Christopher J. Caldwell

Christopher J. Caldwell

Varnum LLP

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New Law Effective in 2015 is an Important Win for Cottage Owners

On October 9, 2014, PA 310 of 2014 (HB 5552) was signed into law by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. As stated in our previous blog, "Cottage Transfers of Ownership without Uncapping Property Tax Broadened Under Michigan House...more

10/23/2014 - Cottage Properties Estate Planning Family Members Property Tax

“Ladybird Deed” Language Removed from Michigan Tax Guidelines

Many people have heard of a "Ladybird Deed," but few understand how Ladybird Deeds work. In essence, this type of deed allows property to pass automatically upon an individual's death without the need of probate, offering a...more

7/15/2014 - Deeds Estate Planning State Taxes

Cottage Transfers of Ownership without Uncapping Property Tax Broadened Under Michigan House Bill

On December 27, 2012, HR-4753 was signed into law by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. As discussed in our previous blog post, "HR-4753: An Early Christmas Gift for Michigan Cottage Owners!", this law prevents the uncapping of...more

6/17/2014 - Estate Planning Property Tax Real Estate Transfers Transfer of Title

Bill Would Change Post-Death Decision Making in Michigan

Michigan law currently permits any resident to designate a "patient advocate" during his or her lifetime. The patient advocate is tasked with making health care decisions – often including the ability to withhold or withdraw...more

6/11/2014 - Life Insurance Power of Attorney

Happy National Healthcare Decisions Day: Why An Advance Directive Is A Crucial Part Of Estate Planning

Today is a day that, until recently, I wasn't aware had any independent significance other than being April 16. However, April 16 is – and has been for the past seven years – National Healthcare Decisions Day. ...more

4/16/2014 - Affordable Care Act Healthcare Healthcare Reform

Rental Cottages And Limits On Federal Income Tax Deductions

It’s a dilemma that many cottage owners face: you want to earn extra money while away from your cottage but you are worried about the hassles that come with owning a rental property. It is well known that renting out a...more

3/27/2014 - Cottage Properties Income Taxes Tax Deductions

Michigan State Tax Commission Issues Clarification On New Uncapping Statute

As discussed previously on our blog, on December 14, 2012, the Michigan legislature enacted a law, Public Act 497 of 2012 (HR 4753), to prevent the uncapping of property taxes on certain transfers of residential property...more

12/23/2013 - Property Tax State Taxes

Trespass And Nuisance: Preventative Measures

In our previous post, we discussed common problems for property owners regarding trespass and nuisance. While enforcing your legal rights is always a possibility, litigation is never a desired course....more

12/2/2013 - Nuisance Trespass

This Land Is Your Land - I Better Keep Off

Contrary to Woody Guthrie's catchy tune, there are many good reasons to keep your property "private" and free from uninvited guests: the potential for property damage, theft, and liability for injuries to name a few. The...more

11/4/2013 - Nuisance Private Property Trespass

Minimizing The Legal And Financial Risks Of Cottage Ownership

While cottage ownership comes with many rewards, it also comes with some financial and legal risks. Accidents and injuries that happen in the cottage, on the dock, or on surrounding waterfront property can expose a cottage...more

9/19/2013 - Cottage Properties LLC Premises Liability Umbrella Policies

Tax Free Income For Up To 14 Days Rental Of Personal Residence

Planning a vacation this summer but don't know how to finance it? Consider renting out your personal residence while you are away and pocketing the rental income tax-free!...more

7/29/2013 - Income Taxes Primary Residence Rent Tax Exemptions

Dynasty Trusts And The Relevance Of The Rule Against Perpetuities

As famously phrased by legal scholars of old, the Rule Against Perpetuities ("RAP") mandates that, "[n]o interest is good unless it must vest, if at all, not later than twenty-one years after some life in being at the...more

7/15/2013 - Dynasty Trust Legal History Perpetual Trusts Rule Against Perpetuities

Same-Sex Marriage And The Effect Of Windsor And Hollingsworth Cases On Estate Planning In Michigan

On June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court issued decisions in the cases of U.S. v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry, two highly anticipated decisions regarding the constitutionality of same-sex marriage in the...more

7/2/2013 - DOMA Due Process Employee Benefits Equal Protection Estate Planning Hollingsworth v Perry Proposition 8 Same-Sex Marriage SCOTUS Standing US v Windsor

Uncapping Continued: “Guidance” From The State Tax Commission

As we have mentioned earlier on this blog, the Michigan Legislature recently enacted a law, Public Act 497 of 2012 (HR 4753), that prevents the uncapping of property taxes on certain transfers of residential property....more

6/28/2013 - Cottage Properties Property Tax

Non-Tax Reasons For Creating An Estate Plan

For most individuals - about 99.9% - estate taxes are no longer a concern thanks to the recent "fiscal cliff" legislation. However, that does not mean that estate planning is no longer necessary....more

3/18/2013 - Estate Planning Estate Tax Guardians Probate

Michigan Legislation In 2012

Congress was not the only busy legislative body in December. Our state legislature also passed, and the Governor signed, several important bills which affect estate planning for Michigan residents. We found the following to...more

1/16/2013 - 529 Plans Estate Planning Estate Tax Irrevocable Trusts Power of Attorney Property Tax

Bill To Prevent Cottage Uncapping Signed Into Law

On December 27, 2012, HR-4753 was signed into law by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder....more

1/4/2013 - Generation-Skipping Transfer Realty Transfer Taxes

HR-4753: An Early Christmas Gift For Michigan Cottage Owners!

On December 14, 2012, House Bill 4753 was ordered enrolled by the Michigan legislature. As discussed in our earlier blog, "Proposed Legislation to Prevent Cottage Uncapping - A Benefit to Cottage Owners? Or a Curse in...more

12/21/2012 - Property Tax Real Estate Transfers

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