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Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105
Many Americans spend a lot of time and effort managing their finances. While most are worried about how the coronavirus (COVID-19) will impact their income—whether that’s because they’re temporarily furloughed, find themselves suddenly without a job, or watching their investment and retirement accounts dwindle—there’s another way COVID-19 can wreak havoc on American&...Read More!
Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C., has been selected by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers ® “Best Law Firms” rankings in their thirteenth edition of the "Best Law Firms" rankings. "U.S. News is committed to providing consumers with the data and information they need to make some of life's biggest decisions," said Morgan Felchner, exec...Read More!
An estate plan often focuses on tangible property such as jewelry, artwork, money, and vehicles. In this age of technology, it’s important to include your digital assets. “Digital assets” refers to everything you own online. Because we spend more time on computers and smartphones than, you may not realize how much digital stuff you own, from photos and videos to online accounts,...Read More!
By Marty BodnarYou may already know the importance of funding a trust as a part of preparing for your death. It’s also important to know other things you should be preparing for before you die.These things include:Inventory: there’s more to estate planning than writing a will or trust. You should create a list of your assets to make it easier on your family. An estate planning attorne...Read More!
A beneficiary designation is an agreement between your estate and a financial institution to pay specific assets upon your death to a named trust or individual. For example, your life insurance policy may have your spouse or child named to receive the payout when you pass away. Coordinating your beneficiary designations with your estate planning documents is essential to protect your beneficiarie...Read More!
Matt Jane, Jeremy Kennedy, and Tom Daniels from Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C. have been named to the 2023 edition of Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters. PSED attorneys are being recognized for professional excellence in the 2023 Super Lawyers list for their outstanding achievements.Attorneys named to the Super Lawyers list have earned the respect of the profession, the media, and the publ...Read More!
Do you want to appoint guardians for your children?It’s important to have a plan in place when you have a growing family.Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C. estate planning attorneys are here to help you plan for the unexpected. When someone dies, a will is the most common document friends and family will search for when there is a death. Your will may also include a guardian...Read More!
Jerold Lax, managing attorney at Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C., has been selected by his peers for recognition of professional excellence in the 29th edition of The Best Lawyers in America® for his work in:Employment Law - IndividualsEmployment Law - ManagementLand Use and Zoning LawLitigation - Labor and EmploymentLitigation - Land Use and ZoningLitigation - MunicipalMunicipal...Read More!
Do you or a loved one need help making financial or medical decisions?Are guardianships a good thing?It depends on your situation. Guardianships remove you from being able to take control over your own life and puts the control into the hands of someone you trust. However, you should first consider less extreme option. Limited guardianships –takes away your right to make decisions for...Read More!
Natalie Lennon, law clerk at Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C. joins the firm as a new associate attorney.Ms. Lennon attended the University of Florida Levin College of Law, earning her Juris Doctor (J.D.) and she is licensed to practice law in the State of Minnesota. She also earned a master’s in business administration (MBA) from Florida State University in 2021. She ...Read More!
By: Marty Bodnar, estate planning attorneyEstate planning comes down to 2 simple questions – “Who gets what?” and “Who’s in charge”? However, if one of the beneficiaries is receiving or might receive Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) in the future, the answer to these questions gets more complicated.It gets complicated because a speci...Read More!
By: Edwin L. Pear, estate planning attorneyHave you decided to have your Will and Estate Plan drafted? This process involves identifying what assets you have, where they should go, and how they should be given to the recipient, but the most important step is selecting someone to oversee the entire process once you’re gone. You may select a corporate or an individual. There are i...Read More!
The Washtenaw County Bar Association’s Board of Directors announced that Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C. estate planning attorney Sarah Meinhart is one of the attorneys honored this year with the 10th Annual Darrow -Harris Award. The WCBA is giving this year’s Darrow-Harris Award to those lawyers who provide volunteer services to the Homes for Generations Progr...Read More!
By: Sarah Meinhart, estate planning attorneyThe essence of estate planning is to direct distribution of one’s estate to his or her intended beneficiaries through “dispositive” language, including the distribution of property, whether it be personal property, investments, or liquid assets. Many planning tools are distribution schemes and being familiar with each type gives you mo...Read More!
Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C. probate attorneys in Ann Arbor volunteer for Washtenaw County probate court counseling sessions. The Probate Court cannot give legal advice to the public. Therefore, it asks members of the bar to volunteer an hour of their time to answer questions from three members of the public regarding guardianships, conservatorships, and decedents’...Read More!
Sarah Meinhart will be presenting at an education seminar at Edward Jones in Belleville, Michigan on April 20th at 9:30 a.m. She’ll discuss 401K plans and estate planning to set you up for success. Sarah knows the incapacity or death of a family member or friend may not only bring about legal issues, but also presents potential difficult interpersonal dynamics. As an attorney and...Read More!
By: Harvey I. Wax, employment and labor attorneyIn recent months, over 38,000 Michigan residents have received demands from the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) for repayment of unemployment benefits. The UIA’s repayment requests are for substantial amounts of money, as high as $ 35,000. However, the repayment demands are of questionable legality. Many of the recipients have exhausted th...Read More!
