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...

The Downside of a Deed in the Drawer

By Chalgian & Tripp on January 3, 2019

Deed Discovered
Sometimes the old ways are best.  But sometimes the old ways were never really all that smart.  Signing deeds and not recording them until after death is an old school approach...

Old Estate Planning Ideas Give Way to New Technology

By Doug Chalgian on December 5, 2018

Old Estate Planning Ideas Give Way to New Technology

As Duane Horton contemplated his death, he decided to use on app on his smartphone to write a message that explained how he wanted his estate distributed when he was gone. Under Michigan law, that “document” was his will. So says the Michigan Court of Appeals in the recent case of In Re Estate of Duane Francis Horton, II.

Long Anticipated Changes for VA Rules Arrive

By Erin Majka on September 19, 2018

Erin Majka
Clients who have served in the military and face the prospect of needing long term care for themselves or their spouse, often have questions about benefits available through the...

Getting Old is Not for Sissies

By Doug Chalgian on August 22, 2018

Getting Old is Not for Sissies

Recently, a colleague told me about an experience she had with her father and father-in-law. Both were widowed. Both were of an advanced age. Both were beginning to experience trouble getting around. When presented with the proposition that they could benefit from using a wheelchair at times, one was all for it, the other was completely opposed. This story illustrates an important aspect of the aging process that doesn’t always get a lot of attention, but which can be the most important variable in anticipating how challenging the aging process will be.

Elder Bankruptcy

By Christopher Smith on February 5, 2018

Fixed incomes and fixed assets make older adults particularly vulnerable to financial fluctuations.  A bad investment, an unexpected medical crisis, a financial predator or an unwise financial decision resulting from cognitive decline can quickly turn an older adult’s financial world upside down.

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Storm Clouds in Elder Law Land

By Doug Chalgian on January 8, 2018

It seems to me that we are living through what could be a case study on the way the law evolves to address a rapidly changing social environment. More people are living...

What is an Adult Guardianship?

By John Mabley on September 5, 2017

A guardian is a person appointed by the probate court to make decisions about the personal care of another person. In Michigan, there are three types of guardians: 1) Guardians...