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Travis I. Dafoe
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Travis Dafoe’s Answers

12 total


  • Dad passed, mom lives in home. Should we execute lady bird deed adding us 3 kids to house title? House in Michigan.

    Home is free and clear. mom is 82. has total assets under $300,000 including the house.

    Travis’s Answer

    What are you looking to accomplish for your mother? If you are looking to avoid probate, then it will depend on her assets and whether they may require probate. If you are thinking about Medicaid, again it may be a good idea, but ultimately the amount and type of other assets may be of greater concern. I think it would be worth it to have an estate planning attorney review her situation and help you put together a comprehensive plan. A lady bird deed may be part of it, but there are a lot of other factors to look at too.

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  • What are the legal and tax ramifications of adding a person to your deed?

    I had a home built in 2000. My girlfriend who is 12 years younger than I am moved in with me at that time. I paid the mortgage, she paid bills. She is not listed on the deed. We agreed that when I retired, our financial roles would reverse and s...

    Travis’s Answer

    The biggest thing is that you are giving her a legal interest in the home. She may have an equitable interest in it because she is paying the mortgage. There are many other factors that can affect what would be the best way to do what your looking for, so you really should sit down with a lawyer and discuss what is best - along with a complete estate plan. Obviously, if you do not put her name on the deed, you will need a will or some instrument to transfer ownership at your death. I added a link below to a guide a wrote about adding children to deeds. Your situation is different, but it covers some of the pros and cons of adding people to deeds. As far as tax consequences, it seems like the one positive would be that she could now claim the taxes. However, if you do not marry, you will also need to consider gift taxes, spouses are granted unlimited gifts, but not girlfriends. Nonetheless, your issue is complex and calls for someone to look at all the information and help you make the best choices.

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  • Can my brother withhold from filing our mothers will?

    My mother passed away a month ago. The will stated everything was to be split equally between my brother and I . He is giving money to his daughter and refuses to show me any financial statements. All her money, over $ 400,000, has been transferre...

    Travis’s Answer

    You likely have legal rights, but they will depend on many precise facts. You should not delay in seeking an attorney to review the facts and circumstance that have occurred to determine what actions you can take.

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  • Can an employer force you to sign a non-compete when you have been at the company for more than 20 yrs?

    Company is revising their handbook that is over 10 years old. In it, they are requiring all employees sign a non-compete. We have never had this before. I do not want to sign it. What can I do if I am fired for this? I am at at-will employee...

    Travis’s Answer

    I have added two links to this answer which talk about at-will employment and non-compete agreements. First, you

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  • Can your employer fire/discharge you while you are on medical leave?

    Have been on medical leave for about 6 1/2 months. was about to be scheduled for surgery. recieved letter stating that I had been discharge because I have been gone too long.

    Travis’s Answer

    In Michigan, employees are an at-will employee. So an employer can fire you for almost any reason. The most applicable exception for you is the Americans' with Disabilities Act. It requires an employer to provide a reasonable accommodation for an employee's disability. Depending on your disability, you may have been eligible for some sort of accommodation. The most important question you would need to answer for an attorney is — whether you are disabled as defined by the ADA? Whether you requested any accommodation or what conversations did you have with your employer about your disability? What type of job was it, and would it have been reasonable for the employer to provide you with additional time off. You may have a claim, but it is going to be heavily dependent on the answer to the questions I have posed. I would advise you to speak to an attorney with the answer to those questions in mind.

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  • Do I need an attorney at my hearing?

    I am a full-time student in a career training course, and was initially denied benefits even though I qualified. The reason was determined as: Leaving my job to work for an employer who didn't give me full-time work. I appealed this because I am u...

    Travis’s Answer

    Based on the information you have provided, I am not convinced that you qualify. The law provides that you have to be looking for full-time employment to be eligible. It sounds as though you are not looking for full-time employment nor would you accept it. I think you should have someone look over it. The state also publishes a list of advocates (not always attorneys) who are provided if you would like.

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  • I was terminated without warning for standing up for myself against bullying behavior. Can I collect unemployment benefits?

    I worked for this company for over 5 years. I was terminated without warning upon defending myself against the employer's improper conduct/verbal abuse. This company is known to fight against former employees collecting unemployment for any reas...

    Travis’s Answer

    They can fight your unemployment. The real question is why were you discharged. I linked to my legal guide on unemployment. It will help provide some background information.

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  • Do I have grounds for a case agaisnt my former employer if I was terminated to make way for a position for someone else?

    I was just terminated this week after being with the company for two years. I was never reprimanded for anything, I had a very good attendance record, I got along with all of my co-workers and had even been given a promotion with a raise last Oct...

    Travis’s Answer

    As an at-will employment state the only illegal reasons for termination are those protected by statute (or case law). In your case, the employer favored someone else over you. If there were evidence that the favoritism was based on race, gender, or other protected classification you may have a claim. However, it is not illegal in Michigan for a employer to show favoritism to a friend or a family member.

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  • What if you were not told you were an at will employee then was told "it's not working out" after 3 weeks?

    I was never told I was an "at will" employee at time of hire. I was there 3 weeks learning my job and doing quite well. Then one day suddenly I was told "it's not working out" after I was only there for three weeks. My supervisor actually emailed ...

    Travis’s Answer

    There is a little more information that is needed before you can get a good answer to your question. An employer does not have to tell you that you are an at-will employee, so long as they do not make other promises about your employment. Most employers tell you that you are an at-will employee so it is crystal clear. I wonder and you should check if they gave you a handbook or sometimes even the employment application includes an at-will disclaimer. I will put a link with this answer if you want to see what types of promises they have to make or get more information about what at-will employment or just-cause employment includes.
    So the real questions is whether or not you were promised employment for a period of time or not? If you were then you may have a claim, otherwise you likely were an at-will employee and can be discharged for any reason so long as it is not an illegal reason, e.g. because of race, gender, age, or other protected classification.

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  • If working conditions are made so unbearable, that force you too quit can i stil get unemployment?

    the turn over rate is high at

    Travis’s Answer

    The answer to your question is MAYBE, but probably not unless you have compelling evidence that it was unbearable. The answer is going to depend highly on your specific facts and you should consult with an attorney.

    Under MCL 421.29, an individual is disqualified from unemployment if he or she left work voluntarily without good cause attributable to the employer. The act specifically places the burden for proving good cause attributable to the employer on the employee. The case law provides that an employee can show good cause when the actions of the employer would have caused a reasonable, average and otherwise qualified worker to give up their employment. The case law, however, says that a purely personal reason will not constitute good cause attributable to the employer. A substantial change to the working conditions will constitute good cause attributable to the employer.

    The following web page provides brief summaries of unemployment cases in Michigan by category. http://www.dleg.state.mi.us/ham/mes/digest/mes_digest/Table%20of%20Contents.htm

    With all that said, it is likely you have to go to a hearing and convince a Administrative law judge that you are right. You should consult an attorney before leaving your employment if receiving UIA benefits is critical.

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