THE LAW OFFICE of DOMINIC SILVESTRI, PLLC



TILL DEATH DO US PART? SAME SEX MARRIAGES AND REAL ESTATE IN MICHIGAN:

TILL DEATH DO US PART? SAME SEX MARRIAGES AND REAL ESTATE IN MICHIGAN: This June, in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ____ (2015), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage bans were unconstitutional, overturning state bans on same-sex marriage, including Michigan’s. However, this ban raises some interesting issues when it comes to applying it Michigan real estate law. For example, Michigan requires any Deed conveying property to a male to include the male’s marital status (but the same does not hold true for females). Originally this was developed as a way to protect a woman’s dower interest (interestingly, dower interest only applies to women…not men). Dower Michigan is the only state providing dower rights exclusively to widows. As a result of the confusion that will likely occur in applying the Dower Statute (MCL § 558.1) to same-sex marriages, the Legislature should modify or abolish this statute. In the meantime, whenever any couple, heterosexual or same-sex, is acquiring an interest in real property, and if each member of the couple wishes to hold an interest, both should be named as grantees on the deed. Deeds & Land Contracts Michigan law currently requires that contracts transferring or mortgaging real estate state the marital status of any male grantors (due to the Dower Statute) but not female grantors. MCL § 565.221. In light of the uncertainty in applying Michigan’s Dower Statute to same-sex couples, all deeds and contracts should state the marital status of all grantors, regardless of gender. Tenants by the Entirety A married couple is presumed to take property as tenants by the entirety (Butler v. Butler, 122 Mich. App. 361 (1983)), which status confers special benefits. Until the Legislature acts to remove doubts about these title issues, however, same-sex married couples should consult with their attorney as to the pros and cons of taking title as tenants by the entirety or tenants in common (or other form), and the form of title chosen should be unambiguously specified on the...
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FOUR THINGS EVERY CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTOR SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE MICHIGAN CONSTRUCTION LIEN ACT

FOUR THINGS EVERY CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTOR SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE MICHIGAN CONSTRUCTION LIEN ACT Construction contractors are often some of the hardest working individuals I’ve ever met. And this time of year is no different. Unfortunately, many contractors are so focused on cranking out the work (which is to be expected and not a bad thing), that they often don’t have time to devote to other parts of their business. One important yet overlooked, part is understanding the Michigan Construction Lien Act and how it can protect their hard work in the event of non-payment. To simplify, I’ve summarized 4 things that every construction contractor should know about the Michigan Construction Lien Act: Notice of Commencement The Notice of Commencement is something that should be requested the minute the contract is signed with the general contractor. This document is important for a number of reasons. But mainly because it identifies some major information about any construction project: specifically, it identifies the owner of the property, the general contractor and the legal description of the property. This information is crucial to making sure your rights are protected. For example, lets say you are the roofer who just found out your bid was accepted. You’ve been dealing with a general contractor, but do you know who the owner is? If not, the Notice of Commencement will give you that information. This is important because if you don’t get paid by the general contractor, and file a lien on the property, the owner may be able to defeat your lien if they had no clue who you were or what you provided. In order to file your lien if you don’t get paid, you’ll need the legal description of the property – again, this is provided in the Notice of Commencement. Ask for the Notice of Commencement at the same time you get the contract. Notice of Furnishing Like the Notice of Commencement, the Notice of Furnishing is a document the MCLA requires so that parties involved with a project, in this case the owners lenders and subcontractors, can protect themselves. Parties who supply labor or material and who do not have a DIRECT contract with the owner MUST provide a notice of furnishing to the owner or lessee and to the general contractor within 20 days after furnishing the first labor or material. See MCL 570.1109(1). Failure to provide this form does...
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WHAT THE SUPREME COURT’S RULING MEANS FOR SAME SEX COUPLES WHO WANT TO BUY A HOME

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that same-sex couples have the legal right to marry, across the country. “What does this mean for gay couples who want to buy a home?”...
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Are We Set To Repeat the Mistakes of Our Real Estate Past?

Interesting article on the current status of home sales: Homes are Selling Like It’s 2006, NAR says
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Top Issues Affecting Real Estate Professionals

Interesting article: Top Issues Affecting Real Estate Professionals
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