Don’t Pass Problems on to Your Children Along With Your Cottage or Cabin

As they were raising their three children, Fred and Mary had managed to scrape together enough to buy a cottage on Houghton Lake and use it regularly for summer vacations.

The family thoroughly enjoyed the property and decorated the cottage with mementos of all the “firsts” that happened there: first swim without floaties, first fish caught by all three kids, first teenage party and cookout.

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Birth Certificate Lacks Legal Basis for Paternity

It is becoming increasingly common in the United States for babies to be born to unwed couples - a little more than 40 percent of all births in this country were to unmarried mothers in 2014, compared with less than 20 percent in 1980.

That is a sobering statistic for single mothers because studies show they face greater economic challenges than married mothers. And both parents face significant legal challenges as well, largely due to a number of misconceptions about the birth certificate, custody and parenting time.

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Life Series IX: Update Estate Plans When Kids Grow to Adults

For Harry and Sally, children entering adulthood was another parenthood milestone. They gradually accepted the need to talk with their children as full-fledged adults, particularly regarding family matters that could impact the children’s lives.

Although uncomfortable, those discussions focused on decisions that would have to be made if Harry and Sally became disabled or died.

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Legacies Don’t Have to be Large to be Meaningful

I love practicing law in West Michigan because it puts me in touch with some really wonderful and humble people. You would feel the same way too if you had a chance to hear how a number of my clients discuss sharing their earthly belongings in their final statement -- their Trust or Will.

Some clients are shy, almost to the point of embarrassment, about how much money they want to leave to a cause, an organization, a family member or friend. For many of these clients, the amount of bequest won’t place their names on the scrolling credits of a PBS television special or play prominently in the annual report of a local foundation.

Read more: Legacies Don’t Have to be Large to be Meaningful

Mike Toburen - Attorney at Law   

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Attorney Mike Toburen

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Grand Rapids, MI 49503

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