Page 25 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - February 2018 - 25-02
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QUESTION: Our mother just passed away. Her Will has my brother as the personal representative. That is ridiculous. My mother has not spoken to him since my father passed away 20 years ago. They had a falling out years ago and I know my mother would not want him in charge of her Will. She signed the Will in 1993. Is there any- thing we can do to stop my brother from being in charge?
ANSWER: That’s a tough one. Because your mother named him in her Will, he has priority under the law to be appointed personal representative. As such, the court will appoint him. You could file a motion with the court to remove him, however, you have to have legal cause to do so. Saying that they did not get along is not enough. You will have to prove to the court that he disregarded
a court order, is incapable of performing the required duties of the personal repre- sentative, that he mismanaged the estate; basically that it is in the best interest of the estate to have him removed. I would advise you to contact an attorney who handles probate litigation. The require- ments to have him removed are based on laws. The attorney knows how to make legal arguments based on those laws.
This shows you the importance of having your Wills and Trusts reviewed every three to five years. Things change in everyone’s life; from relationships
that fall apart to new relationships that flourish. Also, things that were important to you twenty years ago may not be as important now. For instance; twenty years ago you when you had your Will prepared you left everything to your children so
they could go to college, buy a home, and start a family. However, now your chil- dren are grown. They already graduated from college, they have good jobs, they already started a family, and they have a home. They are successful; they no longer need your money. Maybe now you would feel better if you left your some or all of your money to your church, a charity, or your grandkids.
The same applies to your Durable Power of Attorney and Durable Power
of Attorney for Health Care as well. The person you chose twenty years ago may not even live around here anymore. Or
for that matter, may not even be alive. Those documents should be reaffirmed, or re-certified, or even have them re-drafted every five years or so. Then provide
new copies to your financial institution and health care provider. This is so your bank and/or credit union and also your doctor are assured that your documents accurately reflect your current wishes. The last thing you want to happen is to have someone you have had a falling out with showing up at your bank or doctor’s office and acting on your behalf.
Michael B. Walling is an Elder Law attorney with a Master of Laws degree. He manages The Elder Law Center and the law firm of Michael B. Walling, PLC. Mr. Walling is also a part-time Professor at Western Michigan University. Please send any questions you would like addressed to: The Elder Law Center, 4625 Beckley Road, Building 400, Suite 4003, Battle Creek, Michigan, 49015. You may also call (269) 968-1101 to set up
a free initial consultation. This column
is intended for general information pur- poses only and should not be considered as legal advice to any particular person.
Call for a free
initial consultation*.
*Except Asset Protection Planning
(269) 324-7344
Offices in Portage & Battle Creek
Helping Seniors preserve their lives for more than a decade.
Ask The
Senior Times - February 2018
Page 25
Helping Seniors Preserve Their Lives
Asset Protection Planning for Persons in a Nursing Home or Entering a Nursing Home Powers of Attorney • Wills • Trusts • Probate
Don't Lose Everything You Have To the Nursing Home
I can help you save up to 100% of your assets.
Michael B. Walling, J.D., LL.M.
Let me help you properly draft and fund a trust before you or your spouse enter a nursing home; it could save you over $50,000!
Elder Law Attorney
Author of "Ask the Attorney"
Michael Walling, Special to Senior Times
Albion Area
Lifelong Learners
An Institute for Learning in Retirement
It’s both fun and rewarding when you become a dealer
at the Allen Antique Barn. Now all the garage sale hunting, collecting over the years and results of the antique auctions you’ve attended can turn into extra cash for you.
Join our family of dealers occupying over 300 booths with 25,000 square feet of antiques, furniture and collectibles. It’s fun and rewarding!
• Booth space as low as $26 • No commissions taken
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• Elevator & stairs to upper floor
• Open 7 days a week, 10am - 5pm
Call 517-869-2888 or stop in and see for yourself / Take the Coldwater exit off I-69, then 10 miles east on US 12 to the Big Red Barn. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter
AALL is the shorter title for the institute that was formed for adults 55 and over for the purpose of expanding knowledge, exploring ideas, exercising creativity, developing friendships, and continued community involvement. It has been under the sponsorship and support of Albion College since it’s beginning
in the spring of 2000. Membership has grown to more than 160 learners from
an ever-broadening geographical area. AALL is also an affiliate of the national Elderhostel Institute.
The classes are planned and pre- sented for the pure enjoyment of learning. Sessions are offered three times per year – fall, winter, and spring. Spring plan- ning is currently in process. Each term offers five to six courses that meet two daytime hours per week for four weeks. As a bonus, there are three program offer- ings that feature well-known, outstand- ing speakers and topics. Beyond all of those opportunities, there are also two significant fieldtrips provided per year. Fieldtrips often include museums, plays, formal gardens, and zoos.
AALL course topics are from many areas of interest, including the arts, literature, science, history, political science, religion, meditation, physical exercise, as well as many others. The classes encourage study and discussion – but no tests or compositions. Some courses do require reading and prepa- ration.
Membership cost is $20 per year, which includes one class per term and other classes are only $10 per session. (Some classes may require a small fee for materials.) If you are interested in join- ing a very enthusiastic group of learners or to find out about the offerings for the spring session, call (517) 629-3550 or email: There is also
a newsletter mailing three times a year, which contains the coming offerings. To be included on the newsletter mailing list go to the website:
You will find that learning is fun, informative, rewarding and creates friendships.
Legal Advice &
Services for Seniors
By: Alisa Parker, Managing Attorney
The Legal Services of South Central Michigan will conduct interviews for legal advice and possible representation, without charge, to interested seniors.
• Tues, Feb 6, 2-4pm, Bedford Manor, 100 S. Bedford Road, Battle Creek, 49017. • Wed, Feb 14, 10am-12pm, Burnside Senior Center, 65 Grahl, Coldwater, 49036. • Wed, Feb 21, 10:30am-12pm, Barry County Commission on Aging, 320 West
Woodlawn, Hastings, 49058.
• Mon, Feb 26, 11am-12pm, Three Rivers Community Center, 103 S. Douglas,
Three Rivers, 49093.
For more information call (269) 965-3951.

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