By: Jim Nelson, estate planning attorneyThe number of unmarried partners living together in the United States is at least 17 million, which translates to 34 million individuals or approximately 7% of the total adult population. The number continues to grow. Estimates from the Current Population Survey’s Annual Social and Economic Supplement show unmarried parties are now older, more r...Read More!
By: Andrew Eggan, estate planning attorneyAre you required to revise your estate plan documents after a certain length of time? This question is asked by clients and perspective clients on a regular basis. It’s an important question to discuss with an attorney.There’s no law that says trusts, wills, or powers of attorney will expire after a certain time period if not re-signed or repl...Read More!
Sarah Meinhart is working with The Washtenaw County’s Home for Generations program that helps black families who inherited homes establish legal ownership with a Ladybird deed.Practices like redlining, discriminatory lending, and racial segregation led Black families to purchase homes through land contracts or handshake agreements, and their descendants have continued to occupy these homes ...Read More!
The Washtenaw County Bar Association (“WCBA”) have elected Sarah Meinhart to serve a two-year term on the WCBA’s Board of Directors. Sarah has been a member of WCBA since 2009. Sarah is currently spear heading an ad hoc committee through the WCBA, in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity, to start a program to assist homeowners in transferring their investment i...Read More!
Marty Bodnar, estate planning attorney at Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C. has been appointed as pro bono legal counsel for a Student Development Program, a non-profit organization serving students at Ypsilanti High School by leveraging leadership into student performance. To learn more about the Student Development Program, please visit: https://studentdevelopmentpro...Read More!
By: Matt JaneEffective January 1, 2020, litigation in Michigan’s state courts underwent extensive changes because of revisions to Michigan Court Rules pertaining to civil discovery. These changes overhauled the discovery process in Michigan, making it similar to the procedures in federal court. Some of these changes affect probate litigation and should be considered as part of the overall s...Read More!
By: Marty Bodnar, estate planning attorneyIn the past we wrote on “How to Score a Touchdown with a Living Trust” and “Funding a Trust Gets You Across the Goal Line.” In keeping with the football analogy, we’re going to describe the 3 “plays” of estate planning to gain a first down. A football team must gain a first down within three plays to keep pos...Read More!
By: Jeremy KennedyFor over a year, the federal and state government, along with governments in many states, put in place moratoriums on evictions to help blunt the impact of the Covid pandemic. These moratoriums, along with aid to renters and other Covid assistance, helped prevent a repeat of the mass of foreclosures and evictions that marked the Great Recession. Even though millions of people we...Read More!
Matthew Jane, an attorney at Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C. has made the 2022 Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers List for Business Litigation.“I am extremely honored to be listed as a Super Lawyer and Best Lawyer.” says Matt. “It means a lot to be recognized by your peers as a leader in your profession.” Before joining Pear Sperling in 2020, Mr. Jane worked in An...Read More!
Tom Daniels, senior litigation partner at Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C. has been named in the 28th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America by BestLawyers.com. Best Lawyers identifies the best lawyers in America, in several areas of specialization, through exhaustive peer review surveys in which tens of thousands of leading lawyers evaluate their professional peers. Mr...Read More!
Jeremy Kennedy, managing attorney at Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C. has been named to the 2022 edition of Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters. Mr. Kennedy is being recognized for professional excellence in the 2022 Super Lawyers list for his work as a Business Litigation attorney.Mr. Kennedy currently serves as the managing attorney at Pear Sperling and practices primarily in the ...Read More!
Author: Sarah Meinhart, estate planning attorney at Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C.Just as “there’s no such thing as a free lunch,” in death, no one dies without an estate plan. The State of Michigan, via the Estate and Protected Individual Code, directs how one’s probate estate will ultimately be distributed. Assets owned by the deceden...Read More!
Jerold Lax, partner at Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C. has named in the 28th edition of The Best Lawyers in America List by BestLawyers.com.Best Lawyers publications have earned the respect of the profession, the media, and the public, as the most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals everywhere. There lists of outstanding lawyers are compiled by conducting exhaustive peer review s...Read More!
Effective March 24, 2021, there’s a new presumption in Michigan law against jail or probationary sentences for persons convicted of certain misdemeanor offenses. Senate Bill 1048 (2020) is part of criminal justice reform efforts across the country providing uniform standards for the probation system and ultimately reducing the number of citizens subject to unnecessary jai...Read More!
Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C. lifts all COVID restrictions. The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unsettling time for all of us. It has placed many restrictions on getting business done, but has allowed businesses to reinvent the way they provide products and services. Attorneys are no different.PSED is now fully open and will continue to offer Zoom calls as well as phone and in-p...Read More!
By: Ed Pear and Natalie LennonBitcoin was created in August of 2008 by a programmer or team of programmers using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, who outlined the technology in a paper and registered a new domain, Bitcoin.org. To this day, no one knows who Satoshi Nakamoto really is. The stated goal was to create “a new electronic cash system" that was "completely decentralized wit...Read More!
