New Court of Appeals opinion shows just how ugly and expensive conservatorship fights can be.

The Court of Appeals opinion in Linda DeJong-Strait v Penny McDonald (link: http://publicdocs.courts.mi.gov:81/OPINIONS/FINAL/COA/20160216_C324133_48_324133.OPN.PDF) gives family members some sobering advice before they enter a conservatorship battle.   The simplified background: In 2011, Henry DeJong amended his estate plan to disinherit his daughter, Penny. At the same time, named his other children, Linda and Kathy, as his […]


Understanding Conservatorship

The State of Michigan has Guardianship and Conservatorship laws in place, which were created by the Estates & protected Individuals Code and Mental Health Code, in order to help protect people who cannot manage their personal affairs due to age, illness, or disability. Understanding why its important to have a conservator can save you a […]


Preventing challenges to your estate planning

Estate planning isn’t a simple process; it requires a great amount of consideration. So, having your final decisions challenged would be undoubtedly frustrating. But, there are ways to ensure that the plans you make for your estate are honored. Nathan Piwowarski and Minews26 Reporter Abigail Blackrick have those details.


Disability Benefits: What you’re entitled to

If you become disabled while employed there are a number of ways in which you can receive benefits. Knowing which benefits you’re entitled to is critical. Cynthia Wotila and Minews26 Reporter Abigail Blackrick have more details.


Digital Assets

Estate Planning is the process of arranging in advance where your personal belongings will go when you die. While making plans for the future many people forget to consider their digital assets. Digital assets, such as social media content, music downloads and other media, should not be neglected while estate planning. Nathan Piwowarski and Minews26 […]


Graduation Estate Planning

In the midst of the time of year when many students are graduating high school and contemplating their plans for the future, it’s a good time to consider Estate Planning. Nathan Piwowarski and Minews26 Reporter Abigail Blackrick explain.


What Happens To Your Online Info After You Pass Away?

What Happens To Your Online Info After You Pass Away? -Chris Lamphere, Cadillac News, December 3, 2014 Attorney Nathan Piwowarski of the firm was featured in an article today in the Cadillac News on this important Estate Planning issue, which is just one of those details not often considered by most but certainly important. visit […]


Does the Probate Court or the Government Take Away My Money At My Death?

Clients often tell us that the Probate Court or the Government will take away their money during the probate process. This is absolutely untrue. The Probate Court charges a “user” fee for the services it provides. If a client fails to provide a beneficiary for their estate and there are no legal heirs to inherit from […]


Do I Need A Will?

This is an often asked question.  Do clients need to have a Last Will and Testament. We assure them that they do not need to make a Will. The State of Michigan is more than happy to make a Will for those who have not made their own plan. Instead of a Will, it is called “intestate […]


How Does a Living Trust Avoid Probate?

A Living Trust is an artificial “person” created by a living individual. The Trust takes effect immediately. While it does sound like legal double talk to claim that a written document is a “person,” we have many artificial “persons” in our society, including corporations and limited liability companies. Once the Trust is created, all of […]