Where in Michigan Can You Spread Cremated Remains?

Where in Michigan Can You Spread Cremated Remains?

A man caused quite a commotion in New York this last weekend when he spread his friends cremated ashes at the Met Opera House in the orchestra pit during an intermission.  Instead of the touching tribute he intended for opera loving mentor, his actions instead caused the performance to be stopped while the New York Police Department's Counterterrorism Unit was deployed to investigate his actions.  He is now facing serious legal problems.

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Michigan Funeral Directive Law Takes Effect

Michigan Funeral Directive Law Takes Effect

Many people are shocked to find out that they alone are unable to determine what will happen with their remains upon their death.  You can tell you family your want to be cremated or buried, preplan the funeral, and even pay for it - but Michigan was one of a handful of states that left actual legal decision making to your next of kin after you die.  But a new law enacted this year hopes to change this.

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O'Bryan Law Firm Office gets a New Facade

O'Bryan Law Firm Office gets a New Facade

If you have been downtown recently, you have probably noticed the front of our office looks different.  Since the removal of the overhead canopy system downtown, our building was looking a bit bare.

Jim Crystal from Davison's Crystal Construction installed a new awning and front on our building. We are very pleased with the result.  Next time you are downtown, stop in and say hello.

 

Can You Shoot Down A Drone?

Can You Shoot Down A Drone?

Say you are enjoying a backyard BBQ with your family one warm summer day.  The grill is going, the kids are in the pool, and you are entertaining guests.  Just then there is a buzzing sound from above.  A drone is flying just 30 feet above you, and the camera appears to be taping and possibly broadcasting your private event back to the computer or cell phone of an uninvited guest.  The drone buzzes back and forth.  You wave your arms to express your desire that the drone leave the airspace above your family, to no avail.  Finally, you decide to take out the 12 gauge, load some buckshot, and take aim at the annoying aircraft.

 

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What Is Undue Influence?

What Is Undue Influence?

Saying that there has been "undue influence" is often used as a reason to contest a will or estate plan, but what does it mean?

Undue influence occurs when someone exerts pressure on an individual, causing that individual to act contrary to his or her wishes and to the benefit of the influencer or the influencer's friends. The pressure can take the form of deception, harassment, threats, or isolation. Often the influencer separates the individual from their loved ones in order to coerce. The elderly are usually more susceptible to undue influence.

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How to Vote While in a Nursing Home

How to Vote While in a Nursing Home

Few elections have peaked as much interest as this one.  Today, October 11, 2016, is the deadline for registering to vote here in Michigan.  Although voting is the hallmark of a democracy, it isn't easy if you are in a long-term care facility. Nursing home and other long-term care facility residents face several challenges to voting, from registering to vote to actually casting a ballot.

When you move into a nursing home or assisted living facility, your address changes, which means you probably need to register to vote based on the new address.

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Lady Bird Deeds

Lady Bird Deeds

A common question I get asked is what is a “Lady Bird” Deed and do I need one?

First, a quick background.  

Quit Claim Deeds

Most folks are familiar with what a Quit Claim Deed is.  It is a deed that is used to add or remove someone from record ownership of real estate.  A typical use would be parents deeding an interest in their property to an adult son.  The problem with a Quit Claim Deed is that it is irrevocable once it is recorded, and can create some awful legal messes.  If the child should end up in a financial problem, go through a divorce, get sued or die before the parents - not only will the Quit Claim Deed have failed it’s intended purpose, the parents may be paying thousands of dollars, or more, to fix an unnecessary problem.  Couple this with a larger or blended family, and the use of a Quit Claim Deed to avoid probate can have disastrous results.

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A Grief So Great

A Grief So Great

Trusts can be used for all kinds of purposes.  One successful businessman, so grief-stricken over the loss of his wife and 2 daughters, used his trust to ensure that in his 21 room mansion, located across from the cemetery his family was buried, the clocks would be wound, a fire would be lit in the fireplace, there would be lights in the windows at night and a hot meal ready on the table each night for the reincarnated return of he and his loved ones.  His trust did this from his death in 1881 until 1950, almost 60 years later, when the trust money finally ran out.

John Porter Bowman was born in 1816 in the town of Clarendon, Rutland County, Vermont.  By the age of 20, John had moved away from home and become proficient as an apprentice in the Tannery industry in outstate New York.  

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Watching Out for Trust Scams

Watching Out for Trust Scams

A living trust is an excellent estate planning tool for many of our clients, but it is not a one-size-fits-all document.

A living trust can serve as a will substitute and, unlike a will, is not subject to probate, which makes it more private and less likely to be contested.

But it is not right for everyone – especially seniors on fixed incomes with limited assets.  

Salesmen are selling Living Trust Kits as the fix-all financial solution to seniors who, frankly, cannot afford them. They are soliciting seniors through public seminars, phone, mail and door-to-door campaigns.  The real goal of the scam is to gain access to the seniors’ financial information through the Trust Kit so they can be railroaded into buying additional annuities or unneeded insurance products.

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