BRADLEY L. PUTNEY, PLC
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Attorneys at Law
Practice Areas
CORPORATIONS

     There are many benefits to forming a corporation rather than opting for a partnership or sole proprietorship. For instance, when your business is incorporated, your individual liability is limited to only what you have invested in the company. In other words, if the company goes under and can’t pay its bills, you won’t be held responsible for picking up the tab.
     We offer a variety of services when it comes to corporations, including assisting you with the formation of the articles of incorporation, pertinent tax documents, corporate minutes, employment contracts, and shareholder agreements. Our goal is to help you maximize your profit potential, while limiting liability and risk exposure. Whether you have questions regarding your board of directors, or need help with your annual corporate filings, we stand ready to serve the needs of your growing business.


DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY FOR HEALTH CARE

     This document allows you to appoint a “Patient Advocate” to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to make your own health care decisions. A Designation of “Patient Advocate” may include advance directive language. Advance directive language allows the Patient Advocate to authorize a doctor to provide or withhold treatment according to your wishes. A person who accepts being a Patient Advocate must follow your stated desires; therefore, it is extremely important that the language of the designation comport with your desires for treatment and that the Patient Advocate is comfortable carrying out your wishes. You may also choose to donate certain body parts in this document.

GENERAL REAL ESTATE MATTERS

     Our firm has represented a number of clients in varying real estate matters and disputes. Specifically, we can assist you with foreclosures, quiet title actions, adverse possession issues, boundary disputes, acquiescence, easements, and ordinance compliance, among other things. Our goal is to provide competent, comprehensive representation at an affordable rate.
     Evidence of our effective representation can be seen in one of our recent success stories. One of our clients was being sued for overburdening an easement and placing signs upon that easement. The client, however, was entitled to do so pursuant to the terms of the easement itself and pursuant to a signage agreement the parties had entered into. Our firm was able to obtain summary judgment on the case, resulting in the case being thrown out before the unnecessary and burdensome expense of trial was incurred.  The opposing side was also ordered to pay all of our attorney fees.


LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANIES

     Limited liability companies combine the tax benefits of a sole proprietorship or partnership with the limited personal liability of a corporation. While your individual liability is limited under an LLC, you still have the power to manage your business as you see fit. LLCs are controlled by the Limited Liability Company Act, the Articles of Organization (which are like the Articles of Incorporation for a Corporate entity), and the Operating Agreement of the company itself. Our firm can assist you in drafting the formative documents of your business, crafting the Operating Agreement, filing your annual reports, and determining the proper use and allocation of your business assets. It is important that we get a feel for what your business activities will consist of. That way we can advise you on possible liability issues that may arise in the future. Our goal is to prepare you for possible risks and contingencies, so your business is able to grow and thrive without your time being eaten up by red tape, or worse, legal action against you or your company.


PROBATE OF ESTATES

     The probating of estates is simply the process used to distribute your assets after you pass away. The process of probating an estate can take several months and involves many different forms and accounting processes. After you pass away, the county Probate Court appoints a Personal Representative for the estate, and also admits your will, if you have one. It is then the Personal Representative’s responsibility to collect the assets of your estate, take care of any liabilities your estate may have, and distribute your assets and belongings according to your will or the law of intestate succession.
     A will does not keep your estate out of probate, although it does make things a little less complicated. If your desire is to keep your assets out of probate, then our firm can assist you with instruments such as trusts or other will substitutes that can help avoid the unnecessary cost of litigation for your family after you are gone.


TRUSTS AND WILLS

Trusts

     Trusts can be an important part of your estate planning puzzle. A revocable trust can help your family avoid the unnecessary cost of probate and can also give you control over your assets while you are still alive.  If the value of your estate is close to the estate tax exemption amount, a trust can also help you avoid the expense of subjecting your estate to the "death tax."  As the name implies, a revocable trust can also be modified or revoked during your lifetime.
     An irrevocable life insurance trust can also be a wise option for someone with a large gross estate and a significant life insurance policy or policies. This trust vehicle will help you avoid incurring any federal estate tax upon your passing away. Congress is frequently changing the exemption amount for estate tax liability, so it is often better to err on the side of caution and place your life insurance policies into one of these trusts.
     A special needs trust is also a possibility.  Special Needs Trusts can help preserve assets to enhance the quality of life and care for the individual with special needs after becoming eligible for government benefits, including Medicaid.
     When deciding whether or not a trust is appropriate, our firm looks at your complete individualized situation, including your desires, assets, and plans for the future. We walk you through the process step-by-step and ensure we find a solution that allows your assets to pass to your loved ones according to your wishes.