Under current law, the annual gift tax exclusion is $15,000 per donor per recipient. This means an individual can make as many gifts of $15,000 to as many people as he or she chooses, free of taxes for the recipients. Annual gifts don’t reduce the lifetime exemption for federal estate tax and gift tax for individuals. Currently, the lifetime exemption is $11.7 million per individual a...Read More!
By Marty BodnarIn a previous blog, about “How to Score a Touchdown with a Living Trust” where we mentioned that funding a trust is important to scoring a “touchdown.” Let’s further discuss the funding process to get across the goal line and avoid probate.For each client, an excel spreadsheet of their assets is created. We review it with you throughout the process to ...Read More!
By: Harvey I. Wax, employment law lawyerThe right to receive unemployment insurance benefits after an employment relationship ends depends solely on why the relationship ended.Employers and employees commonly believe that because the employee is jobless he/she is entitled by law to receive unemployment benefits from the State. However, in many situations, that’s not true. In Michigan, there...Read More!
Business attorney, James B. Nelson retires from Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels P.C. His practice focused on estate planning, probate litigation, trust and estate administration, business matters, and real estate, including construction and construction lien matters. “I’m fortunate to have spent fifty-three years providing legal services to many people in the Ypsilanti – ...Read More!
By: Jeremy Kennedy, Civil Litigation AttorneyWhenever someone is looking for representation on a lawsuit, whether it’s because they are considering suing someone, or they have been sued, inevitably they get to the question “So how long will this all take?” People who have never been involved in litigation seem to think a lawsuit will be done in a few weeks, maybe a few months at...Read More!
Written by Marty Bodnar, Estate Planning AttorneyThe COVID-19 pandemic has been an unsettling time for all of us. It has placed many restrictions on getting business done, but as the old saying goes, “necessity is the mother of invention”. Thanks to entrepreneurs, multiple platforms for getting work done remotely have emerged to help us stay engaged with each other. The legal pro...Read More!
By Sarah MeinhartThe laws of physics play out in our world; starting with the Newton’s Third Law of Motion, “…for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” The Stay Safe, Stay Home Order was no exception. As we quarantined in our homes in 2020 to prevent overwhelming our hospitals with Covid-19 cases, a reaction occurred – elective medical appointments ...Read More!
Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels P.C. announced today that Sarah Meinhart, who specialized in probate and estate planning matters, has joined the firm.Sarah Meinhart has served as the Co-Chair of the 2016-2018 Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Law Section for the Washtenaw County Bar Association. She currently serves as a 2018-2019 Director at Large for the Washtenaw County Bar Asso...Read More!
Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C. has been named a Tier 1 firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan for Land Use & Zoning Law and Litigation in Municipal Law by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” in 2021.U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” are recognized for professional excellence with consistently impressive ratings from clients a...Read More!
By: Harvey I. WaxEmployers commonly condition the hire of a new employee on their willingness to agree in writing that after leaving the job, he or she will not engage in another job or a business that is competitive with the employer’s business. While such a commitment may appear to someone who is unemployed to be no big deal, that’s normally not the case. Being subject to such an ag...Read More!
Sometimes it takes a lot of time and resources to develop a unique and successful advertising scheme. Whether your business is best known for its name, logo, or catchy phrase, a business should safeguard its hard work and intellectual property. Any individual or business can file an application with the United State Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) to register its trademark and s...Read More!
By Jerold LaxIn a 4-3 decision issued on October 2, 2020, the Michigan Supreme Court limited Governor Whitmer’s authority to impose emergency regulations to deal with the COVID‑19 pandemic.The Governor had declared states of emergency under two statutes, the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945 (the EPGA) and the Emergency Management Act of 1976 (the EMA). The EMA authorized the G...Read More!
Jerold Lax, partner at Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C. has again made the 2020 Super Lawyers list in the category of state, local and municipal law.“It is a huge honor to be recognized again this year,” says Jerold Lax, partner. “I am happy to be included amongst these experienced attorneys dealing with issues involving governments and their citizens.”Super Lawyers...Read More!
By Matthew Jane, Real Estate Lawyer in Ann Arbor at PSEDOn July 17, 2020, the Michigan Supreme Court issued an important decision in Rafaeli, LLC and Andre Ohanessian v. Oakland County and Andrew Meisner that will impact county budgets and tax-foreclosure protocols. In a detailed opinion by Justice Zahara joined by 5 other justices (Justice Viviano wrote a separate concurring opinion), the c...Read More!
Written by Marty BodnarPeople often contact PSED to start a business after a career in corporate America. Usually, these people just want to keep it simple and want an entity that will have limited liability, meaning that creditors can’t go after their personal assets but can only go after the assets of the new entity.The two types of legal entity that offer simplicity along with limited li...Read More!
Dear Valued Client:We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. We are excited to be seeing you back in our office soon. While many things have changed over the past few months, one thing has remained the same: our firm’s commitment to you.We wanted to let you know about some of the changes you will notice when we open for regular appointments. We made these changes to...Read More!
