans or die, they will not need to worry about what happens if one of their beneficiaries' refuses their inheritance. It is not often you hear about people passing up their share of a deceased relative’s legacy, but it happens all the time. Sometimes it is not beneficial for people to inherit assets and wealth from their relatives and loved ones. 

Whether you are creating or updating your estate plans, it is important for you to understand the different protections it provides. Beneficiaries must accept their inheritances before they are disbursed from a testator’s estate. When they decline them, the state disperses the gifts to the next qualified individuals in line. If there are no named secondary beneficiaries, the state will use the law of intestacy to determine the next recipients the declined gifts should pass down to. There are some situations that may make it more beneficial for them to pass up their gifts. Taxes, divorce and creditors are common reasons people say no to their inheritances. 

What are grounds for divorce in Michigan?

So marital issues are now causing you to question having a future with your spouse in Fowlerville. Such questions may prompt many to decide that they want a divorce. Yet is it really as simple as that? Like most, you are probably familiar with the term "grounds for divorce." What does it mean, and could it prevent you from seeking an end to your marriage? 

Grounds for divorce are the reasons cited by either one or both parties to a marriage as to why their union should end. Infidelity, abuse, impotence or one going to prison are common grounds that might immediately come to your mind. Yet what if none of those has affected your marriage, and you simply feel as though you and your spouse are no longer compatible as a couple? 

What is a statutory will?

Under Michigan law, there are options in the type of will you can create. All wills have to be drawn up according to the law. As explained by the Michigan Legislature, one option is the statutory will. This type of will has limits on what you can do with it. 

You can list your personal items and leave them to whomever you want in the will, but you can only leave two cash gifts. You can, however, detail that your property and belongings go to your spouse and children under the age of 18. You can also use this type of will to appoint a guardian for your children. 

Why is it important to update my estate plans?

One thing that many people in the Fowlerville area fail to take into consideration about their estate plans is updating them. Estate planning is not something that you do one time and never have to deal with again. As long as you are alive, you will experience events that affect your income, assets and family, such as the loss of employment, marriage, divorce, birth and death. 

If you do not revise your estate plans so they reflect your current financial picture and assets, your loved ones could end up not receiving the inheritances you thought you were leaving behind. Consider the following suggestions when looking at your estate plans. 

Should I sign a prenup before marriage?

Prenuptial agreements are becoming more popular and more widely accepted these days. Instead of being seen as a "scandalous" legal tool used by the 1 percent to safeguard their finances in cases of divorce, prenups are now seen as practical agreements that create terms and limitations related to a marriage.

More importantly, prenups could also make divorcing easier, faster and less stressful should it ever be necessary to dissolve one's marriage.

How can a will be contested?

If you have ever had to deal with the passing of a loved one in Michigan, then you probably had to deal with a will. In many cases, the will is read, the property and assets distributed and the estate is settled fairly easy. However, there are some times when someone is not happy with a will and wants to contest it. According to Consumer Reports, anyone who is in the will, who could inherit from an estate or who was mentioned in a previous draft of the document can contest a will

You must also have a valid reason to contest a will. If you believe the person who wrote the will was coerced or otherwise manipulated into changing the will or leaving certain assets to people, then you could object. If you are the person's spouse and have been left out of the will, then you have grounds. If you feel the person wrote the will when he or she was not in a coherent state of mind, then you could contest it.Finally, you may be able to contest if you are the person's child and you were left out of the will, but only in limited situations.

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