Probate- How Long Does it Take?

July 8th, 2014

Many people are concerned with how long probate will take.  It is wise to go into probate knowing that it is not a quick process.  A normal case takes at least seven months.  However, there are many factors that determine the length, like the size of the estate, the time taken to locate and validate the will, the time to appoint an executor if there is no will or the time taken to find and notify all the beneficiaries.

Some things can turn a normal case into a more involved case, such as if the will is contested.  In this case, probate can go on until matters are resolved, which may take years.

We can help you with probate, however, knowing how long it may take to resolve your case, helps everyone from getting too frustrated.

We’re here to help.

Todd Courser 810-245-0813


Probate – What happens if Someone is in Debt at Time of Death?

July 2nd, 2014

Probate not only deals with the decedent’s assets, but also handles the debts and taxes that are owed by the decedent at his/her death.  Creditors are given 6 months from the date that they are notified of probate to file a claim.  After the claims have all been filed and 6 months have passed, the remaining assets can be distributed according to the will.

Could you use some help with the probate process?  We can help.  Give us a call.

Todd Courser 810-245-0813

Estate Plans – Have You Updated Yours Lately?

June 27th, 2014

An Estate Plan does more than name whom you want to get your things after you die.  It can list instructions for passing on values, instructions for caring for you if you become disabled or name a guardian for your minor children.  Estate Plans are not something done once and forgotten.  It is a living document which should be reviewed at least every five years.  As your life changes, your financial situations may change and the people in your life may change.  So, it is important to keep the Estate Plan updated.

Has it been awhile since you updated your Estate Plan?  Maybe you need an Estate Plan drawn up.  We can help.

Todd Courser 810-245-0813

Probate- We Can Help!

June 24th, 2014

Probate is a legal process that takes place after a person’s death.  The court will determine if the deceased person’s will is valid.  They will determine if the will was written of free will with witnesses, if the deceased was of sound mind when the will was made, whether the will is the most current, etc.  If no will is in place, an executor will be appointed by the court to oversee the process and the disbursement of the assets.  The executor will be supervised by the courts for financial decisions.  If there is no executor, the court will appoint an estate administrator.

Probate can be complicated or simple, but unfortunately it happens during a time when emotions may be near the surface making it difficult to think clearly.  If you are unfamilar with the duties that have been entrusted to you, seeking a probate attorney will be helpful.

We can offer you as much or as little help as you need, to get you through this process.

Give us a call.

Todd A. Courser  810-245-0813

Estate Planning- Children Sharing Assets

June 4th, 2014

It is understandable for parents to want their children to share some of their assets,  such as a cabin used for family vacations.  The children will most likely want to spend time at the cabin with their families.  However, with co-ownerships, there can be headaches.

It is important to fully bring your children into the discussion of your estate plan, if you plan to give an asset shared ownership.  If the children will be partners, they will need to discuss, negotiate and come to agreements about how they will work together.  Forming a detailed guide or partnership charter, can help set up how the children will interact as partners.

Having an agreement will give children practice working together and parents the peace of mind that their children will work together successfully to co-own the asset.

Do you need help setting up an agreement?  We can help!

Todd Courser 810-245-0813

Tax Returns – Are You Late?

June 2nd, 2014

Did tax season come and go without you noticing?  Did you think you would have time later to do your own taxes?  Did you start doing your taxes but then never got around to finishing them?  There are many reasons that your tax returns might not have been done.

Good news! We are here to help!  Bring in your important papers and let us sort them out for you.  The sooner you file, the fewer penalty and interest fees you will owe.

Bring them in today!

Todd Courser 810-245-0813

Past Due Tax Returns- Current Year Tax Refund

April 3rd, 2014

It is always important to file your tax returns every year.  You cannot pick and choose the years you want to file.  When the IRS discovers that you have not filed, they will estimate what you owe, including penalties and interest and send you a bill.  Any tax refund that you might be expecting for future year returns, will be taken by the IRS until the past due taxes are paid.

So, it is in your best interest to take care of those past due tax returns today, so that you can collect your refunds in the future.

We can help you with them.

Todd Courser 810-245-0813

Bankruptcy and Your Tax Returns

March 26th, 2014

If you are considering filing for Bankruptcy, you will need to have all your tax returns filed up-to-date. If you begin a Bankruptcy and it is discovered that your federal and/or state tax returns have not been filed, the judge can legally dismiss your case.  This means you will have to file the tax returns that are due and then start the Bankruptcy over from scratch.  You will then have to pay twice to file the Bankruptcy.

If a tax return is due during your Bankruptcy, you must file it on time or obtain an extension.  If not, once again, the judge can dismiss your case.

If you are considering a Bankruptcy and have past tax returns due, let us help you get caught up-to-date, before you file.  Then when you’re ready to file, we can help you with that too.

Todd Courser 810-245-0813

Tax Returns – What is your Filing Status?

March 20th, 2014

When doing your tax return, it is important to use the correct filing status.  Your filing status determines your filing requirements which may be different depending on which you choose.  Your standard deduction may change.  You may be eligible for different credits.  The amount of tax you pay may change.

Sometimes people fall into more than one filing status category.  We can help you determine which filing status to use that will result in the lowest amount of tax.

Give us a call.  We can help.

Todd Courser 810-245-0813

Estate Planning – Caring for Older Parents

March 4th, 2014

Parents and children continue to be dependent on each other even as they grow older.  Parents may become incapacitated.  Life may become emotionally or financially difficult for them.  They may even become dependent on their children financially.  Adult children need to discuss these issues with  their parents or misunderstandings can develop.  Having an Estate Plan can help parents plan for this situation in advance.  Including adult children in this Estate Planning, can also prepare the whole family in advance.

Adult children should, also, be prepared with their own Estate Plans, in case the opposite happens and suddenly it is the adult child, once again, dependent on the parents.  This Estate Plan should be shared with the parents, so that they will understand their child’s wishes.

Need help with your Estate Plans?  We can help.

Todd Courser 810-245-0813