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Caroline Bielas and Michael Hickox
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"Navigating the Michigan Probate Process"
By: Lisa Beatty, 8/7/2023

The passing of a loved one is a challenging time for families, and the Michigan probate process can seem complex and overwhelming. Understanding the basics of probate is crucial for a smooth and efficient administration of the deceased's estate.



"National Elder Law Month"
By: Lisa Beatty, 5/4/2023

As we age, it becomes increasingly important to plan for the future. This is why every year, during the month of May, we celebrate National Elder Law Month. Itís a time to raise awareness about the legal issues that affect seniors and to encourage individuals to take steps to protect themselves and their loved ones.   more

"Downsizing Should Not Be a Four-Letter Word"
By: Lisa Beatty, 2/7/2023

My dad passed away on Valentine's Day in 2018 and I miss him every day.  Some days I curse at him too.  Why, you ask?  Because even though heís gone, heís still permeating my life on a daily basis, but not in a good way.  You see, my dad was a pretty cool guy.  He was an electrical engineer, an award-winning photographer, and a ham radio operator for 60 years.  He was a collector of unique things like antique morse code keys and electronic test equipment.  He had an entire room devoted to his photography hobby.  He had shelves of old vacuum tubes and dozens of small storage boxes filled with little bitty parts, all carefully labeled and alphabetically arranged.  When he died, I didnít know what to do with any of it.




"September is National Better Breakfast Month"
By: Lisa Beatty, 8/30/2022

September is National Better Breakfast Month.  Yes, you read that right.  So, who really cares?  We all should!  Eating a well-balanced diet is an important part of staying healthy as we age.  Getting the proper nutrients and maintaining a healthy weight will help us stay energized and lower our risk of developing chronic health problems or being vulnerable to disease.




The Dog Days of Summer
By: Lisa Beatty, 7/20/2022

Iíve always assumed that this term referred to the hottest part of the summer Ė you know, the days so hot that even the dog doesnít want to go outside.  But really, the reference to "dog daysĒ dates back to the time of the ancient Greeks and their beliefs about a star in the constellation called Canis Major.  The Greeks thought of Canis Major as a dog chasing a hare named Lepus.  The tip of the dogís nose is the star called Sirius, which became known as the "dog star.Ē  To the Greeks, the "dog daysĒ typically occurred in late July when Sirius rose just before the sun, corresponding with the hottest days of the year.




Summer Fun Activities for Seniors!
By: Lisa Beatty, 7/5/2022

Well, itís Michigan, and this summer, weíre either being drenched with monsoon-style rains, or wilting in the heat and humidity. But Michigan does bestow some glorious days upon us in between, and seniors and caregivers (especially caregivers!) can certainly get cabin fever after being shut in for the rainy or sizzling days.  So, when the sun is out and thereís a beautiful Michigan breeze, what are some great activities for seniors and caregivers to do?



"Emergency! What EMS Needs to Know"
By: Lisa Beatty, 6/15/2022

I talk to seniors and their families about the importance of having strong foundational estate planning documents all the time.  Itís essential to have a detailed, well-written, and current Financial Power of Attorney and Medical Power of Attorney in place to ensure that your wishes will be carried out if something happens and you canít speak for yourself.



"National Elder Law Month"
By: Lisa Beatty, 4/27/2022

In 1963, President Kennedy declared May to be Senior Citizens Month as a way to honor those who are 65 and older.  Although the name was modified a few years later to Older Americans Month by then-President Jimmy Carter, the tradition has carried forward every year since its inception.  Fittingly, May is also National Elder Law Month. With 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day and a projected 40 million Americans aged 65 years or older, this is certainly an underserved segment of the American population. Baby Boomers are growing older and living longer, with fewer resources available for long-term care. As you can see, the importance of planning for oneís future needs is essential.



Watch Out for a New Health Insurance Phone Scam!
By: Caroline Bielas, 11/24/2021

The pandemic has certainly been a boon for phone scammers. According to a 2021 Harris Poll and Truecaller ID survey, nearly 1 in 3 Americans have fallen victim to a phone scam in the last year, and 59.4 million Americans lost money to a phone scam, costing a record-high average of $502 per person and a total of $29.8 billion (yes, billion).


