Tag Archives: Hirzel Law

The Dangers of Owning Property as Joint Tenants with Full Rights of Survivorship

There are several ways in which property can be held by multiple owners.  For married couples, one of the most commonly used estates is the tenancy by the entireties.  It provides a right of survivorship that enables a surviving spouse to hold property without having to proceed with probate.  In Michigan, this estate is only available to married couples.  In some instances, parties may seek to mimic the right of survivorship contained in a tenancy by the entirety by holding property as joint tenants with a full right of survivorship.  Similar to a tenancy by the entireties, this estate cannot be unilaterally severed by the act of one of the parties, and it provides an indestructible right of survivorship to the surviving joint tenants.  This may make it appear to be a more attractive option, in some circumstances, to a tenancy in common which is the presumptive estate for unmarried individuals in Michigan.  However, parties seeking to utilize a joint tenancy with full right of survivorship should be aware of the risks that come with such an estate.

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The Evolving Landscape of Sex Discrimination in Housing

Aimee Stephens worked as a funeral director for R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Home in Garden City, Michigan for several years. Throughout that time, she struggled with her gender identity and, in 2013, she began dressing as a woman at work. The funeral home’s dress code was strictly gender-based and Stephens’ refusal to dress as a man, in compliance with the gender-based dress code, resulted in her termination (see more information here). Aimee Stephens filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the “EEOC”), alleging her termination was the result of unlawful sex discrimination. The EEOC brought a lawsuit against the funeral home in the Eastern District of Michigan and the case is now in front of the United States Supreme Court, with oral arguments recently heard on October 8, 2019 (see more information here). Read more

Hirzel Law on Fox 2 News involving controversial Westland boundary dispute

Hirzel Law, PLC has been hired to resolve a boundary dispute between the owners of lots in a platted subdivision and the developer of a proposed 88 unit site condominium in Westland, Michigan.  The attorneys at Hirzel Law, PLC have had previous success in representing clients on issues related to adverse possession and acquiescence.  The proposed development is on the site of the former Nankin Mills Elementary School that closed in 2006 and was demolished in 2014.  The boundary  between the subdivision and proposed development has been established by fence lines for decades.  The developer has thus far refused to maintain the existing boundary lines and has submitted plans that would require the removal of portions of fences and landscaping from various yards in the subdivision.  The news story can be viewed here.

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