Written by Jim NelsonA stimulus check that has been made out to someone who died before the receipt of the payment must be returned to the IRS. The IRS has provided this example: Mary receives her EIP electronically in her bank account on April 20. She dies on April 21. Mary’s estate is not required to return the EIP payment. However, had Mary died on April 19, t...Read More!
Written by Marty BodnarTo help businesses deal with the Covid-19 shutdown, Congress enacted the Payroll Protection Program (“PPP”) dedicating over $1 trillion for potentially forgivable loans to businesses, with 500 or fewer employees.Upon receiving a PPP loan, a business has 8 weeks to spend the loan proceeds on certain expenses to be eligible to forgive the entire amount of the loan...Read More!
By Scott E. Munzel, updated May 27, 2020Both the Federal and State governments have acted to address the coronavirus crisis and its economic impact on real estate issues. Congress enacted the CARES Act, which is designed to help homeowners with mortgages, tenants, and potentially some landlords. Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer has also implemented several Executive Orders t...Read More!
Written by Marty Bodnar, Estate Planning AttorneyAs a result of the Stay at Home, Be Safe executive order issued by Governor Whitmer in response to the Coronavirus virus people are required to stay home and quarantine. Did you know we’re still available via phone, Zoom or Skype to start a conversation about getting your affairs in order? In the past, we couldn’t sign the documents bec...Read More!
By: Wendy AltonOn March 27, 2020, the CARES Act was enacted to financially assist American families and business affected by COVID-19. The most widespread relief will come in the form of economic impact payments, and those payments are being issued immediately. With some exceptions, the payments are $1,200 per adult and $500 per child. The details of the payments can be found on...Read More!
By: Wendy AltonOn March 23, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Michigan Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-21 which was a “Stay Home-Stay Safe” order requiring Michigan residents to shelter in place and restrict travel. The Order was scheduled to expire on April 12, 2020, however, the Order may be extended and Governor Whitmer indicated on April 6, 2020 that a...Read More!
Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C. donates to the Michigan State Bar Association’s and State Bar Foundation’s state-wide Access for Justice Campaign.For over 20 years, PSED Law has been a leader in providing direct service and financial support to fund pro bono civil legal services to the most vulnerable among us; people who can’t afford but desperately need quality legal r...Read More!
By Marty Bodnar The Stay-at-Home, Be Safe Executive Order issued by Governor Whitmer on March 23, 2020 in response to the Coronavirus pandemic requires people to stay at home. Due to this virus and the effects of government measures, the world economy is in a free fall – the stock market has fallen over 30% and America has not seen this level of fear since the polio epidemic in the 194...Read More!
Thomas Daniels, long-time partner at Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C. has been named a Commercial/General civil litigation Super Lawyer for the 9th year in a row.“It is an honor to be named again,” says Daniels. “I enjoy serving our clients and protecting their rights to civil justice and I’m proud of our firm’s commitment to advancement of the law and the bet...Read More!
As a service to our clients, we occasionally share helpful articles on topics that may be useful for you. We found this article and wanted to help educate our clients when it comes to estate planning. If you want to learn more about the SECURE Act, contact Marty Bodnar at (734) 665-4441 for a consultation. By: David E. Peterson, Esq., Neighbor“The Setting Every Community Up for Re...Read More!
As a service to our clients, we occasionally share helpful articles on topics that may be useful for you. We found this article and wanted to help educate our clients when it comes to estate planning. If you want to learn more about the SECURE Act, contact Marty Bodnar at (734) 665-4441 for a consultation. By: Ron Carson“Has it been awhile since you reviewed your estate planning s...Read More!
By Scott E. Munzel, real estate lawyer at Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, PC; and Patrick A. McVeigh, Liberty Title Agency Last year, the Legislature amended the 40 Year Marketable Title Act (the Act), and created a two year window during which holders of “older” property interests could preserve those interests by recording a notice of those interests with the Register o...Read More!
Marty Bodnar, Elder Law attorney at Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C. completed the Institute of Continuing Legal Education’s Elder Law Certificate Program and received a certificate.This program consisted of 49 online lesson covering the following critical areas of Elder Law:Capacity AssessmentGuardianships & ConservatorshipsLong-Term Care Planning and ContractsFinancial & He...Read More!
By: Wendy Alton, Divorce Attorney at Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C.Divorces can be expensive, especially when one spouse has to conduct extensive discovery, or in other words, send the other spouse numerous requests for information about their income and assets. While some spouses openly share this type of information, some don’t, and the lack of sharing information can be one of t...Read More!
Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels P.C. hires new attorney, Matthew Jane specializing in commercial litigation, construction law and real estate matters in Michigan.Mr. Jane has extensive experience handling complex and sophisticated litigation involving a wide array of business, construction and real estate disputes. He has expertise in handling payment and construction lien issues, claims f...Read More!
