James P. Frederick’s Answers

James P. Frederick

Livonia Probate Attorney.

Contributor Level 20
  1. If theres a will, will the property and assets go through probate for example house,stocks,bank accounts.and etc.

    Answered about 2 years ago.

    1. Paul A. Smolinski
    2. James P. Frederick
    3. Henry Repay
    3 lawyer answers

    You cannot avoid probate with a Will. The only time a Will is ever effective is when it is admitted to probate. If there are assets titled in a decedent's name at the time of death, probate will be necessary. If assets are jointly held, (which is generally not a good idea), have beneficiaries designated, (a much better idea), or are held by a trust (also a good idea), then probate will not be necessary. Everything else being equal, avoiding probate makes a lot of sense, in most cases....

    15 lawyers agreed with this answer

  2. I live in Detroit, Mi and I need to find out if there can be two guardians our Father, one for medical and one for financial

    Answered 7 months ago.

    1. Anne E. Schulte
    2. James P. Frederick
    3. Peter L. Conway
    4. Diane Marie Kay
    5. Donald B. Lawrence Jr.
    6. ···
    7 lawyer answers

    I agree with my colleagues. I would simply add that, in the absence of a Durable Power of Attorney, you would need to establish guardianship and conservatorship through the probate court. Given the technical nature of these proceedings, (especially conservatorship), you should consult with a probate attorney for assistance, and perhaps representation, as well. The estate would be responsible for the attorney fees. James Frederick

    13 lawyers agreed with this answer

  3. Had Will done.Was told not to take it to Court House to be recorded. Keep both copies with me. Thank You so much.

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. James P. Frederick
    2. Patrick D. Cole
    3. David B. Carter Jr.
    4. Paula Brown Sinclair
    5. John J. Keenan
    5 lawyer answers

    A Will is not recorded, but you can file it with the county probate court for safe-keeping. Most counties charge a fee for this, and it can be as much as $100. I have never thought that filing the Will is a great idea. I think the original should be kept by the client, with instructions to the nominated personal representative on where the original can be found. Having to go down to the county just to retrieve the Will from storage is an extra hassle that family members do not really need....

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  4. I NEED TO CLOSE MY FATHER'S P.O.D. ACCOUNT. I AM ONE OF THREE BENEFICIARIES ON THAT ACCOUNT AND ANOTHER BENEFICIARY IS DECEASED.

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. James P. Frederick
    2. Donna R Blaustein
    3. Celia R Reed
    4. Vance Tate Davis
    5. Stephen Scott Pearcy
    5 lawyer answers

    Depending on the amount of money involved, you may be able to use a small estate proceeding for your sister's portion. That would avoid the need for probate. You should visit with a probate lawyer to determine if this will work. If your sister was a resident of NC, then you would want to discuss this with an NC attorney. See here for more information: www.nccourts.org/forms/documents/735.pdf‎ James Frederick

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  5. If I died, and came back to life, can I collect life insurance?

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. James P. Frederick
    2. Thomas Sciacca
    3. Celia R Reed
    4. Jayson Lutzky
    5. Robert K. Erlanger
    6. ···
    7 lawyer answers

    Practical problems you would have are that the insurance company requires a death certificate and YOU would not be the beneficiary, under any circumstances. It likely has something in the policy that defines "death." Interesting question. But I see no practical way of collecting. James Frederick

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  6. In the state of Michigan, who has more rights to cremated remains? The widow? or the children?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. James P. Frederick
    2. David B. Carter Jr.
    3. Robert E. Harris Jr.
    4. Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr.
    5. Darren M. Findling
    5 lawyer answers

    I am very sorry for your situation. Under Michigan law, the wife has the right to possess the cremains. The law can be found, here: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/%28S%28q4rmanmy3appem55f2ac0kqk%29%29/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=mcl-700-3206 Under the circumstances, I would think that you have a solid argument, at the very least, that you would be entitled to reimbursement for your costs in securing and protecting the cremains. Perhaps the two of you can work out some kind of...

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  7. How can I protect assets my son will inherit from me when I die if he files bankruptcy before I die?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. James P. Frederick
    2. Dorothy G Bunce
    3. David B. Carter Jr.
    4. Charles Adam Shultz
    5. Michael Glynn Busby Jr.
    6. ···
    6 lawyer answers

    I agree with my colleagues. A trust seems to be the best option for you, but you need to be careful. The trust should be set up by an attorney to make sure it is done properly. If your son is given too much control, any creditors he has may also be able to reach the trust assets. You also should discuss with your attorney the effect of a bankruptcy, if it occurs. The bankruptcy proceeding may actually wipe out your son's debts. There appear to be other issues involved, however, (as there...

    12 lawyers agreed with this answer

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  8. Probate

    Answered about 3 years ago.

    1. James P. Frederick
    2. Mark S. Bosler
    3. Michael H. Cutler
    3 lawyer answers

    You do not have enough information to determine how to proceed. It is possible that you may not be able to get the information you need, without re-opening the estate. Since that is expensive and may lead you to nothing, I would suggest that you try the following, first: 1) Obtain a copy of the Will, from the Probate Court. When there is a Trust, there is usually a pour-over Will, transferring any probate assets to the Will. 2) Find out whether or not an Inventory was filed. This will...

    12 lawyers agreed with this answer

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  9. My husband and I are planning to create a family trust. This is our first marriage.

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. James P. Frederick
    2. Charles Adam Shultz
    3. Theodore Michael Hankin
    4. Chris Gray
    5. Craig Martin Scalise
    6. ···
    6 lawyer answers

    These are all excellent questions for the estate planning attorney that you retain to prepare your documents for you. There are too many variables and unknowns in your fact situation, to give you any specific guidance in this forum. An attorney needs to review all of this information with you, especially in light of your objectives, in order to give you confident direction. You are wise to be taking care of this at this point. James Frederick

    14 lawyers agreed with this answer

  10. Do I need a probate lawyer

    Answered about 1 year ago.

    1. James P. Frederick
    2. David B. Carter Jr.
    2 lawyer answers

    You would have the right to get his vehicles, (assuming there is no one else on the title), by presenting a certificate at the Secretary of State. The remaining assets, provided they are worth less than $21k, you can file an affidavit for, provided you will need to wait about a month. If you do not want to wait a month, you can file a petition with the probate court and obtain an order assigning all assets to you. This will be more expensive than waiting the 28 days, because there are some...

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