Sep 24, 2022  

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LSP 210W - Estate and Trust Administration

Credits: 2
Studies the administration of a decedent's estate from initial conference through the closing of an estate and the distribution of assets. Emphasizes preparation of proper probate documentation, preparation of proper tax returns including federal estate tax returns and fiduciary returns, and explanation of Michigan inheritance tax. Credit may be earned in LAS 210 or LSP 210W but not both.

Prerequisite(s): ENG 111  or OAT 151  with a “C” or better and enrollment in Legal Support Professional program or permission of instructor
Corequisite(s): None
Lecture Hours: 30 Lab Hours: 0
Meets MTA Requirement: None
Pass/NoCredit: No

Outcomes and Objectives
  1. Explain the probate process.
    1. Discuss the Michigan Revised Probate Code.
    2. Discuss the definitions of key words.
    3. Explain how, and to whom, probate assets pass when a decedent dies without a will.
    4. Discuss wills and codicils, their contents, and how they are to be executed.
    5. Identify what types of property must be probated.
  2. Explain trusts.
    1. Discuss trusts, who are the parties thereto, how trusts are created, and how they work.
    2. Identify the meaning of words in the context of trusts.
    3. Identify the types of trusts that can be created.
    4. Discuss the Michigan Principal and Income Act.
  3. Prepare the papers necessary to take a decedent’s final affairs through the probate process.
    1. Identify the information that must be acquired in order to “wind up” decedent’s final affairs.
    2. Discuss the two major methods of probating an estate, to-wit: supervised and independent and to determine which method best fits the decedent’s situation.
    3. Discuss the forms used in the probate process and what information should be included in each of the forms.
    4. Identify due dates, interested parties, priorities, and when filings in the Court are necessary.
    5. Describe the process involving creditors.
    6. Explain the surviving spouse’s elections and the surviving spouse’s and minor children’s allowances.
    7. Describe alternate methods of probating an estate, such as: The estate under $15,000, and the estate identified by statute as a “small estate”.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of “death taxes.”
    1. Identify that both the Federal Government and the State of Michigan levy death taxes on a decedent’s estate (called estate taxes).
    2. Identify that “estate” for estate tax purposes may encompass more assets than “estate” as used for probate purposes.
    3. Define the terms “unified credit” and “exemption equivalent”.
    4. Identify the properties that constitute the gross estate and on what date or dates they are valued.
    5. Discuss the Federal Estate Tax Return and its many schedules.
    6. Discuss deductions from the gross estate, particularly the marital deduction.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of fiduciary income tax returns.
    1. Identify the requirement that fiduciaries file income returns.
    2. Describe the terms “calendar year” and “years”.
    3. Differentiate between fiduciary tax returns and individual’s tax return.
    4. Discuss how beneficiaries are taxed on the income of a trust or estate.
    5. Explain and compute income tax progressive tax rates.

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