COA Fixes Deed Case

By Doug Chalgian on July 4, 2021

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Two years ago, in an unpublished decision, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that a trust could hold real property as a joint tenant with rights of survivorship.   [I posted about that case at that time, click here to read that post which was titled “Not Making This Up.”]

That decision was appealed to the Michigan Supreme Court which took the case, vacated the opinion, and remanded the case to the Court of Appeals.  Upon further reflection, the COA decided that because a trust has no measuring life, it cannot hold real property as a joint tenant with rights of survivorship.  Yay.

The updated rendition of Schaaf v Forbes is published.  Click here to read that case.

The case also discusses the line between probate court’s exclusive subject matter jurisdiction and circuit court general subject matter jurisdiction, specifically in the context of disputes re real estate.

Click here to read the partial dissent, which seems to conflate the question of a joint tenancy with a joint tenancy with rights of survivorship.  It didn’t make a lot of sense to me.

[For younger readers, the image above is a “typewriter” (device used for drafting written documents predating the “word processor” aka computer), and a hand applying “whiteout,” which was a pasty substance applied to a typed page for the purpose of covering up a mistake.]

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mm By: Doug Chalgian
Doug Chalgian

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