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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...

Rosa Parks' Coat Triggers 12 Year Court Battle

By Doug Chalgian on March 22, 2018

Earlier this week, the Michigan Court of Appeals handed down a decision, presumably bringing an end to litigation that has been ongoing since Rosa Parks died. She died October 24, 2005, in Detroit. In the end, the parties were fighting about her coat. To be fair, not just any coat, but the coat she was wearing when she changed the course of history by refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a...

The Threat of a Lawyer

By Doug Chalgian on February 16, 2018

So your parent died and one of your siblings is the executor of the estate, or trustee of the trust – and nothing is happening. Gentle prodding hasn’t worked. Months, even years have gone by – and you’re starting to wonder: What do I have to do to get this over with? Hiring a lawyer is one option. But don’t be naïve. Once one lawyer gets involved, the usual result is that everybody...

OMG They're Thinking About Getting Married!!

By Joseph Weiler on February 16, 2018

Few things can shake up adult children more than a parent thinking about getting remarried late in life. It comes up in two contexts – one much more difficult to deal with then the other: First, there are simply competent older people who enjoy companionship and who have found someone that they click with. Being old doesn’t mean you have to be lonely, and the adult children of these...

Storm Clouds in Elder Law Land

By Doug Chalgian on January 8, 2018

It seems to me that we are living through what could be a case study on the way the law evolves to address a rapidly changing social environment. More people are living longer.  More people are experiencing age-related cognitive impairments.  At the same time family dysfunction seems to be the rule, not the exception. As a result, the law in the arena of adult guardianships and...

Setting Up A GoFundMe Campaign While Preserving Benefits

By Christopher Smith on November 10, 2017

The Detroit News and other news organizations are reporting a tragic story about a woman who was sexually assaulted and had a child. Friends and family started a GoFundMe campaign to support her and her child and raised over $100,000.  Unfortunately, because of the GoFundMe campaign, she and her child lost health insurance and other financial assistance. There are insufficient facts in the...

Fancy Legal Language Creates Confusion

By Chrysa Milholland on October 24, 2017

The words lawyers use when drafting wills and trusts should be clear.  A recent Court of Appeals case shows the problems that arise when lawyers use flowery language. In the case of Eugenie Dietrich (Court of Appeals Case 332751, 10/17/17), Mom dies leaving a Will that provides for her estate to go to her two sons “in equal shares, share and share alike.”  One son predeceased Mom leaving...

CT gets favorable decision from Court of Appeals

By Doug Chalgian on October 13, 2017

On October 12, 2017, the Michigan Court of Appeals handed down a decision in the Matter of Ueal Patrick.  Click here to read the case. CT represented Ueal and his son Mark in litigation in Jackson County Probate Court, including in the proceeding to have Mark appointed conservator for Ueal, which proceeding was the subject of this appeal. There were at least three issues on appeal, for...

Ladybird Deeds Made Simple

By Susan Chalgian on September 29, 2017

The best way to understand a ladybird deed is to think of it as a beneficiary designation on real estate. That is, the property continues to be owned in all respects by the person creating the deed for so long as they are alive, but when they die, if they haven’t otherwise disposed of it, the property will go to the beneficiaries named in the deed. It was probably about 15 years ago that...