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Brandon S. Dornbusch

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Brandon S. Dornbusch, PLC
  • Estate Planning, Elder Law, Real Estate Law ...
  • Michigan
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Brandon is passionate about helping individuals, families, and business owners achieve peace of mind by developing and implementing creative cost effective plans tailored for each client. He aims to be his clients' attorney for life, helping to develop strategies that minimize risk, maximize returns on investment, and create legacies that last for generations to come.

Brandon received his undergraduate degree with honors from Michigan State University in History with a concentration in Mandarin Chinese, and his JD from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 2011. While at Case, he focused his studies on Federal income, estate, gift, and generation skipping taxation.

As part of the estate planning process, he prepares documents for clients and works to educate them on the importance of titling assets to ensure their estate planning documents work the way they intend. Brandon's goal is to make this process as accessible, efficient and streamlined as possible so that individuals are more motivated to develop and complete their plan, and families do not have to deal with the fallout from a lack of planning.

In addition to estate planning, Brandon has extensive experience in elder law, including planning for long term care and Medicaid, and in disability rights and planning for individuals with special needs. Brandon also represents families and elderly individuals in guardianship and conservatorship matters.

Brandon is actively involved in the Estate Planning and Probate Section of the State Bar of Michigan, where he serves on the ad hoc committee for the proposed Community Property Trust Act, and the Elder Law and Disability Rights Section of the State Bar of Michigan. Brandon holds a certificate in Estate Planning from the Institute of Continuing Legal Education. Brandon often gives presentations and writes articles on estate planning and elder law topics, and is a member the Estate Planning Council of the Grand Traverse Area.

Practice Areas
Estate Planning
Guardianship & Conservatorship Estate Administration, Health Care Directives, Trusts, Wills
Elder Law
Real Estate Law
Commercial Real Estate, Condominiums, Easements, Eminent Domain, Homeowners Association, Land Use & Zoning, Mortgages, Neighbor Disputes, Residential Real Estate, Water Law
Business Law
Business Contracts, Business Dissolution, Business Finance, Business Formation, Business Litigation, Franchising, Mergers & Acquisitions, Partnership & Shareholder Disputes
Probate Administration, Probate Litigation, Will Contests
Video Conferencing
  • FaceTime
  • Google Meet
  • Zoom
  • RingCentral
  • Free Consultation
    Free consultation for most situations. For Complex situations requiring review of documents or longer phone conversations with third parties, I require a $200 fee, to be credited to your legal fees should you retain me. This is agreed upon before your consultation.
  • Credit Cards Accepted
    All major cards accepted. Clients may pay fees online.
  • Contingent Fees
    I accept contingent fees for some probate litigation matters.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
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  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Brandon S. Dornbusch, PLC
- Current
Bowerman, Bowden, Ford, Clulo & Luyt, P.C.
Legacy Legal Group, PLC
Associate, Of Counsel
Stowe Legal Group, PLC
Case Western Reserve University School of Law
J.D. (2011)
Case Western Reserve University School of Law Logo
Michigan State University
B.A. (2007) | History, Mandarin Chinese
Honors: Graduated with Honors
Michigan State University Logo
Professional Associations
National Association of Elder Law Attorneys
- Current
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Estate Planning Council of the Grand Traverse Area
- Current
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State Bar of Michigan-Elder Law and Disability Rights Section
- Current
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State Bar of Michigan-Estate Planning and Probate Section
- Current
Activities: Member of the ad-hoc committee for the Community Property Trust Act
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Probate and Estate Planning
Institute of Continuing Legal Education
Websites & Blogs
Brandon S. Dornbusch, PLC
Legal Answers
1 Questions Answered
Q. My grandfather added me to his home with a quit claim dead a year ago. He was added about 20 years prior with a quit
A: Without reviewing the deeds, which would be necessary to give a definitive answer, assuming your grandfather was added to the deed as a joint-tenant-with-right-of survivorship, he received a half step-up in income tax (capital gain) basis when your grandmother died. Since then, it's likely the property appreciated significantly. If your grandfather conveyed it to you as a joint-tenant-with-right-of-survivorship, your grandfather might be able to exclude 50% of the gain as a joint tenant upon the sale under IRC section 121, assuming the home is his primary residence and he hasn't used that section 121 exemption within the last 5 years. But your 50% of the home sale proceeds would be taxable (assuming you don't live there as your primary residence).

A better method might be conveying your interest in the home back to your grandfather, then your grandfather could execute a Lady Bird Deed conveying the property to you upon his death. Then, upon his death, the property would receive a full step-up in income tax basis to its fair market value under IRC Section 1014(b)(9), instead of just a half step-up if you inherit it as the surviving joint tenant. Then you could sell the home without much, if any, income tax liability (the gain would be limited to the increase in value between your grandfather's death and the sale).
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Contact & Map
Brandon S. Dornbusch, PLC
107 Cass Street
Suite H
Traverse City, MI 49686
Toll-Free: (231) 714-9392
Telephone: (231) 714-9392
Fax: (231) 714-9392
Monday: 9 AM - 5 PM
Tuesday: 9 AM - 5 PM
Wednesday: 9 AM - 5 PM
Thursday: 9 AM - 5 PM (Today)
Friday: 9 AM - 5 PM
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed
Notice: Additional hours by appointment only.
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