What is included in Child Support?

Question: I pay about $3,000 in child support each month and my oldest just started college. I pay $1,000 per month to the school toward tuition and room and board. Can I deduct this payment from the child support and pay only $2000? Answer: In Michigan the answer is no in most cases. Because the… Read More »

My father is 81 and was diagnosed with dementia/Alzheimer’s. He is still okay but I can tell his memory is starting to get worse. My mother also has health issues and can take care of him now, but I can see a time in the near future where she won’t be able to take care of him 24/7. Is there any special planning they need to do?

Yes, you should make sure both your parents have a written estate plan in place that covers incapacity and transfer of their assets after they are gone. This is generally going to be a Durable Power of Attorney (for handling finances), a Patient Advocate Designation (for carrying out medical wishes), and a Will or Living… Read More »

I am a looking to buy some property with a friend of mine as an investment. The seller tells me that his Real Estate Agent and the Title Company will handle all of the paperwork. Do I need a lawyer of my own or can I just use their documents?

The simple answer is, YOU NEED YOUR OWN LAWYER! Many people rely on Real Estate Agents to handle complicated legal issues regarding the sale and purchase of real estate. Remember, the Real Estate Agent works for the Seller, not you. The single most important document in any real estate transaction is the Purchase Agreement. This… Read More »

I was hurt in an auto accident about a year ago. My auto insurance company paid some of my medical bills but did not pay others, saying that they were not related to the accident. I know that all of the bills were related to the auto accident. What should I do?

You should contact an attorney immediately as you will probably need to file a lawsuit as soon as possible to protect your rights. Under the no-fault act, there is a one year statute of limitation, and, more importantly in your case, something known as the one year back rule. If you notified your insurance company… Read More »

I would like to leave my grandson some money in my Will, but he has a disability and I worry that it may affect the benefits he receives from the government.

You must plan very carefully in this situation because an inheritance may disqualify your grandson from receiving benefits. Many government programs are “needs based”, which means they count all assets in deciding whether a person qualifies. You may have heard of a “Special Needs Trust” (sometimes called a “Supplemental Needs Trust”). It is a special… Read More »

I just bought some rental property and there is a tenant that refuses to sign my new rules and regulations. Can I evict him for refusing to sign them? The tenant states that he only agreed to the original rules when he moved in and is refusing to sign a new contract.

This is a difficult question to answer without being able to look at all of the documents but generally speaking, a new landlord is bound by the existing lease. This is true if it is a month-to-month lease or a longer term lease. A buyer of rental property is generally subject to the terms of… Read More »

Can I get arrested for driving under the influence, if I have a medical marijuana card, and I was not under the influence at the time I was driving?

Question: I have a medical marijuana card. Last weekend, I was pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana. I was not under the influence at the time I was driving. I had not even smoked that day. Is this legal? Answer: A medical marijuana card is not bulletproof. Although medical marijuana… Read More »

I am going in for surgery next month and I was wondering what kind of planning should I do beforehand?

Great question. You should have at least a “base” estate plan in place. This covers three major areas: (1) incapacity, (2) wealth transfer, and (3) beneficiary protection. First, you need to put someone in place for financial and medical decisions if you can no longer handle your affairs. Be very careful here – many times… Read More »

I recently had some improvements done on my house. One of the workers filed a construction lien against the property about two years ago. It has not been discharged and there have been no lawsuits filed. I may sell my house soon. How can I get rid of the lien?

A person who properly files a construction lien must file a court proceeding, often a foreclosure, to collect on the lien within one year from the date the lien was recorded. If this does not happen, the lien automatically expires. If the lien continues to interfere with the sale, the person filing it can be… Read More »