By: Marty Bodnar, Estate Planning Attorney at Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C.Congress passed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (“SECURE” Act or “the Act”) implementing a major change to retirement plans, effective January 1, 2020.The Act expands the options for you to save for retirement, but in the process, it greatly impacts estat...Read More!
As a service to our clients, we occasionally share helpful articles on topics that may be useful for you. We found this article and wanted to help educate our clients when it comes to estate planning. If you want to learn more about protecting your inheritance contact Marty Bodnar at (734) 665-4441 for a consultation. By: Alessandra Malito, MarketWatch.comBeneficiaries of individual retireme...Read More!
PSED Law is proud to announce that it has been named to the State Bar of Michigan’s 2019 Pro Bono Circle of Excellence at the Leadership level. The Circle of Excellence recognizes firms that have exhibited a strong commitment to pro bono services in the last year. PSED Law is one of approximately 35 firms throughout the entire state to be named to the Circle at the Leadership level, the hig...Read More!
Marty Bodnar has been appointed to the Executive Committee of Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County (CSSW) and named Secretary of the Board of Directors. The executive committee consists of the board chair and officers of CSSW. The committee supervises and controls the management of affairs between full board meetings and in urgent situations. The executive committee also ov...Read More!
By: Marty Bodnar, Estate Planning Attorney at Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C.Over the years, the primary estate planning tool for parents with a special needs child was an Amenities Trust. This trust allows parents to provide an inheritance to their child without impacting their child’s eligibility for certain government benefits.During the Obama administration, the federal governme...Read More!
Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C. has been named a Tier 1 firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan for Land Use & Zoning Law and Litigation in Municipal Law by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” in 2020.U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” are recognized for professional excellence with consistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. To be...Read More!
By: Marty Bodnar, Estate Planning Attorney at Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C.Our clients raise this question for various reasons. They could be inquiring because they are not getting along and don’t want their spouse to receive anything from their estate when they pass away. It could be that the parties have a pre-nuptial agreement or a financial plan in place that the client wants ...Read More!
By: Jeremy KennedyStarting January 1, 2020, litigants in civil cases in Michigan’s state courts will face significant changes in how cases are handled. The Michigan Supreme Court recently adopted changes to the Rules of Civil Procedure that will completely overhaul the discovery process in Michigan to bring it closer to the procedures in federal court. If you’re not familiar with...Read More!
By: Wendy Alton, Divorce Attorney at Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C.One of the most frequent questions our divorce clients ask is: “Does spousal support automatically ends if the person receiving support remarries?” The law states that unless you agree to other terms in your divorce judgment, a remarriage is considered a change in circumstances. The court may terminate sp...Read More!
By: Steven TramontinMany criminal cases are abandoned by the prosecution prior to trial. Charges are dismissed for many reasons – including exculpatory information provided through defense investigation, the suppression of necessary evidence due to constitutional violations, and recanting or uncooperative witnesses. Prior to June 12, 2018, however, a dismissal of charges still left a ...Read More!
Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels was recently pleased to learn that the Michigan Attorney General’s Office had decided that it was dropping all charges against a PSED client, Dr. Eden Wells. Dr. Wells, the former Chief Medical Officer in the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, had been charged as part of the investigation arising out of the Flint water crisis, and was represe...Read More!
PSED successfully defended Allied Fence against claims by Pittsfield Township that Allied violated the zoning ordinance by selling Christmas trees on property located on Carpenter Road near Ellsworth Road.Allied has used a fenced-in enclosure in its front yard for more than 30 years to sell a variety of retail products. When Pittsfield changed its zoning ordinance to prohibit sales activity in th...Read More!
In a case of first impression, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently upheld the dismissal of a case against the Michigan Neonatal Biobank and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, which sought to declare Michigan’s program of screening newborns for chronic diseases and genetic disorders unconstitutional. Attorneys Jeremy Kennedy and Jerry Lax of Pear Sperl...Read More!
By: Marty BodnarTo win football games, a team needs to score touchdowns, not just kick field goals, when it reaches the “red zone.” Kicking field goals, rather than scoring touchdowns between the 20-yard line and the end zone loses football games.In this blog, we discuss “How to Score a Touchdown with a Financial Power of Attorney” by avoiding probate court after you becom...Read More!
By: Marty BodnarYou have the ability to make your own medical decisions. You can accept, refuse, or stop medical treatment. If you lose the ability to make your own medical decisions, someone else will have to make those decisions for you. The good news is that you can choose the person you want to make those decisions. That person is called your “patient advocate” and you can give th...Read More!
The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled that a local school district may adopt a policy that prohibits the possession of a firearm on school property. The outcome of the case was in doubt considering prior appellate court rulings that a municipality may not establish gun-free zones on municipal property. The basis for earlier rulings that address possession of a gun on public property is three-...Read More!
By: Marty BodnarFamily disagreements often occur concerning funeral arrangements and the disposition of their loved one’s body or cremated remains. Until recently, if there was no surviving spouse, the decision rested on the majority of decedent’s living children.Now, in Michigan, an individual can designate a funeral representative in a document separate from a will or power of attor...Read More!
