Entries by Daniel Miller

What are non-probate assets and how to recover them?  

When a person passes away, their estate is often comprised of probate assets and non-probate assets.  Probate assets are assets that will be distributed according to the decedent’s Last Will & Testament.  These assets are titled solely in the decedent’s name. Non-probate assets are sometimes called testamentary substitutes.  These assets have beneficiaries associated with the […]

What is an Ancillary Probate or Ancillary Administration Proceeding?

When a person passes away with real property in multiple states, an ancillary proceeding may be necessary. The primary probate proceeding (if the person passed away with a Last Will & Testament) or primary administration proceeding (if the person passed away without a Last Will & Testament) is commenced in the State and County where […]

Joint Ownership of Real Property- Different Ways Real Property can be Titled

Title to real property can be held in three different ways; tenants by the entirety, tenants in common, and joint tenants with rights of survivorship. Tenants by the entirety- the property is owned by a married couple.  The deed will usually state the parties as husband wife. For example the deed would say “John Doe […]

What is a Testamentary Trust?

Simply put, a testamentary trust is a trust that is written into a Last Will & Testament.  The trust does not come into existence until the Will is probated. Testamentary trusts can be created for a variety of reasons.  Here are a few reasons a person might want to set up a testamentary trust in […]

Who may commence a Guardianship Proceeding?  

If you are concerned that a loved one or family member can no longer take care of their finances or are unable to make safe medical decisions for themselves, a guardianship proceeding may need to be commenced.   Who has the authority to commence a Guardianship proceeding? M.H.L. §81.06 lists specifically who may commence a guardianship […]

Key Parties to a Trust

  This article will focus on some of the key parties to a trust.  There are generally three parties to a trust; the grantor, trustee, and beneficiaries. The Grantor or Settlor is the person that creates the trust.  This person will discuss with their attorney their wishes for the trust and the terms that will […]

What is a Step-Up in Basis?

  One of biggest gifts given to estate planners is given to us through the Internal Revenue code.   IRC §1014 is the rule that says a beneficiary receives the basis of the decedent at the time of their death.  Step up in basis is best explained through an example. Daredevil Dan Example #1: Daredevil Dan […]