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...

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.

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...

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...

The Threat of a Lawyer

By Doug Chalgian on February 16, 2018

Doug Chalgian
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...

The Fall of the High Achiever

By Doug Chalgian on November 13, 2017

I litigate cases involving exploitation of older adults. Early in my career, I was in court on a particularly difficult case. A highly respected scholar, professor, author and researcher had dementia. He was old and he was angry, battling everyone and everything that was being done to protect him, although he very much needed protection.


Finding the Right Lawyer

By Doug Chalgian on November 28, 2016

Finding the Right Lawyer

The way I see it, people often struggle to find the right lawyer for their cases. Over the years, I have been involved in many cases in which more than one party is represented by an attorney. Not infrequently, I look across the table and wonder how this person ended up with that lawyer. Often what I learn is that…


Starting a Lawsuit in the Real World

By Doug Chalgian on May 15, 2015


One of the more frequent conversations I have with clients these days comes up with people who are considering starting a lawsuit. Because of the nature of my practice, the type of lawsuit we are discussing would typically involve things such as: contests about…

Good Guys Win Financial Exploitation Case

By Chalgian & Tripp on February 8, 2015

Frances and Elizabeth Stafford were sisters in the Bay City area. When Elizabeth died, her trust continued for the benefit of Frances. Frances was a vulnerable adult, physically...

Estate Recovery in the Court of Appeals

By Chalgian & Tripp on December 2, 2014

For those who follow the “estate recovery” saga, you may be interested to know that there are two cases currently pending in the Court of Appeals. In Re Estate of Violet...

What Could Go Wrong with Your Living Trust?

By Doug Chalgian on October 1, 2014

what could go wrong with your living trust

When asked about an estate plan, clients often say: “We’re all set, we have a living trust.” And that’s good. Often having a living trust (a.k.a. revocable trust) suggests that (more…)

Estate Recovery Cases Continue

By Chalgian & Tripp on August 5, 2014

Judge Barkey of Genesee County Probate Court recently issued an opinion in an estate recovery case. The case was handled by our office, Chalgian and Tripp Law Offices,...

Clients who meet with me about elderly family members who are being, or have been, financially exploited are often surprised when, shortly into telling me their story, I can take over and fill in the details. It happens a lot these days. The clients say: “I guess you’ve been doing this a while,” or, “I guess our…

A holographic will is a will that a person writes out in their own hand – and signs and dates.  If this is done, the usual requirements that the will be witnessed do not...