Tom Daniels has joined the Board of Directors of Growing Hope and will also serve on the agency’s Development Committee.Growing Hope is an Ypsilanti-based non-profit organization that operates the Ypsilanti Farmer’s Market and a thriving urban farm only blocks from downtown Ypsilanti. Growing Hope provides garden-based nutrition education at its farm and in local classrooms, and suppo...Read More!
This is a question that’s frequently asked by our clients when discussing their estate plan options. The answer depends on the facts of each case but, in general, there are good reasons to hold title in the husband’s name and wife’s name, as husband and wife, rather than in their living trust name.Property that’s in the names of both a husband and wife is considered to be ...Read More!
Marty Bodnar joins Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County as a member of their Board of Directors. Mr. Bodnar will serve on the finance and quality committees. Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County helps assist the community with programs like counseling for young pregnant mothers, behavioral health, and substance abuse treatment. They also help the local community with a f...Read More!
One of the most common types of inquiries I receive is from people who claim they’re victims of workplace harassment instigated by a boss, supervisor or co-worker. Their most common question is if they can put an end to the harassment and recover money damages from the harasser.Unfortunately, the situations that afford a harassed employee a right to threaten or take legal action against a h...Read More!
While we’re not tax professionals, we’re paying attention to some significant tax changes that are in effect now and are also effective as of January 2019. These changes will have quite an effect on how settlements are negotiated in divorce, custody and support cases. Spousal Support/AlimonyFor divorces settled and finalized after December 31, 2018, all spousal support and ...Read More!
One of the most common type of calls we receive comes from people who believe they’ve been defamed. Almost without exception we have to turn them away, informing them that, unfortunately, even if someone said something hurtful, it’s not defamatory. This may leave clients confused, wondering why that’s the case. Going back to the roots of the United States, the protections afford...Read More!
The Washtenaw County Bar Association held its Award Dinner & Election. Scott Munzel, was elected to serve a two-year term on the WCBA’s Board of Directors. Scott has been a member of WCBA since 1999 and was previously Chair of the Real Estate Section. Scott practices law in the areas of real estate law, zoning and land use law, and municipal law.Also at the dinner, Ed Pear a...Read More!
In May, PSED obtained a significant favorable ruling from Judge Kuhnke of the Washtenaw County Circuit Court on behalf of a real estate developer in a complicated dispute with a condominium association. During the housing market crash in 2008, the prior developer was not able to complete all the phases of a condominium complex and 210 unconstructed condominium units went into tax foreclosur...Read More!
By Wendy AltonYou are engaged to be married, and have either bought or received a beautiful (expensive) engagement ring. Unfortunately, something happens to destroy the pre-wedding bliss and the wedding is called off for good. If the marriage never happens, who gets the engagement ring?The courts in Michigan have answered unequivocally: the person who gave the ring in anticipation of the marriage...Read More!
We have two separate court systems in Michigan, a state court system and a federal court system. For disputes involving amounts of $5,000 or less, you can sue in state small claims court, which is usually available in each city (at the local district court) and does not require an attorney. In fact, you cannot have an attorney in small claims court. If your dispute involves amounts over $5,000 bu...Read More!
By Wendy AltonCommon law marriage is the term for a “marriage” that exists solely by agreement and by cohabitation. More simply, a common-law marriage exists when two people agree to live together to be “married.” Common-law marriage is one of the fundamental rights that has existed in this country since the first settlers.In 1838, Michigan passed a law that stated that &l...Read More!
Anyone who has participated in a local zoning controversy—whether as a property owner desiring to alter the use of a parcel, a nearby property owner displeased with the proposed change, or a governmental agency (council, planning commission, zoning board of appeals) required to resolve the issue—knows full well that these matters can arouse strong emotions. Indeed, a whole...Read More!
Many oil and gas producers have their land surveyors out looking for properties to seismically survey in Michigan now that hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as “fracking,” has become a profitable way to extract natural gas and petroleum products from the ground. Fracking is a process whereby hundreds of thousands of gallons, and sometimes millions of gallons, of water are in...Read More!
Business owners owe a reasonable duty of care to protect customers from unreasonable risks of harm caused by hazardous conditions on a business premises. If the operator of a business fails to comply with this duty and a hazardous condition causes a customer to suffer an injury, that customer may have a personal injury claim against the premises owner. However, it can be very difficult to succeed...Read More!
Under the Michigan Whistleblower’s Protection Act (“WPA”), an employer is subject to civil liability and penalties for discharging, threatening or otherwise discriminating against an employee because the employee reports or is about to report, a violation or suspected violation of a law, regulation or rule to a public body, unless the employee knows that the report is false, or ...Read More!
Any business, whether emerging or established and looking to expand, should consider one or more trademarks to help consumers identify the source of certain goods or services. Regardless of any formal registration, trademark rights are created through their use in commerce. Therefore, it is possible for different entities to obtain trademark rights in the same trademark for diff...Read More!
