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 death.

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

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.

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...

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...

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...

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...

The Importance of Boilerplate

By Chalgian & Tripp on April 8, 2019

Boilerplate will
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...

Sweating the Small Stuff

By Doug Chalgian on March 25, 2019

Clients sometimes get confused about the way lawyers use the word “property.”  In the legal community, the word “property” has a very broad meaning.  It means anything a person or entity could own.  Different types of property are then classified with different labels.  For example, the term “real property” is used to mean land and things affixed to the land.  “Intellectual property” refers to things like trademarks and patents.  Bank accounts and investments are referred to as “intangible personal property.”

Best Practices for Family Exploitation Cases

By Doug Chalgian on March 1, 2019

From the perspective of the child who moved to New Jersey 30 years ago, the sibling who moved back into the family home to live with (and be supported by) his aging mother is a ne’er-do-well scam artist who took advantage of and manipulated his mother as her health declined so that, in the end, her entire estate passed to him by one means or another. From the perspective of the son who lived with his mother during those final years of life, he sacrificed to allow his mother to enjoy her final years in a safe environment outside of assisted living, and she favored him out of appreciation for that sacrifice.

Keeping your Treasures from Becoming a Garage Sale Bargain

By Chalgian & Tripp on January 25, 2019

Man at flea market
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...