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.

In Sickness and In Health

By Chalgian & Tripp on December 21, 2020

Tent outside nursing home
If you drove by the Medilodge Nursing Home in Brighton recently, you may have noticed an odd tentlike structure sticking out of the side of the building. Don’t be alarmed....

The Toughest Decision

By Chalgian & Tripp on November 23, 2020

woman with elderly mother
A friend or family member has been declining. An event occurs. They go into the hospital. And suddenly they’re facing the choice of whether they can return home or...

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 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.

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...

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...

Rosa Parks’ Coat Triggers 12 Year Court Battle

By Doug Chalgian on March 22, 2018

Earlier this week, the Michigan Court of Appeals handed down a decision, presumably bringing an end to litigation that has been ongoing since Rosa Parks died. She died October 24,...

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...

OMG They’re Thinking About Getting Married!!

By Joseph Weiler on February 16, 2018

Joseph Weiler
Few things can shake up adult children more than a parent thinking about getting remarried late in life. It comes up in two contexts – one much more difficult to deal with...
Estate Plans for When Kids Don't do As Well As You

By the time I meet with clients (usually in their 50s or 60s, if not older), they have a pretty good idea of how
their children will make out: whether their marriages will be successful, whether they will have children, and what
their prospects are for a sound financial future. All this is good to know when preparing an estate plan.

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of clients who have done well financially themselves, but who can see that their children
are never going to enjoy the same level of material success as they did. They love their children and grandchildren to death
— but they worry about how they will fare financially in the future. Typically these clients have two main concerns:

  • Providing a mechanism to assure that their children will have
    something to live on when those children are no longer able
    to work.
  • Providing their grandchildren with the ability to get a college
    degree without being burdened with a large debt.

With respect to each of these concerns, there is more than one
way to approach the issue, and there are special considerations
with respect to each approach.

A Matter of Trust

By Doug Chalgian on October 22, 2011

a matter of trust
For many people, the process of estate planning begins with the question: “Do I need a Trust?” In the remainder of this article, a question and answer approach will be used...