The Cutler Law Firm Blog

 
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The Holographic Will
When is a suicide note, more than a goodbye message to the world? I have had the pleasure of assisting a few clients during a very difficult time in their lives. They had a relative take their life, or seemingly take their own life, leaving behind a handwritten note that describes the manner in which they want their Estate to be distributed to their heirs. Consider the following cases: Case #1: A gentleman marries his long term girlfriend, with whom he has experienced an up and down relationship. Within days of their Las Vegas wedding, she takes off on a party filled trip with her girl friends and others. The gentleman continues to work while she is away, and after a while, decides to rent a room in a local hotel. He ingests a large volume of prescription and non-prescription drugs, and begins to write out a 5 page note detailing the problems in his life. He also expresses his desire to leave his 5 rental homes to his two biological children (from a prior marriage), his car and a few other items to his only brother, and SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDES HIS NEW WIFE from receiving any of his worldly belongings. I represented the brother, and worked with an attorney who represented the children. The wife attempted to secure all of the assets and burn through the funds. Fortunately, my client became suspicious and hired our firm to investigate the matter. Following a limited time for discovery, and a complete handwriting analysis, the case was presented for trial. Four days of witness testimony and dozens of documents, convinced the court to rule that the gentleman's handwritten note constituted a holographic will. The homes were secured, sold and the assets then deposited into trust accounts for the children. The wife was barred from accessing any additional money, and was physically evicted from the marital home. The legal requirements for Holographic are specific, but include the general concept of a written note by the declarant, that is dated and signed. In our case, the paperwork was not dated. We were able to arrive at the date through other evidence that was compelling to the Court. Case #2: An elderly man is taken to the hospital. His wife is to frail to join him, and remains home. When he recovers and returns to the home, he discovers his wife dead. A gun lies on the floor, and a bullet traveled through her scull. A note is discovered in her pocket, leaving their entire estate to the dead wife's sisters. As the couple have no children, their estate would have passed to their siblings. Following a series of Court hearings, the hand writing analysis confirms that the note was not written by the deceased woman. We believe that her sisters wrote the note and then shot their sister. Fortunately, the sisters are now excluded from the Estate. Criminal charges may be pending.
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Personal Protection Orders
Personal Protection Orders (PPO)        A Personal Protection Order (PPO) is a civil protection order against violence, the threat of violence and various forms of stalking. Michigan law provides for criminal enforcement...
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Grandparent Visitation Rights
Michigan Grandparent Visitation Attorneys      The inherent ability of Grandparents to have the right to visit their grand children after a divorce proceeding is a very complex legal issue. The Michigan Child Custody Act of...
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Paternity Law In Michigan
What is paternity?          In Michigan, paternity is a word that simply means that a male is the father of a certain child. There are advantages for both the father and mother in proving a man is the...
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A Very Pleasant Text Message
A CLIENT'S MESSAGE       Without divulging his identity, I want to share the content of a text message I received at 10:00 p.m. on September 29, 2012.  The message was directed to my cell phone from a gentleman whose...
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Terminating Parental Rights
Terminating Parental Rights In Michigan         The court may terminate a parent's parental rights to a child if the court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, one or more of the...
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FINANCIAL AFFIDAVITS
FINANCIAL AFFIDAVITS AND THEIR USE IN DOMESTIC PROCEEDINGS   Lies and Misrepresentations on the Financial Affidavit in Divorce Actions      When a divorce proceeding is initiated, the Plaintiff files his or her...
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Off we go to The Michigan Supreme Court
Governmental Immunity      As The Detroit News reported on May 7, 2012, The Cutler Law Firm is off to the State Supreme Court to present its argument that the State Court of Appeals correctly decided the appellate issues...
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Motions To Modify Child Support
Motions To Modify Child Support In Michigan      If you wish to modify child support, a motion will be necessary. Our Mchigan child support modification lawyers can help. A modification of child support can be obtained based...
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Contempt Motions
Contempt Motions      Contempt motions, in family law cases, may be filed when one of the parties has violated parenting time arrangements, failed to pay child support, failed to pay spousal maintenance, withheld ...
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What You Need To Know About Prenuptial Agreements
What you need to know if you're considering a prenuptial, or premarital, agreement.      A prenuptial agreement ("prenup" for short) is a written contract created by two people before they are married. A prenup...
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Federal Defense of Marriage Act
Same-Sex Marriages        The federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was signed into law by President Clinton on September 21, 1996.  DOMA defines "marriage" to consist exclusively as a heterosexual union...
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The Connection Between Our Economy And Divorce Rates
The Economy And Divorce      The United States Census Bureau reports a rapid decline in divorce rates between 2008 and 2009 throughout the country. This decline fits with the general trend that in tough economic times,...
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Be Careful Of What You Text
How Technology Can Effect Your Domestic Case      With the rise of the popularity of the internet, instant messaging, text messaging and the use of GPS systems, electronic evidence is being utilized more and more in...
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Todays Trend Of Cohabitation And Its Effects Upon Children
Cohabitaion ...
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