Constance L. Brigman’s Answers

Constance L. Brigman

Grand Rapids Estate Planning Attorney.

Contributor Level 8
  1. Wills and power of attorney documents

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. James P. Frederick
    2. Constance L. Brigman
    2 lawyer answers

    The statutory forms are very bare bones documents. Trying to provide your own legal care is about the same as trying to provide your own medical care. You might be trying to cure cancer with a Vitamin C supplement because you don't know how to diagnose your own illness. I hear what you are saying about "all I have is a house." But you have a bank account, I am sure. And you probably have life insurance through your work. what about qualified plans? Do you have a 401(k) or do you have...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  2. My Mom passed away on 7/11/09. She left in writting I was to have her car. I have original title. How do I get it in my name?

    Answered almost 5 years ago.

    1. Constance L. Brigman
    2. James P. Frederick
    2 lawyer answers

    Being named as the personal representative of an estate in a will is not the same as actually being the personal representative. Only a probate court can make you the personal representative. Unless there is good reason to do otherwise, the probate court will make the person who is named in the will as the personal representative. The probate court issues what is called "Letters of Authority" to the personal representative. You said that your father was still alive. The form that the...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  3. Aunt filed for guardship of grandma do i file also or contest it when it goes to court right now there is a court appt one

    Answered almost 5 years ago.

    1. Constance L. Brigman
    1 lawyer answer

    If you have been taking care of your grandmother in her home, then you are entitled to notice of the hearing. Were you given a notice of when and where and the hearing is going to take place? Your grandmother's adult children have priority for appointment as guardian, assuming your grandfather has already passed away or is unable to serve as guardian. That probably is not good news to you. The court should have sent a GAL (guardian ad litem) to talk to your grandmother and to ask what care...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  4. Can i sit in the court room when my fathers will is probated

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Constance L. Brigman
    2. John J. Sullivan
    2 lawyer answers

    What exactly do you mean by court dates? Do you mean hearing dates or do you mean dates when certain estate papers must be filed? In Michigan, we have formal probate and we have informal probate. In a formal probate, the will is admitted to probate through a hearing procedure. In an informal probate, there is no hearing required to admit the will to probate. So if the probate procedure is the latter, then there are no hearings but there is a lot of paper to submit to the court with copies...

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  5. Can I be garnished for child support payments, even though I am current with the payments?

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. Constance L. Brigman
    1 lawyer answer

    Generally, income withholding is automatic unless the parties opt out of it. The total amount collected from all sources should never be more than the total amount that is ordered, regardless. Look at Wayne County Friend of the Court's webpage regarding income withholding: Income withholding directs the payer’s employer or other source of income to withhold support and send it to the Friend of the Court. Support orders entered or changed after December 31, 1990 must include a...

  6. Will form PC 598 work for a Roth IRA?

    Answered about 4 years ago.

    1. James P. Frederick
    2. Constance L. Brigman
    2 lawyer answers

    I have used PC 598 when there actually was a beneficiary designation for an IRA but the bank could not find the original beneficiary designation in their files, so they refused to distribute the IRA without help from a probate lawyer. The bank is protecting itself from liability. If they distribute to you and it turns out that the distribution was in error, then they have to make it right at their own expense. That part about it being at their expense is what makes them careful to not make any...

  7. I am the sole surviving son to my late father. He left behind a small property. Do i need to hire a lawyer for probate?

    Answered about 4 years ago.

    1. Glenn R. Matecun
    2. James P. Frederick
    3. Constance L. Brigman
    3 lawyer answers

    This is real estate. One small estate proceeding applies to real estate. MCL 700.3982 applies. Here is the public informational link to it. http://www.accesskent.com/CourtsAndLawEnforcement/ProbateCourt/03_estate_distsmallest.htm And here is the link to the form you need to fill out and file in the county where the property is located. http://www.courts.michigan.gov/scao/courtforms/estatestrusts/pc556.pdf You can do this without being at the probate court but you will need to do a...

  8. How do I get my sons personal belongings?

    Answered about 4 years ago.

    1. Kenneth V. Zichi
    2. Constance L. Brigman
    3. James P. Frederick
    3 lawyer answers

    First, you say that she was living in a house "that he owned." Did you open probate? If you did then the personal representative of the estate can petition the court for an order specifically addressed to her compelling her to turn over specific items belonging tot he estate. Second, you say that she took property from the house because she was living with him at the time of his death. I assume that you evicted her from the home and during the thirty days that she had to move out, she took...

  9. Is it legal for my mother to use my deceased father's name for utility bills and email address?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. James P. Frederick
    2. Constance L. Brigman
    2 lawyer answers

    The utility bills are probably just the tip of the iceberg. Let me guess, she probably has all the property tax notices coming to her address in the name of your deceased father as well? Did she ever record your father's death certificate at the Register of Deeds? It is true that so long as the bills are paid on time, then the utility companies will not get their tails in a twist. But, your mom is not thinking about what happens when someone has to solve a problem with the utility bill...

  10. How do I file a notice of hearing before a probate judge to get permission to sell my mother's house?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Glenn R. Matecun
    2. Constance L. Brigman
    2 lawyer answers

    You are in Kent County. So I assume you have met Judge Murkowski, our excellent probate judge in Kent County, Michigan. You have probably been thinking about what to do to provide for the care of a person who has Alzheimer's, because your mom has Alzheimer's and she should not live alone any longer. It's probably not safe to leave her home alone. People with Alzheimer's need 24 hour a day care for many years. It is really difficult to deal with and you are probably at your wit's end....