Charging stations & Estate Plans Ė Part 2
By: Caroline Bielas, 8/16/2017

After seeing how cool the charging station was, I of course had to order one for my home.  I went on Amazon and ordered one right away.  I didnít check to see if it was the same one, it looked like it so I figured it was fine.  When I took it out of the box and plugged it in, I was baffled.  There were no charging cords for the different kinds of phones.  I didnít read the fine print to see that the model that I had ordered didnít come with cords, the cords were sold separately.  In order to make it work, I had to place two more orders Ė one for iPhone cords and one for Android cords.  I didnít feel so great about my charging station after placing those orders.  Yes, it does what I want it to do and it is helpful.  I just didnít like feeling like I paid for one thing and then got something that I had to pay more for to have it work the way I wanted.


Charging stations & Estate Plans Ė Part 1
By: Caroline Bielas, 7/26/2017

Recently, I discovered that my mom had bought a charging station for her house for guests to use.  What a great thing!  Especially since either I or one of my kids usually have the dreaded low battery flashing on our phones while at her house.

The charging station has cords for all of the different types of phones and tablets, how convenient!   Anyone that has ever had to endure a long car ride with kids who cannot use their phone or tablets because they killed the battery knows how nice it is to have the opportunity to charge it before leaving Grandmaís! 



Estate Planning and The Holidays Part 2
By: Caroline Bielas, 1/2/2017

As 2017 quickly approaches, carve out some time to think about what you would change about 2016 if you could.  2016 was a tumultuous year for our country and for many people.  2017 provides each one of us with the opportunity to make things different.  To better ourselves and our communities.  Each of us has different talents and gifts, but we can all make our little corner of the world better.  How will you improve yourself and your world in 2017?  Will you be kinder?  Will you join a gym?  Will you listen more?  Will you finally get your estate planning done?  Get your financial house in order?


Estate Planning and The Holidays Part 1
By: Caroline Bielas, 12/21/2016

Isnít it funny how the holidays can make us all feel like kids again?  When it comes to holiday joy, the suspense of opening that special gift, or the warm feelings we get when surrounded by our loved ones Ė the holidays can be a big positive.  When it comes to feelings of dread over seeing a certain family member, or guilt over not being able to visit our family members, or sibling rivalries resurfacing Ė the holidays can be a big negative.


Dirty Deeds - Part 2
By: Caroline Bielas, 1/15/2014

Legal Services plans provide discounted or free legal services to their members. In our practice, we see many clients who have availed themselves of free or low-cost estate planning services through legal services plans. A recurring issue that we have seen in legal services planning and in older estate plans done by attorneys who do not specialize in estate plans is the "record it laterĒ deeds. The attorney drafts the deed either transferring the home into the clientís trust or to children upon the clientís death, but tells the client not to have the deed recorded until "laterĒ. Usually this means that the clientís heirs will record the deed after the client dies.   more

Happy 2014 from Huron Valley Law Center
By: Michael Hickox, 1/1/2014

Huron Valley Law Center (HVLC) wishes you and your staff the very best for 2014. HVLC looks forward to working together with you in 2014 to discover mutually beneficial business opportunities.

In addition, we currently have several informative public seminars on estate planning and related issues scheduled that may benefit your clients. If you or your clients are interested in attending any of these seminars, the following is a list of upcoming seminars for January and February:   more

Dirty Deeds - Part 1
By: Caroline Bielas, 8/20/2013

Real property ownership is evidenced by deeds and property ownership transfers through deeds. That much is easy to understand. Drafting property deeds is easy too. One just looks up a quit claim deed form on the internet, enters property information, slaps on $1 consideration and itís good to go! Right? Wrong!   more

The Wealth Counselor - Three Simple Ways to Sell Complex Solutions
By: Michael Hickox, 6/1/2013

When it comes to financial and wealth planning issues, more often than not, people go to a professional they trust. They may be working with a financial planner, CPA, agent, or banker, but when trust and estate concerns arise, clients need their trusted advisor to listen to their needs and to explain things clearly. Trust and estate concerns are often technical issues, and this can lead to three common mistakes on the part of the professional:   more

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