Sheehan & Associates, P.L.C.

Detroit Law Blog

Things to do with your estate plan before New Year's Day 2020

New Year's Day 2020 is right around the corner, which means that it's time to update your estate plan. Regularly updating your estate plan should become a habit. While you should always make updates after important asset or family changes right away, an annual review can help you catch something you previously overlooked.

What could you be forgetting? Ask yourself these questions:

Why wait until after the holidays to file for divorce?

Is your marriage over, but you and your spouse haven't taken steps toward divorce yet? If so, it can seem fake to plaster on your "happy face" and smile through all of the holiday events that are coming up.

Here are some reasons why you might want to try anyway:

Are Americans sliding deeper into debt?

There have been some big bankruptcies in the news lately, from Dean Foods (the nation's largest producer of dairy milk) to luxury New York retailers, like Barney's. However, there are plenty of other bankruptcies in the works, as well -- although they get a lot less fanfare because they involve many ordinary people who simply have extraordinary debts.

During the Great Recession of 2007-2009, consumer bankruptcies were at an all-time high. They dropped off sharply again once the economy and housing industry began to recover. Personal bankruptcy petitions have still not hit that extreme -- but the experts say the nation may need to brace for another round soon if the omens prove true.

Navigating the minefield of a blended family during the holidays

Every year, the holiday season can cause a considerable amount of stress for families of all kinds. Distant family members may be thrown together with people they simply don't enjoy being around. Newly divorced couples often struggle to figure out their "new normal," unsure of how, when or where to celebrate now that they're single again.

However, blended families may have it worse than anyone else. In a blended family, there are a lot of complex issues that have to be navigated. For example:

  1. Scheduling has to be started early so that major events are covered. Your child may now have a plethora of grandparents, thanks to your second marriage. You want to try to give everyone an opportunity to show their love for each other.
  2. Soothing hurt feelings may be required. If your spouse doesn't get along with your ex-spouse (or you don't get along with your spouse's ex), even small irritations can blow up into epic disputes.
  3. Second spouses may want to "opt out" of a family gathering involving ex-spouses and their relatives when they don't want to be involved with family drama.
  4. Sometimes it's necessary to limit the times that an ex-spouse is involved in a family celebration. During a milestone event, like a child's birthday, it's appropriate to extend an invitation. For the Christmas morning when you have parenting time, it's probably not. Your ex can celebrate at a different time.

Could medical marijuana cost you custody of your child?

Although the first recreational dispensary in Michigan has yet to open, the state is among the newest to legalize the use of marijuana. It already had a robust medical marijuana program for about a decade.

Yet, parents who are involved in a potential custody dispute should beware: Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.

Your obligation toward pregnant employees

Understanding your obligations to all of your employees isn't just smart -- it's essential if you want to avoid discrimination claims. Today, we're going to discuss the protections afforded by law to your pregnant employees.

Here are some of the most important things you need to know:

What happens to your family mementos when you die?

If you're like most people, you have a lifetime's worth of personal and family mementos in your home. Unless you have a specific plan for these most precious of items, however, your executor may be at a loss when it comes to handling them.

Here's what you need to consider doing when it comes to your mementos:

Buying a small business? Here's what to consider

A lot of people dream about owning their own business, so you can hardly be blamed for getting excited about an opportunity to take over an existing business that you admire.

Before you buy, however, there are questions that you need to consider first:

Don't let holiday debt tank your bankruptcy

Are you pretty certain that your financial situation is unsustainable? Do you anticipate filing bankruptcy eventually?

If so, you're hardly alone. For most people, all it takes is a couple of missed paychecks or a few unexpected medical expenses to put them on the brink of economic disaster. It isn't uncommon for the start of the holiday season to trigger a sense of financial panic. A lot of people respond by deciding to put off filing for bankruptcy for a few months longer -- until the holiday season is over.

Dealing with "no-show" visitation

You want the best for your child. Even though you and your child's other parent are no longer together, you want your child to have a good relationship with the other parent. Because of that, you make it a point to have your child ready to go every time the other parent's visitation rolls around.

But the other parent is constantly a "no-show," leaving you (and your child) upset and frustrated.

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Sheehan & Associates, P.L.C.
1460 Walton Blvd , Suite 102
Rochester Hills, MI 48309

Toll Free: 877-600-7891
Phone: 248-218-1473
Fax: 248-650-5368
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