News And Thoughts On The Law In Michigan

How to know if you are ready to become an entrepreneur

You may have been dreaming about starting your own business for months or even years. Maybe you have the perfect idea, but you are not sure if the timing is right.

It is difficult to tell when the right time is to take the leap into entrepreneurship, but according to a recent Forbes article, there are three signs to look for.

Proven legal help across the broad real estate universe

Some law firms dabble in real estate matters, with others having a more comprehensive and in-depth approach toward that specialized legal realm.

Indeed, real estate does comprise singular and expansive terrain. Individuals and business principals seeking legal help on any matter linked with a real estate transaction or litigation are unquestionably best served when they turn to a law firm having a dedicated real estate practice area.

Location isn't everything: find terms that work for your business

One of the major decisions you make as a business owner is your location. Depending on your business needs, you may want to be easily accessible, or perhaps you must adhere to zoning laws.

Whatever your specific concerns are, be sure your lease addresses the needs of your business, keeping growth in mind. As you enter into a commercial lease agreement, are you familiar with the terms you ought to consider?

Everyone should have an estate plan

Michigan residents and others may feel as if thinking about their mortality will actually lead to their demise. However, as everyone will die at some point, it is a good idea to get around to creating an estate plan. At a minimum, an individual should have a will regardless of their economic standing.

This is because a will allows a person to transfer family heirlooms and other assets to another person of his or her choosing. Many assets such as money in a bank account or retirement account will be transferred through a beneficiary designation. A beneficiary designation trumps whatever is written in a will, so it is important to review these legal documents on a regular basis.

DIY estate planning may come with hidden costs

For those inclined to do-it-yourself, the internet provides all but unlimited resources for just about any imaginable topic. There can be significant benefits to be gained from DIY projects, such as personal satisfaction and autonomy, but mostly they are undertaken as a cost-saving matter for important but expensive projects. For example, one can learn on YouTube how to fix a clogged kitchen drain or troubleshoot an automobile check engine light warning and find useful information. While there is no shortage of online sites offering DIY estate planning help, it's more difficult to know whether the information provided is accurate, up to date, and relevant for Michigan residents.

The old saying that "one doesn't know what one doesn't know" is on point. If the drain runs freely or the warning light goes off, the DIY project has likely succeeded, but if a DIY will is done incorrectly, the consequences may not be known for some time and the damage irreparable. Financial experts point out that while fill-in-the-blank type wills, for example, may be sufficient for some people, online estate planning sites rarely offer personalized service for individual circumstances, which are the reality for many.

Zoning laws and covenants: Similar, but not the same

When families buy their first home, it can feel like a dream come true. However, there are many steps to complete and matters to consider when purchasing a new home. From safety inspections to purchase agreements, it all can feel a little overwhelming. 

One thing that many first-time home buyers overlook is their property's land-use restrictions. There are two primary land-use issues that home buyers should consider: zoning laws and restrictive covenants. 

Michigan wants licensing for all medical marijuana shops

Unlicensed medical marijuana shops in Michigan will very likely need to obtain licenses once the state government establishes a process. The latest vote in the House of Representatives on the matter set a deadline of June 1 for unlicensed sellers to close if they wanted to qualify for a medical marijuana selling permit.

The House bill passed by a huge majority, 102-4, and now must be reviewed and voted on by the Senate. The bill calls for unlicensed businesses that fail to shutdown by the June deadline to suffer a penalty that blocks them from getting licenses for at least one year.

Considering the advantages of a trust

When people in Michigan think about the future and how they want to manage their affairs, they may think first of making a will. People may not think much about trusts, or they may assume that they are only for the super-wealthy. However, trusts are flexible, adaptable instruments that can help people in a wide variety of situations achieve their goals more precisely and privately during the estate planning process.

There is a difference between a will and a trust. The will designates who will receive a person's property after they pass away. It may divide assets by percentages or specify that specific items are to be distributed to different people, and it will name an executor to handle the distribution and present the document to probate court. It only goes into effect after death and deals solely with one person's property. A trust is different because it goes into effect immediately after its creation. While it can direct the distribution of assets after death, it can provide for more complex solutions. Unlike a will, a trust does not need to be presented to a probate court.

Tom Petty's widow and daughter in estate feud

Michigan fans of singer Tom Petty may have to wait a while to enjoy more releases from the late singer's catalog. The singer's widow is in a probate battle with one of his daughters that could affect the planned release of new compilations. His widow filed a petition in a Los Angeles court. In the document, she alleges that her late husband's daughter attempted to take control of Petty's estate.

Since Petty died of an accidental drug overdose in October of 2017, two compilation albums have been released. One is a boxed set, and the other one is a "best of" collection. Future plans, which include a re-release of the singer's 1994 solo album "Wildflower" with unreleased tracks, are now on hold until this estate fight is over. The singer married his second wife in 2001; his two daughters are from his first marriage.

Michigan residents can learn from Lee Radziwill's estate plan

Estate planners have many tools at their disposal, including wills and trusts. Revocable trusts, known for their ease of administration, are often used to protect and distribute assets while maintaining privacy. This is one of the reasons that wealthy families rely on them to manage family line assets and perpetuate dynasties. The same can be said for Lee Radziwill and her estate plan.

Radziwill's passing ended an era. Known for her family pedigree and iconic fashion sense, her elegant lifestyle was one of style and poise. Reflecting that lifestyle, Radziwill's estate plan was said to be complex and thorough. Although she had a revocable trust, she also had a will, which was necessary to handle certain elements that could not be included in a revocable trust document.

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