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Gov. Whitmer Signs Bipartisan Bills to Cut Red Tape & Lower Costs for Families

Michigan Business Network
February 21, 2024 5:00 PM

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LANSING, Mich.— Today, Governor Whitmer signed unanimous, bipartisan legislation that cuts red tape and lowers costs for families that are transferring assets, like a vehicle or watercraft, when a family member has passed. The new law will ensure values of the title transfers are aligned with the cost of living so that families are not left on the hook for additional costs.   

“We shouldn’t be placing additional burdens on Michiganders when they lose a loved one. These bills make the transfer vehicle or watercraft that you own to your own family members much simpler, and lower your loved ones’ costs,” said Governor Whitmer. “With these unanimously passed, bipartisan bills, we are raising the maximum value of such a transfer to better reflect the current cost of living. Let’s keep working together to lower costs for Michiganders with commonsense changes to save them time and money.”     

Under current law, Michiganders need to go through probate court if a vehicle or watercraft that exceeds current thresholds is transferred to a new family member from a deceased relative. With the cost of goods rising, this added an additional burden for families dealing with the loss of a loved one. The new law will reduce that cost for families who inherit assets by better aligning the threshold level with current values of assets.   

House Bill 4416, sponsored by Rep. Graham Filler, amends the Estates and Protected Individuals Code to update certain asset threshold amounts, creates “standby guardians”, and inserts safeguards to help protect against inappropriate gifts.   

House Bill 4417, also sponsored by Rep. Graham Filler, modifies the maximum value of a transfer of ownership of a vehicle to the surviving spouse or heir after the owner’s death, adjusting for the present cost of living.    

“These bills will modernize Michigan’s probate code, while making our probate laws fairer and easier to understand,” says state Representative Graham Filler (R-Duplain Township). “I am proud to work on bipartisan legislation that improves the lives of Michiganders.”   

House Bill 4418, sponsored by Rep. Kelly Breen, amends the value of money, securities, and insurance transfers allowed to minors.    

House Bill 4419, also sponsored by Rep. Kelly Breen, increases the maximum value for the issuance of a certificate of title for the transfer of a watercraft from a deceased owner’s interest, adjusting for the present cost of living.    

“Grieving the loss of a loved one is hard enough without having to endure litigation over inherited property. That’s what these bills will help avoid,” said state Representative Kelly Breen (D-Novi), chair of the House Judiciary Committee. “I’m proud of the bipartisan work we’ve done to help Michigan families avoid Probate Court and make a difficult time just a little easier.”   

The governor also signed House Bills 4325 and 4845.  

House Bill 4325, sponsored by Rep. Helena Scott, increases fines and penalties for large amounts of illegal littering.    

“The signage of the illegal dumping bill by Governor Whitmer is a major victory in creating a better environment for all Michiganders,” said state Representative Helena Scott (D-Detroit). “Polluters will not be able to abandon land and buildings, creating blight, without consequence. The increased fines and penalties send a clear message: We’re putting the health and safety of our ecosystem and the people of Michigan first. If you pollute, it will cost you.”   

House Bill 4845, sponsored by Rep. Willaim Bruck, designates a portion of M-125 in Monroe County, as the “Captain Joseph M. Liedel Memorial Highway”.   

“For 28 years CPT Joe Liedel selfishly served not only his community, but also the victims of the attack on New York City, in September 2001,” said state Representative William Bruck (R-Erie). “He loved what he did and I'm certain if he could come back from the grave would do it all over again, and he would not want to be honored. However, for the sake of his family and our communities, it is fitting he be forever honored for his enduring legacy of service.”   




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