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CT Wins Big for Client on Appeal

By Chalgian & Tripp on July 17, 2019

The Court of Appeals just handed down an opinion in the Matter of Robert Lewis. The facts of this case are that Robert had a long relationship with Carol, although they never married.  Robert made Carol a joint owner on several bank accounts, which they both used for mutual living expenses, but only Robert deposited money into these accounts. When Robert got sick and went into a...

What Parents Promise

By Chalgian & Tripp on July 8, 2019

Clients often tell us that their parents promised them that when they die, everything will be divided evenly among the children.  Then, when they die, they find out that there is an asset, a bank account or piece of real estate, that goes to one of the children, individually. In the recent Michigan Court of Appeals case of In Re Estate of William Patrick McNeight, Dad held a family meeting...

How Did Dying Get So Complicated?

By Chalgian & Tripp on May 31, 2019

People like to blame lawyers for everything that’s wrong with society, and in this case, they might be right - sort of. When we get sick, we see doctors. Nobody actually pays their doctor for care anymore.  If you have private insurance, your insurance company determines what type of care you will get.  If you don’t have private insurance, then you will deal with government bureaucracies...

COA Gives Special Needs Community Big Win in Placement Case

By Chalgian & Tripp on May 20, 2019

This is a published decision about the guardianship over a person with a developmental disability (a “DD guardian”), and more specifically, the powers of a DD guardian versus Community Mental Health (“CMH”) with respect to the transfer of the protected person from one CMH facility to another. As probate lawyers understand, DD guardianships are not controlled by the probate court...

State Supreme Court Decides Important Medicaid Case

By Chalgian & Tripp on May 10, 2019

On May 9, 2019, the Michigan Supreme Court released a long-awaited opinion regarding Medicaid planning. In Hegadorn v DHS, the Court held that assets placed in a so-called “Solely for the Benefit” trust are not automatically considered resources in the Medicaid application process. “Solely for the Benefit” or “SBO” Trusts were successfully used in Medicaid planning for nearly 20...

The Importance of Boilerplate

By Chalgian & Tripp on April 8, 2019

What clients really care about is that their estate planning documents say who will be in charge, and where their property goes when they die.  That part of their document might take up only a page or two. Then they go a lawyer and end up with a massive pile of lengthy documents to sign, and they really only understand a fraction of what it says. So they wonder:  why are my estate planning...

CT Adds Housing and Resource Advocate

By Chalgian & Tripp on February 18, 2019

Chalgian and Tripp is proud to announce the addition of Carrie Alexander as our Housing and Resource Advocate.  This is a new position at CT created for Ms. Alexander, who comes to us with a wealth of experience in helping families find quality housing for persons with disabilities.  Prior to joining CT, Ms. Alexander spent six years as Trust Administrator of the Springhill Pooled Accounts...

Keeping your Treasures from Becoming a Garage Sale Bargain

By Chalgian & Tripp on January 25, 2019

Most of us get a kick out of those stories about a valuable piece of art or baseball card that ends up being purchased for almost nothing at the Goodwill store or at a garage sale.  But presumably, the people who don’t think these stories are delightful are the family members who donated the items to charity or who put on the garage sale.  Some of the errors that lead to such events arise, no...

The Downside of a Deed in the Drawer

By Chalgian & Tripp on January 3, 2019

Sometimes the old ways are best.  But sometimes the old ways were never really all that smart.  Signing deeds and not recording them until after death is an old school approach to estate planning that was probably never a good idea, and an idea that has only become worse with time. There are at least three common problems arise when someone pulls a deed out of the drawer of someone who has...

Attorney Chris Smith elected to the Special Needs Alliance Board of Directors

By Chalgian & Tripp on November 6, 2018

Chalgian and Tripp is pleased to announce that Attorney Chris Smith has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Special Needs Alliance. The SNA is a national organization of lawyers committed to helping individuals with special needs and their families. Attorney Smith has a personal passion for special needs planning and focuses his practice on advocating for persons with disabilities....

Long Anticipated Changes for VA Rules Arrive

By Erin Majka on September 19, 2018

Clients who have served in the military and face the prospect of needing long term care for themselves or their spouse, often have questions about benefits available through the Veterans Administration (“VA”). Often these discussions center around what are commonly referred to as the VA Pension Aid & Attendance (“PAA”) benefits. For certain veterans, and their spouses, this benefit...