It doesn’t matter what time of day you arrive, everything always looks the same. Granted, the trees are taller and wildflowers seem to be growing everywhere. But your family cottage is the same to you today as it’s always been.
Cubby holes filled with trinkets and treasures
While waving hello to neighboring friends you realize every family cottage and summer home is as different as the memories gathered by families every summer. Each cottage has a special cubby hole filled with trinkets and treasures from sandy beaches and hiking adventures through surrounding woods. Weathered hinges guarantee screen doors will squeak open and slam shut right on cue announcing that this is summer. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment of racing down to the lake and assuming every summer will be just like the last.
A problematic trend seems to be emerging with banks failing to properly discharge liens of previous property owners. Recently when I’ve been assisting clients in the sale of both commercial and residential real estate we’ve encountered significant problems caused by banks that failed to properly discharge liens of previous owners after my clients purchased the property. These lien discharge problems have in some instances almost caused sales to be terminated and have caused significant delays resulting in hardship and increased costs for the parties to the transaction.
When you, as a purchaser of real estate, close on the purchase of property, most often a seller has an existing mortgage that must be paid off with closing proceeds. This is typically done by the title company as the closing agent or perhaps an attorney who is handling the acceptance of funds from a purchaser and disbursing those funds to pay various liens on a property that must be satisfied to give the purchaser clear title. The problem arises when loans and mortgages are paid with closing proceeds and the bank receiving the funds fails to record a “Discharge of Mortgage” or lien document evidencing the loan has been paid in full. This problem has been further complicated recently with the chaos in the banking industry including the multiple acquisitions and requisitions of certain bank entities. A bank that received a mortgage payoff five years ago may have been sold as an entity several times making it next to impossible to determine the location of loan records.
Recent oral arguments presented by attorney Dan A. Penning, before a Michigan Court of Appeals panel of judges, resulted in a unanimous 3-0 vote in which the Appeals judges upheld the trial court’s decision dismissing the case.
Penning argued in support of a Circuit Court’s decision dismissing a lawsuit against Penning’s client for trespass, nuisance and other claims relating to the client’s development of property filed by another property owner.
Recently, many of my estate planning clients have asked questions about Lady Bird Deeds and when it is appropriate to use these instruments in estate planning. Like any planning tool, a Lady Bird Deed can be helpful in some situations, but is not appropriate in all cases. The use of a Lady Bird Deed in the wrong situation can lead to unintended or negative results.
What is a Deed?
A deed is a legal instrument that conveys an interest in real estate (land and building) from one party to another. There are many types of deeds that are used to accomplish different objectives. The most common type of deed that people are familiar with is where there is an outright transfer of ownership from one party to the other, such as in the sale of a residence. This most common type of transaction utilizes a “fee simple” deed which is used to convey property from one (or more) owner to another. When Person “A” conveys real property to Person “B” by a “fee simple” deed, Person “B” becomes the owner of the property immediately upon the execution of and delivery of the deed.
Proposed “Carried Interest” Tax Purports to Soak Wall Street But Hits Family Businesses
For the time being, the Senate has again abandoned efforts to impose a “carried interest tax” on venture capitalists, investors, and managers of family businesses. The tax would have increased the 15% capital gains tax rate on certain investors’ profits to the top income tax rate, which is scheduled to hit 39.6% on January 1st (H.R. 4213). The share of investors’ profits is called “carried interest.” It might appear at first glance that it’s perfectly fine for investment managers to be taxed at higher rates on their “carried interest.” But venture capitalists and investors don’t reside exclusively on Wall Street. The law was written so broadly that it could have hit approximately 6.5 million people invested in real estate partnerships that own anything from a single dwelling to sizable commercial properties.
The proposed legislation attempts to sway middle America by couching the carried interest tax as imposing a higher rate on “investment management services” and “investment managers” who work for Wall Street houses. In reality, the proposed legislation could have imposed a higher tax rate on any partnerships invested in particular assets. The higher rates would apply to investment gains and also to gains from the sale of the partnership, and therefore, a sale of the family business would not qualify as a capital gains transaction. Family operations are commonly formed as partnerships and managed by a family member. Under the proposed legislation, the managing family member could be subject to the “carried interest tax.” For a family partnership to gain liability protection and also not be subject to the higher taxes, an outsider – not a family member — would have to manage the partnership. The House version of the legislation exempted family farms and ranches held in partnerships. Other family partnerships would have had to wait for the Treasury Department to exempt them through regulations.
We are pleased to announce that Dan A. Penning has been named a FIVE STAR Wealth Manager by HOUR Detroit magazine in its June, 2010 issue.
As detailed below, more than 11,000 wealth managers practice accounting, business planning, estate planning, financial planning, insurance and investments in the metropolitan Detroit area. Out of the 11,000 wealth managers, only 686 of the top-scoring wealth managers were named a FIVE STAR Wealth Manager for 2010. Out of the 686 wealth managers, only 50 attorneys were included in the list and Penning was named as 1 of the 50 attorneys.
Oil and Gas Leases: What Northern Michigan Landowners Should Know
Recently, many of my firm’s clients who own multiple acres of land in northern Michigan have been contacted by petroleum company representatives and offered oil and gas rights leases for their land. While many of these companies are reputable and offer fairly standard terms in their leases, they are generally trying to secure leases that are most favorable to them. The landowner should be aware of provisions that can be included to protect their investment and maximize the owner’s financial return.
Know What Your Oil and Gas Rights are Worth
You will soon be receiving your 2010 Notice of Assessment for your Michigan real property. We pursue tax appeals both at the local Board of Review and before the Michigan Tax Tribunal.
We can help with . . .
You will soon receive your “2010 Notice of Assessment for Michigan Real Property”
This notice provides valuable information to determine whether a Property Tax Appeal is appropriate.
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