The Cautionary Tale and Tragic Death of Virginia Kermath

By Chalgian & Tripp on October 9, 2020

Everything I know about Virginia Kermath came from reading a Michigan Court of Appeals opinion. In that opinion, I learned that Virginia was a demented 89-year-old who, on a particularly cold Michigan night, wandered outdoors and became locked out of the building where she lived, experienced hypothermia and frostbite, conditions which led to her...

C & T Celebrates Women and the Law

By Chalgian & Tripp on September 29, 2020

  by Amy Rombyer Tripp The passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg followed by the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett as her replacement on the USSC demonstrates the importance Americans now place on including women in leadership roles in society, and especially in our legal system. Of course, it hasn’t always been that way. The legal profession has a long history of male...

MDHHS Gets Busy

By Doug Chalgian on April 22, 2020

The folks at the top of Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services have been busy. In recent days they’ve become busier – or at least busier in terms of planning and policy regarding COVID. Their activity has resulted in a flurry of COVID-related announcements. Let’s look: Making Waiver Work On April 21, MDHHS applied for an emergency amendment to their State Plan which...

Executive Order Eases Witnessing Rules

By Chalgian & Tripp on April 9, 2020

Governor Whitmer signed another executive order last night, this one aimed at helping estate planning attorneys and their clients. The Order modifies the rules that require witnesses to be physically present when a client signs their will, power of attorney, or other estate planning documents. Under the order, witnessing that takes place “remotely” (aka via Zoom, Skype, Facetime or any other...

Cutting Care for Special Needs Kids Won’t Fly

By Chalgian & Tripp on April 5, 2020

When the Community Mental Health agency in Ionia County decided that because of the COVID Crisis, they would stop providing living supports and respite services to families with severely disabled children and adults at home, CT’s Joelle Gurnoe-Adams would have none of it. One of the families impacted were her clients. Attorney Gurnoe-Adams, with help from her friends of Michigan Protection...

COVID Changes Retirement Plan Options for 2020

By Chalgian & Tripp on April 1, 2020

The “CARES Act” is what the government has named the massive COVID-19 stimulus plan recently passed by Congress and signed by the President. It has many parts. Some of those parts impact what you can do with your retirement plans (like IRAs and 401ks) in 2020. Here is a brief summary: No Withdrawal Required Nobody will be required to take a Required Minimum Distribution (“RMD”) in...

Sisters of Mercy

By Chalgian & Tripp on March 27, 2020

I’m old enough to remember when nursing homes and hospitals were named after saints and religious orders. Back then, caring for the sick and dying was not so much a business as it was a calling. Sure, people today talk about finding their “passion,” and like to say they are willing to “do their part” in the fight against this pandemic, but in truth, most of us are career oriented and...

Nursing Homes Authorized to Segregate COVID-19 Population and More

By Chalgian & Tripp on March 26, 2020

State and Federal entities are taking steps to address the COVID-19 Crisis. Some of the most recent changes include the following: Bed Assignments In an attempt to control the spread of COVID-19, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has announced policy changes designed to give nursing homes flexibility with respect to bed assignments and resident placement. These tools...

Keeping Connected to Our Elders during the Coronavirus Crisis

By Chalgian & Tripp on March 18, 2020

The impact of the Coronavirus crisis on what was “normal” life has been so rapid and extensive that there are literally no words to describe it. Sporting events, the education of our children, socializing in public spaces, even elections – all put on hold while we deal with the frightening specter of a pandemic. So it should not be surprising that something as predictable as restricting...

Elder Law Lessons From William Shakespeare

By Chalgian & Tripp on March 2, 2020

William Shakespeare, the ultimate Renaissance man, offered insight into pretty much every aspect of the human condition. Estate planning is no different. Following are abbreviated summaries of four Shakespeare plays along with an attempt by Attorney Chalgian at some humorous lessons you might take from them about estate planning and elder...

House Sale by Ignorant Agent Not Fraud

By Doug Chalgian on February 21, 2020

Parents are demented and residing in an assisted living. POA child arranges to sell their house. Buyers find rodents and other allegedly undisclosed defects and sue for damages. Trial Court dismisses the case on summary disposition and, in an unpublished opinion, Court of Appeals affirms. The COA says that because agent/child did not know about the defects, it wasn’t fraud for her to fail to...

The Top 10 Ways to Incite Anarchy When You Die

By Chalgian & Tripp on February 6, 2020

When I talk to clients about their estate planning objectives, and make suggestions as to how things might go smoother, one reaction I sometimes get is: “I don’t really care that much. After all, I’ll be dead.” While I only hear that from a minority of clients, it never fails to make me smile. There’s something so practical about...

Stretch IRAs Out with SECURE Act

By Doug Chalgian on December 27, 2019

The so-called “SECURE Act” recently passed by Congress and signed by the President makes several changes to the laws which direct the way retirement plans operate.  For estate planners, the big change is the elimination of “stretch” rules for most IRA beneficiaries. Under the prior law, people who were named beneficiaries of an IRA that passed to them at the death of the account...

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...