Sheehan & Associates, P.L.C.

Detroit Law Blog

Don't put off your estate planning, as so many do

Estate planning is a necessity that, for one reason or another, people tend to put off. They don't do it, even though they know they should. Don't get caught up in this common trap.

Why does it happen? The reasons are different for everyone, but studies show that most people do not have an estate plan, so it's clearly pretty common. Reasons include issues like:

  • Not wanting to think about it or feeling uncomfortable
  • Feeling too busy and like there is no time for estate planning
  • Finding the whole thing confusing and not knowing where to start
  • Not understanding the purpose of estate planning or the overall goals
  • Assuming that there isn't enough money to warrant an estate plan

Did finances cause your marriage to crumble? Read this

Problems with money and other financial issues have caused many a marriage to crash and burn. The problem is exacerbated when one spouse is financially naive and unaware of the family's finances.

According to the Journal of Consumer Research, if one spouse takes full control of the bank accounts and other financial matters, it can create all sorts of marital discord.

Should you consider a trust as part of your estate plans?

If you haven't considered using a trust as part of your estate plan, why not?

While most people know that they need a will (even if they don't have one), few people realize just how useful a trust can be for their goals -- especially if they want to protect their assets and ensure a smooth transition of wealth to the next generation.

Michigan aims civil lawsuits against pharmacies over opioids

Attorney General Dana Nessel of Michigan has filed a lengthy complaint against a number of pharmacies in the state, alleging that they have all become part of the "illegal drug market" and are, therefore, liable for civil damages under the 1994 Drug Dealer Liability Act.

According to the court filing, the state claims that the businesses should have to pay up because they should have realized that too many pills were flowing through their enterprises to fulfill any legitimate need.

What happens if you hide your assets during divorce?

If your marriage is ending because your spouse was abusive, unfaithful or otherwise responsible for the breakdown of your relationship, you may be justified in feeling a little bitter about having to split your assets. (That may even be doubly so if you were the person who worked hardest to acquire those assets and build up the nest egg you have -- while your spouse only drove up the credit card bills.)

As tempting as it may be, however, to just keep quiet about the assets you have tucked away, you can't -- and shouldn't try. There's a discovery process during the early phases of any divorce. Even if you've previously kept some of your financial holding secret from your spouse, you'll be asked to put all of your "financial cards" -- good or bad -- on the table. Your spouse is obligated to do the same.

Holiday pitfalls that can affect your bankruptcy

If you're deeply in debt, you may be planning to file bankruptcy. If you're like many people, you may simply be waiting for the holidays to pass so that you don't have to deal with the paperwork and finances until afterward.

Well, be careful. The choices you make during the holiday season have the potential to derail a successful bankruptcy petition. Creditors are always looking for evidence of fraud when a debtor files bankruptcy. Even though you wouldn't deliberately commit fraud, there are a lot of traps you can fall into or mistakes you can make when you're shopping for holiday gifts.

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.

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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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