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Cutting Care for Special Needs Kids Won’t Fly

By Doug Chalgian 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 Doug Chalgian 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 Doug Chalgian 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 Doug Chalgian 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 Doug Chalgian 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...

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...