Page 27 - Senior Times South Central Michigan November 2020 - 27-11
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Elder Law Attorney
Author of "Ask the Attorney"
QUESTION: My Mother passed away a few years ago. I prepared the deed myself to put her on my house so if I passed away she would get
the house. Now I am trying sell my house and the realtor is saying that I have to probate my Mother’s estate first. Are they right?
Ask the
Senior Times - November 2020 Page 27
Wills • Trusts • Powers of Attorney
Lady Bird Deeds • Nursing Home Planning
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!
Michael Walling, Special to Senior Times
    ANSWER: I can’t say for sure without seeing the deed. However, I can tell you that if you did not use the right language in the deed, then they are probably right.
When you have two or more people on a deed and one of those people die, then the heirs of the person who died will get his or her share. That is the default law in Michigan. That makes sense, right? For example: Let’s say
I buy some land with another person. The cost of the land is $200,000. As such, we each pay $100,000 for the land. Now if I die, then my children should get my share of the land, right? That’s only fair since I paid $100,000 for it and it’s my land. The other owner shouldn’t get it, my heirs should.
Here is my advice to the readers; go see an attorney if you need a deed. A deed is probably one of the most inexpensive things that attorneys do.
  However, in other circumstances such as yours where you just wanted your Mother to get the house if you died, then you have to put specific lan- guage in the deed so that the “right of survivorship” is created. You have to state that you and your Mother own the property as “joint tenants.” I am guess- ing you did not do that. Most people that do their own deeds do not. If that is the case, then you have to probate your Mother’s estate.
Michael B. Walling is an Elder
Law attorney with an advance 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 email any questions you would like addressed to: This column is intended for general information pur- poses only and should not be consid- ered as legal advice to any particular person.
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*Except Asset Protection Planning
(269) 968-1101
Offices in Battle Creek & Kalamazoo
Helping seniors for over two decades.
Most people that create their own deeds to save a few hundred dollars end up doing it wrong and it ends up costing them thousands of dollars and a whole lot of time in probate court.
Water Resources Commissioner
I have been a farmer for over 40 years and my farm is a MAEAP verified farm (environmentally friendly). I am familiar with every lake in Calhoun County, understand water/sewer
testing procedures and results, and understand the importance of our natural water resources and how they impact our local com- munity residents, business owners and farmers.
I have the support of the current Water Resources Commis- sioner and am endorsed by many township supervisors and the Calhoun County Farm Bureau.
As your next Calhoun County Water Resources Commissioner I will:
   • Respect property rights of land owners
• Use tax dollars wisely, and without excess
• Protect water quality during operations
• Maintain current drains
• Use local contractors to execute water management projects
• Productively work with DEQ and DNR
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