Friday, January 17, 2014

So you want to be cremated in Michigan? Not so fast!

Michigan law does not provide for a living person to direct his disposition after death (i.e. cremated, buried) – that would violate the due process rights of post-mortem interests in the body (I can't make this stuff up!).  This is a problem for someone who wants to be cremated.  Unless a living spouse, after death of the other spouse, signs the authorization to have the body cremated, cremation requires unanimous approval of the next of kin.  So if your son or daughter refuses, you can't be cremated--at least in Michigan.

But, other states such as Indiana and Ohio, permit the appointment of a personal representative to authorize someone's final arrangements.  BUT, don't haul the body in the back of your truck, use a licensed mortuary to arrange for pick-up of the decedent in Michigan.

Another way to address this is to include a clause in your will or trust stating that if any beneficiary refuses to cremate you after death, they are cut out of your will (notwithstanding statutory beneficiaries).

Monday, January 6, 2014

Beware of email SCAM telling you are being sued!

Beware that there is a current email scam making the rounds that purportedly tells you that you are required to appear at an out of state court on a particular date.  The email directs you to a link or a ZIP file to download.  DO NOT go to the LINK or Download any file in the email, it is most likely a phishing or virus program.

For the non-legal types, service (delivery) of a Summons or Complaint is almost never allowed by email.  In most jurisdictions, the first notice you get of a lawsuit is personally delivered to you, or in some states sent registered mail with a return receipt required with your signature.

Below is an example of one of the scam emails I received today!


Pretrial notice,

Hereby we inform that you are obliged to come as a defendant
to The Court of Louisiana in February 18, 2014 at 11:30 a.m.
for the hearing of your case of illegal software use.
If necessary you have a right to obtain a lawyer for your protection.

You are kindly asked to have an identity document with you.
Personal appearance is compulsory.

Please find the plaint note with more detailed case information
attached to this letter and study it thoroughly.

Court clerk,
Chloe Mason