When Older Adults Make Bad Decisions

By Doug Chalgian on May 9, 2023

  Article by Attorney Doug Chalgian of Chalgian and Tripp Law Offices, PLLC When new clients come in and tell me that an older adult in their family is allowing a...
By Christopher W. Smith, Chalgian & Tripp Law Offices, PLLC Special needs planners regularly encounter families who have accumulated large retirement accounts.  While the...


By Doug Chalgian on January 4, 2023

Back in the day, when I started practicing law, clients would often come in with the notion that they needed a “quitclaim” deed (or “quick claim” deed as some would call...

Finding the Law on Fiduciary Duties

By Ernscie Augustin on June 21, 2022

Clients are commonly confused about various fiduciary roles and their duties.  The job of helping them understated these roles and the obligations that with them is typically that of the elder and probate law attorney.  But lawyers, especially those who have not practiced long in the probate and elder law arena, may find explaining the rules to their client difficult…

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Staying at Home as You Age

By Doug Chalgian on September 28, 2021

Most everyone who thinks about it thinks that when they get old that they will stay in their home and not go into institutional care setting.  And while positive thinking might have some value, getting old is not something any of us can afford to be “Pollyannaish” about.  In the real world, many people who would prefer to stay in their homes end up spending years in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or other institutional settings.

Understanding Adult Guardianships

By Ernscie Augustin on April 27, 2021

In everyday conversation, the word “guardian” could have many meanings.   But in elder law, and in probate court, the term is used more precisely.  It means someone who is appointed by the court to make decisions about the care needs of someone who is unable to make decisions for themselves.

Probate Basics for the Intellectually Curious

By Doug Chalgian on February 22, 2021

Clichés about “avoiding probate” and “protecting your assets” are recited ad nauseum at the so-called “educational seminars” (aka sales presentations) put on nightly by lawyers and financial planners in eateries across Michigan. It isn’t surprising that people show up to these presentations. Probate law is complicated, and people understandably want to feel informed before they spend money and make important decisions about how their assets are distributed at their death. Unfortunately, for the most part, these free-dinner seminar programs are the only place they can go for information.

Medicaid Hunts Household Items

By Chalgian & Tripp on December 14, 2020

Elderly Couple
A new policy from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will make it harder for people seeking assistance with nursing home costs to “spend down” on household...

The Cautionary Tale and Tragic Death of Virginia Kermath

By Chalgian & Tripp on October 9, 2020

The Cautionary Tale and Tragic Death of Virginia Kermath
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...

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...

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...

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...
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 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...

The Cat & Mouse of Exploitation Litigation

By Doug Chalgian on March 13, 2020

The Cat & Mouse of Exploitation Litigation

In litigation involving the financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult, timing is often everything.  Let’s say, for instance, that Dad really likes his new caregiver.  So much that his is “helping her out” financially.  You smell trouble, and you’re probably right.  The question is what to do, and more to the point:  when to do it.  The same question comes up when the concern about exploitation involves a sibling or a new spouse.