and Estate Planning
The firm specializes in all aspects of estate planning, from the simple will and various powers of attorney to complex trusts. We design and draft will-based and trust-based estate plans for taxable and non-taxable estates. Our plans include general durable powers of attorney and medical powers of attorney with patient advocate acceptances.Â We also assist in trust funding and tax-deferred benefit planning. The firm provides individualized estate planning services for the transfer of wealth and the family-owned business. We also represent the personal representative and trustee in a wide variety of administrative matters involving simple to complex estates.
Elder Law and Medicaid Planning
For our Elder Law practice, we design, draft and implement asset protection plans to ensure that family assets and not exhausted to cover long-term care and institutional costs. We assist with or prepare the Medicaid application and assist the family with the approval process and benefit maintenance. We also draft Lady Bird Deeds and counsel families on the use of countable and non-countable assets for Medicaid planning purposes.
Special Needs Trusts
We assist families in planning for the protection of state and federal benefits for those individuals who face special challenges physically, emotionally and developmentally. Special care must be taken in the drafting and implementation of special needs trusts to insure maximum protection and benefit to those individuals who require special perpetual care.
Probate and Probate Litigation
Our office handles all types of probate court matters primarily in Macomb, Wayne, Oakland and St. Clair counties. This includes estate administration, will and trust contests and litigation, guardianships, conservatorships and other miscellaneous probate matters. John MacArthur serves the Macomb County Probate Court as a Case Evaluator and Mediator. Mr. MacArthur also serves in these capacities in other area probate courts.
Our office assists many closely-held businesses in a wide variety of legal matters.Â We handle choice of business entity issues and establishment. This includes profit corporations, non-profit corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, limited partnerships and sole proprietorships. In addition, we handle many day-to-day legal matters for these businesses such as contract review and drafting, business agreements, operating agreements, buy-sell agreements, business succession planning, minutes and resolutions, asset and/or stock purchase agreements, and other transactional work. We assist our clients in business disputes andÂ mediation. The firm also assists clients in mergers and acquisitions as well as distribution, franchise and licensing agreements.Â
The firm represents a number of non-profit organizations and also handles the federal tax-qualification of the entities including matters under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code.Â Special planning is often necessary if the successful organization and maintenance of a Michigan non-profit corporation.
Our office represents a wide variety of clients in their commercial and residential real estate ventures and operations. We represent buyers and sellers of commercial and residential real estate in all phases of the sale or acquisition. We also are equipped to facilitate tax-deferred exchanges under Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code. The firm also handles some environmental issues.
John MacArthur holds a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree in taxation and assists clients in a variety of tax planning matters, tax disputes and appeals. He is admitted to the United States Tax Court. The firm prepares federal estate tax returns and also works closely with the accountants of clients to best represent the clientâ€™s particular needs.
Alternate Dispute Resolution
John MacArthur is a case evaluator with the Macomb County Circuit and Probate courts. John also is a certified mediator having completed the 40-hour SCAO-approved mediator training and is a mediator in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne County probate courts. John also volunteers as a mediator at The Resolution Center in Mount Clemens, Michigan and its affiliate mediation sites and courts. Often the option of mediation suits a particular dispute well and the firm encourages the use of alternate dispute resolution.
VA Benefits Planning & Qualification
Janet Burcar is an Accredited Claims Attorney through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Â Our firm can assist veterans and their families determine which benefits they are eligible for such as the pension program, aid and attendance, housebound benefits, and disability compensation. Â We can also assist our clients with the application process for those benefits.