The popularity of various social media applications, such as Facebook and Twitter, has grown at a rate that far exceeds the ability of courts and the legislature to keep up with regulations and their interpretation. A user on any one of these applications is able to post a comment, a picture, a link or logo within seconds of its creation, becoming a potential advertiser for their own compan...Read More!
On Tuesday, February 19, 2013, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Bowman v. Monsanto, a very important case for U.S. patent law and just about every research and development institution in the country.The case centers on Monsanto’s patented soybeans that have been genetically modified to be resistant to glyphosate, an herbicide. According to the statem...Read More!
By Wendy Alton A common misperception of people going through a divorce in Michigan is that spousal support (formerly called alimony) is based solely or mostly upon a difference in income between the spouses. While it is true that the court considers income when deciding if spousal support should be awarded—income is just 1 of 14 factors that the courts review. In deciding whether or not spous...Read More!
We have all read those “miscellaneous provisions” portions of contracts. Those are the portions of the contract where all of the random, seemingly uninteresting provisions are found. Often those provisions include things like choice of law, jurisdictional standing, merger and integration and the like. They can also include substantive issues, such as limitations of warranty and liquid...Read More!
As attorneys who frequently handle disputes arising out of residential leases, the following are the three topics we are asked about most frequently by landlords and tenants:Security deposit issues;Late fees;Repairs that the landlord must make.Each of these issues will be covered in two separate blog posts, starting with the security deposit.The Landlord and Tenant Relationships Act governs resid...Read More!
This blog post is the second of two parts that address the three of the topics that clients most frequently seek advice on in the residential landlord/tenant realm. Part 1 addressed what is commonly referred to as the Security Deposit Statute, and can be accessed here. This post will address the following: (1) late fees that a landlord can lawfully charge a residential tenant; and, (2) when a lan...Read More!
By: Wendy AltonWe often think that custody battles involve just children. However, pets are often cherished members of the family, and how divorcing couples share time with their pets is often of primary focus and concern. It is not uncommon to hear the following: “My dog is my baby.”Despite the close loving relationship we have with our family pets, they are considered personal prope...Read More!
Wendy Alton was honored to speak with the Down Syndrome Support Team (DSST) in Saline this past Sunday about estate planning for special needs families. Many families have children that may require or presently require assistance outside of what the family can provide. This can be either while the child is still a minor, or when they become an adult. Unfortunately many of the programs require a &...Read More!
On July 1, 2013, seventeen Michigan counties will begin accepting filings in their Business Court divisions. Late last year, the Michigan Legislature passed a law requiring any Michigan circuit court with three or more judges to begin a docket for a business court to deal with business or commercial disputes. These cases will include any dispute involving a business enterprise. ...Read More!
By Wendy AltonIt seems like one of the biggest mysteries with family law clients is how child support is actually calculated. It is a common misperception that child support is based just on the income of both parents. While income is a factor, it is not the only consideration when child support is calculated.In Michigan, the following is a standard list of items considered to calculate child sup...Read More!
When named as a defendant in a lawsuit, the natural instinct of most people is to panic or despair. Faced with the possibility of having a judgment entered against them and the equally daunting prospect of dealing with the legal system and having to pay for an attorney even if they win, most people understandably worry about what will happen to them, their family, and their overall well-being. Ev...Read More!
By Wendy Alton – In the state of Michigan, you can end your marriage by filing for one of three things: divorce, separate maintenance (legal separation), or annulment. An annulment is only granted if the marriage itself was void from the beginning or the marriage is voidable.A void marriage in Michigan is a marriage that could not have taken place legally from the beginning. What this means...Read More!
By: Wendy AltonOne common question that is often asked is whether or not Michigan has what is called a “legal separation,” allowing a married couple to legally separate, but still remain married.The simple answer is yes, but the procedure is not so simple. Michigan has a legal action entitled “Separate Maintenance.” An action for “Separate Maintenance” is filed...Read More!
By Wendy Alton – According to a recent study, divorced parents contribute a significant amount less toward college for their children than parents that remain married. The study was discussed in a Washington Post article, and revealed that divorced parents spend nearly 1/3 less on college expenses than married parents. Obviously this is a huge difference and disadvantage to children of...Read More!
Three attorneys at Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C. have been awarded the prestigious “Superlawyer” peer review designation.PSED Law is proud to announce that three of its attorneys were voted by their peers onto the 2013 Michigan Superlawyers list. For the year September 2013 – September 2014, Thomas Daniels and Jerold Lax were chosen by their peers as Michigan Superlawy...Read More!
Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels is proud to announce that Andrew M. Eggan, a partner in the firm’s Ypsilanti office, has been awarded the 2014 Detroit Five Star Estate Planning Professional Award. Metro-Detroit publications Hour Magazine and DBusiness compiled the lists of attorneys based on 10 objective pieces of eligibility requirements and evaluation criteria. The prestigious Five Star...Read More!
Ann Arbor, MI – Four attorneys at Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C. have been awarded the prestigious “Superlawyer” peer review designation. PSED Law is proud to announce that four of its attorneys were voted onto the list of Michigan Superlawyers for the 2012 year, which runs from September 2012 – September 2013) by their peers. These four attorneys join Edwin Pear, the long-time mana...Read More!