Last Will

     A will is an instrument that directs where and how certain assets will pass to certain individuals after your death. When an individual passes away without a will, certain unintended and undesired consequences may occur. Such consequences may include added administrative cost, additional taxes, and having state law determine which assets pass to whom. Wills can limit family disputes and ensure your belongings end up in the hands of the beneficiaries you deem appropriate. A simple will is a comprehensive and cost-effective way to assure your assets are distributed according to your last wishes. Some considerations for your last will are:

• Personal Representative – the Personal Representative is the one who will manage your estate. Duties of this individual include (1) Taking an inventory of the assets; (2) Paying debts, taxes, and administrative costs of the estate; and (3) Distributing the estate property as directed in the will.

• Guardian – This person will care for your minor children or individuals with disabilities.

• Beneficiaries – The will directs who will inherit certain property or funds.

• Trustee/Conservator – This person will manage money on behalf of minors or other disabled beneficiaries.

• Special Directions – You may indicate a preference for cremation or burial or deal with other personal concerns not adequately addressed without a will.
AUTOMOBILE NEGLIGENCE

​     An automobile negligence law suit is a law suit against a party or person allegedly negligent in an automobile accident.  The State of Michigan has a no-fault automobile insurance system. This means that if you are involved in an automobile accident in Michigan, your own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) automobile insurance should cover at least part of the losses you incur from the accident, regardless of who was at fault.  Compensation may be sought in those circumstances for medical bills, lost wages, replacement services, and attendant care.  If your injury is serious enough, however, and your PIP insurance coverage is not enough to cover all of your losses, Michigan law sometimes allows for recovery against the at-fault individual.  Damages may be sought in those circumstances for additional lost wages, pain and suffering, and similar damages.


PERSONAL INJURY

​     When an injury or death is caused by the negligence of another individual or entity, you may be entitled to redress under the law in the form of payment of medical bills, lost wages, future lost wages, and pain and suffering.  Our firm is experienced and willing to assist you, whether your case is a wrongful death, products liability, or premises liability claim.  We are committed to seeing that you receive the compensation you deserve and to guiding you step by step through the process.


CONDOMINIUM DISPUTES

​     Our firm is highly experienced in the representation of condominium and homeowners associations.  Whether assistance is needed in reviewing or drafting governing documents, contract review or preparation, disputes regarding possible violations, developer issues, or litigation services, our staff is competent and eager to take on your issues.


BREACH OF CONTRACT ACTIONS

   Contracts are promises that are enforceable in a court of law.  When given the proper amount of thought and preparation, a contract can be a valuable tool in protecting your interests, fostering long-term business relationships, and helping each party to the agreement understand what their mutual obligations and responsibilities are.  Careful consideration must be given to ensure that the terms of any contract are unambiguous and that every agreement of the parties is included in the language of the document.  If this isn't the case, a dispute, and possibly litigation may result.  Our firm stands ready to assist you in both the creation of contractual documents and the resolution of disputes that may arise after a contract is entered into.  We take the time to listen to our clients and work tirelessly to achieve their desired results.


CONSTRUCTION LITIGATION

​     Our firm represents owners, general contractors, construction managers, subcontractors, and other professionals in all aspects of construction-related disputes.  Whether your issue is personal injury or contractual, our goal is to handle it quickly and effectively to minimize the significant costs associated with drawn-out litigation.  If a trial cannot be avoided, be assured our track record is one of success in obtaining favorable outcomes for our clients.


QUIET TITLE AND ADVERSE POSSESSION ACTIONS

​     According to Michigan law, if an individual continually possesses land that is not theirs for a required amount of time, that person can ask the court to award them the land as if they were the rightful owner all along.  This is called adverse possession.  The process of acquiring the title to adversely possessed property begins by filing a quiet title lawsuit.  A quiet title lawsuit allows a property owner to ask the court to confirm title to a piece of property when other parties feel they have an ownership claim.  These cases will often involve fences crossing property lines or vacant lots being used by an adjacent property owner.
     The law stipulates that, in order for property to be adversely possessed, the possession must be "open and notorious."  This means that the possessor's use of the property must be in plain view to the true property owner, so that the true owner has the opportunity to notify the possessor that he or she is trespassing.  Possession must also be hostile, meaning that the possessor did not have the property owner's permission to use the land.  Generally, if the possessor had permission, they can never claim adverse possession. Other factors and tests must be weighed as well. The particular circumstances will depend upon your case and will be taken into consideration by our skilled attorneys when determining the best strategy for your individual situation.


COLLECTIONS

     If you are a business owner or individual attempting to collect unpaid accounts receivable or other debts or obligations, an experienced attorney can be invaluable. An attorney can take steps that collections agencies cannot, such as filing a lawsuit if necessary, and helping you use the power of the courts to enforce a judgment.  This can be done through the garnishment of wages, bank account seizure, or seizure of personal property.  Our representation will be conducted with full knowledge and respect for the laws protecting debtors, such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  Our aim is not to intimidate or harass debtors, but to see that creditors receive what they are rightly entitled to.