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Blog Articles

Blog Articles

Prenup agreements

Posted on January 4, 2019 at 3:10 PM

Prenuptial agreements are a difficult topic, but one that is necessary and part of your estate plan. So don't think of them as just in the event of divorce, they are also there for when you have passed away after living a long and healthy and happy marriage together. For more information please check what Tara Peterson has to say:…/the-m…/crenshaw-peterson-12-26-18

Scams happening in our area right now

Posted on January 4, 2019 at 3:05 PM

Please check out what Tara has to say on current scams in our area at this time.…/the-m…/crenshaw-peterson-12-26-18

For more information please see our other posts on scams.

Pet Trusts

Posted on September 28, 2018 at 4:50 PM
Check out what Abby has to say this month on the morning blend about her fur siblings.

Disabled children

Posted on September 28, 2018 at 4:45 PM
Tara Peterson, Elder Law Attorney, talks about how to best provide for the future of disabled children.
What can you do to protect your disabled child? #CPAlaw #estateplanning #elderlaw #disabilityplanning

Disinheriting a child

Posted on September 28, 2018 at 4:45 PM

Tara Peterson, Elder Law Attorney, Crenshaw Peterson & Assoc., talks about the process of removing a minor or child from inheritance.  Learn more about disinheriting a child, or alternative options to disinheriting. #cpalaw #estateplanning #elderlaw

Estate planning, money and children

Posted on September 28, 2018 at 4:45 PM

How should I plan for my kids future if I pass away? #cpalaw #estateplanning #planningwithkids

Tara Peterson, Crenshaw Peterson, talks about options on how to leave children money.

Estate Planning and children

Posted on September 28, 2018 at 4:45 PM

Tara Peterson, Elder Law Attorney, Crenshaw Peterson & Assoc., talks about what things you can do in an estate plan regarding children

Blended families

Posted on September 28, 2018 at 4:45 PM

Have you been married before? Find out the best ways to estate plan for your family situation. #cpalaw #estateplanning

Tara Peterson, Elder Law Attorney, Crenshaw Peterson & Associates, talks about issues that might come up with second marriage families and tells us what some of those issues are that we should be thinking about when we estate plan.

Estate Planning is vital now, not later

Posted on September 28, 2018 at 4:40 PM
see why you should be estate planning NOW and get a discount if you call now! 517-347-2100


Posted on August 4, 2016 at 2:20 PM


Our state has adopted a new law allowing people to designate a "Funeral Representative."

What is this Funeral Representative?

A Funeral Representative is a person who has the authority to make all arrangements for your funeral and burial after you die. This is different from previous years when the law stated that only a person's next of kin was in control of funeral and burial arrangements. The next of kin rule was less than ideal for several reasons.


  1. When no spouse was present, all children had to sign off to agree to the funeral arrangements. (How often does a group of people always agree on all aspects? Rarely!!)
  2. If the individual had a second or third spouse, or even short term marriage, the new spouse trumped the children and any of their wishes for their deceased parent.
  3. The deceased individual's wishes may not be followed if the next of kin decided to do something different.


Designating a Funeral Representative changes the above scenarios. You get to choose the Funeral Representative prior to your death, and that Funeral Representative exclusively has the power to make funeral decisions on your behalf. The only question remaining is whether they HAVE to follow your previously made arrangements. I would argue they do given that the power arises out of an advance directive appointing them to the position. If the power given is to be abided by, certainly so should the previously made decisions of the deceased.

The Michigan Funeral Director's Association says otherwise. They state that the law is not an advanced directive such as other states have developed but that it is meant to protect the deceased individual's right to choose who should be in charge of funeral decisions. The Michigan Courts will be the ultimate deciding factor, but it does point in the right direction. And, it makes clear the importance of choosing the right person for such a job. A person who will abide by your wishes as the deceased.

The alternative to not listing a represented leaves too much open to fighting amongst those you leave behind. And where death is concerned, we, as humans, are incredibly emotional and far less rational than we ought to be in those tense situations of loss. A Funeral Representative uncomplicates the entire process and will save a far greater headache down the road for your heirs.

We have placed this language in both the Power of Attorney documents we draft as well as the Last Will and Testament documents we draft.

If you haven't had your estate plan updated recently, nominating a Funeral Representative may be a good reason to come in and get it updated!