PSED Law is proud to announce that Jerry Lax has been named to The Best Lawyers list, one of the oldest and most respected annual attorney rankings in the country. The Best Lawyers list was released on November 3, 2014, and recognizes Jerry for his outstanding work in the following practice areas: employment law for both individuals, and businesses; land use and zoning law; and litigation. Jerry ...Read More!
Ann Arbor, MI – Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C. has been awarded a Tier 1 ranking in the 2013 Edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms”. The US News rankings feature law firms given consistently impressive performance ratings by clients and peers. Achieving a high ranking is a special distinction that signals a unique combination of excellence and breadth of expertise. The...Read More!
Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C. is pleased to announce that Tom Daniels and Jerry Lax were recently named to Michigan Super Lawyers for 2014.The annual Super Lawyers list is compiled by Thomson Reuters. The rigorous multiphase selection process is made up of a nomination stage; an initial evaluation based on indicators of professional achievement; a second evaluation completed by a panel ...Read More!
PSED Law is proud to announce that it has been named to the State Bar of Michigan’s 2014 Circle of Excellence at the Leadership level. The Circle of Excellence recognizes firms that have exhibited a strong commitment to pro bono services in the last year. PSED Law is one of only 22 firms throughout the entire state to be named to the Circle at the Leadership level, the highest possible level w...Read More!
PSED Law was honored as a 2014 Business-Education Honor Roll Partner by the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber (A2Y Chamber). The A2Y Chamber, a community organization made up of local businesses, works to connect its members professionally, and to improve the local economy and the quality of life for Ann Arbor & Ypsilanti residents. The Business-Education Honor Roll is an A2Y Chamber program ...Read More!
Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C. is pleased to announce that it has been selected by Martindale-Hubbell as a 2014 Top Ranked Law Firm. Only 2,446 law firms have achieved this ranking. Martindale-Hubbell chooses these firms by identifying U.S. law firms of 10 or more attorneys, where at least one-third of the attorneys in the firm achieved the AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating. These la...Read More!
January 29, 2015Novi, MI – Thomas Daniels presented “Overview of Recent Michigan Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Decisions of Significance to Local Government Management,” at the Michigan Local Government Management Association’s (MLGMA) Winter Institute. The MLGMA’s annual Winter Institute gives MLGMA members the opportunity to network, share ideas, and learn abo...Read More!
By Tom Daniels – In a case of first impression, the Michigan Court of Appeals found that a series of e-mails exchanged between four members of a seven member township parks and recreation commission constituted a violation of the Open Meetings Act (“OMA”). Markel v. Mackley, 11/1/16, 2016 Mich App LEXIS 2004. The OMA requires that all meetings of a public body be open to the public. A meet...Read More!
By Marty Bodnar – To win football games, a team needs to score touchdowns, not kick field goals, when it reaches the “red zone.” Kicking field goals, not scoring touchdowns, between the 20-yard line and the end zone loses football games.A living trust is used to avoid probate court. Avoiding probate saves money and time and allows an estate to be settled privately rather than th...Read More!
PSED is proud to announce that Jerry Lax has once again been named to The Best Lawyers in America list, one of the most highly regarded and widely recognized annual attorney rankings in the country. The Best Lawyers list for 2016 was released to the public on August 17th, recognizing Jerry as one of The Best Lawyers in America in the following 7 practice areas: Employment Law for Individuals and...Read More!
By Wendy Alton – Forbes previously published an article titled “Protecting Your Business In a Divorce: Pre-Nuptial Agreement.” It is an excellent article, but it is also a reminder that prenuptial agreements are useful for more than just protecting a business.Prenuptial agreements are agreements made between couples who are planning on getting married. The agreements will s...Read More!
PSED Law is proud to announce that the firm has been named to the 2015 U.S. News & World Report “Best Law Firms” list. Released on November 3, 2014, the “Best Law Firms” ranking recognizes law firms that demonstrate professional excellence, and consistently receive high ratings from clients and other lawyers. The ranking is based on an evaluation process that includes ...Read More!
By Wendy Alton – A small but important question is always asked of the wife during divorce proceedings: Do you want to keep your married name, or go back to your maiden name? If the attorney fails to ask the wife this question, the Judge may ask the question at the final hearing.Some women have a difficult time making this decision—especially if they have children from their...Read More!
By Jeremy Kennedy – Few things can raise your anxiety levels faster or farther than being sued. The uncertainty of what will happen, the cost of hiring a lawyer, the apprehension of what happens if you lose, and the general unfamiliarity most people have with the legal system can intimidate many people. Because of this intimidation, it is important to know what steps you need to take to protec...Read More!
501(c)(3) Non-Profit Status by Todd Chawansky, Associate Attorney and Rachel A. Hobbs, CLABeing a 501(c)(3) corporation means that organization has received a tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service. In order to obtain tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must demonstrate to the IRS that the funds it receives are ...Read More!
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