What Is A Medicaid Block Grant?

By Christopher Smith on March 6, 2017

Somewhere in the U.S. Capitol is a locked down health care bill that will likely be introduced by the House of Representatives this week. Early indications are that the draft bill...

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…

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Last Chance to Enroll in Medigap Legacy Plan C is November 14th

By Christopher Smith on November 3, 2016

One of the best benefits for individuals with disabilities in Michigan is officially going away November 14th, 2016 (with an effective date no later than December 15, 2016). ...

Caring for Aging Parents

By Doug Chalgian on December 15, 2015

Caring for aging parents

It sounds like a simple proposition: hiring caregivers to help an impaired older adult remain in their home. But, as with many of the issues that arise in the context of aging, nothing is quite as simple as it first appears…

VA Changes Looming

By Chalgian & Tripp on February 12, 2015

The Veterans Administration recently announced proposed changes to policy with respect to the increasingly popular Aid and Attendance enhanced pension program.  This program...

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...

Advising Clients on Medicare

By Christopher Smith on November 1, 2014

For too long, Medicare has been the forgotten stepchild of elder law. Few attorneys know its ins and outs, and most struggle to profitably integrate it into their law practices. Yet Medicare will impact nearly every client and is a crucial component of our clients’ long-term financial and physical health.

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,...
Patterns in financial exploitation of vulnerable adults cases

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…

When Elder Law Meets DINK Planning

By Amy Tripp on July 1, 2014

when elder law meets dink planning

As an elder law attorney who also does estate planning, I’ve noticed a marked increase in client couples with dual incomes and no kids (so-called “DINKs”). While my experience in elder law informs my planning across the board in no area of the practice has this perspective been more valuable than in planning…

Guardianship End of Life Authority Clarified

By Doug Chalgian on February 2, 2014

The debate is over. Guardians of adults (but not guardians appointed for persons with developmental disabilities), have authority to sign “do not resuscitate orders” (often...

Advocacy in the Era of Vulnerable Adults

By Doug Chalgian on January 4, 2014

The concept of “vulnerable adults” became popular among the general public only a few years ago.  Prior to that it was an expression one might hear used among that small...

Two Stories About Aging

By Doug Chalgian on January 1, 2014

two stories about aging

As an elder law and estate planning attorney, helping clients understand options and make informed decisions is rewarding. But the decisions they have to make are often difficult, regardless of any advice I can provide.

Rebutting Presumption of Undue Influence

By Doug Chalgian on December 21, 2013

It’s over – at least for now.  The Mortimore case. This is a case I have spoken and written about quite a bit for the past year. Common facts: Older gentleman.  His wife...

Getting old is scary. Friends and loved ones are dead and dying. Your body has declined. Your mind may be failing. What seemed like a nice nest egg now seems inadequate. As we age, we worry and wonder…

New Power of Attorney Law Challenges Planners

By Doug Chalgian on July 31, 2013

As our clients age, and as the population of persons with cognitive impairments expands, the importance of the financial power of attorney is elevated. This reality is reflected by…

I realized the other day there are a handful of things I never tire of watching.  One of those is probate court proceedings.  Admittedly I watch probate court proceedings in...
Here’s another balance that’s hard to strike – and hard to help clients understand and decide. Typical example: Husband and wife have been married 50 years.  They are both...

Local Courts Hold Ground in Medicaid Cases

By Doug Chalgian on June 8, 2013

The bad news is that the Attorney General is actively shopping around for Medicaid cases to attack.  The good news is that local probate judges are – so far – holding the...

Why the Lucid Moment Needs to End

By Doug Chalgian on May 19, 2013

There’s a case I read a couple years ago that bothers me and that I’ve been wanting to comment on it since.  It is an unpublished decision in which the trial court held that...

Estate Recovery Change

By Doug Chalgian on April 18, 2013

The State of Michigan recently terminated the contract for Health Management Services (“HMS”).  HMS was the Texas company that was hired by the State to manage their estate...
You’ve got to love William Shakespeare, the ultimate Renaissance man offered insight into pretty much every aspect of the human condition.  Estate Planning is no different. ...
It is a curious reality of probate litigation that the qualities common to people who create wealth are also qualities of people who create family dysfunction. What I see is that...

Adult Guardianship: The New Divorce

By Doug Chalgian on March 5, 2013

Adult Guardianship

Family conflicts have historically been the province of family law or divorce court. Now those same issues have become the meat and potatoes of the elder law practitioner and are being played out in probate courts.

General Perry’s Terror Clause: Final Chapter (I think)

By Doug Chalgian on February 21, 2013

Within a couple weeks of oral arguments, we received a published opinion in the General Perry terror clause case that has been discussed in this blog before (really fast...

The End of Life Tar Pit

By Doug Chalgian on February 17, 2013

I had the most amazing client interview the other day.  A retired attorney in a lockdown unit at an assisted living facility, placed there by his family and against his will. ...

An Inconvenient Obstacle to Community Based LTC

By Doug Chalgian on February 12, 2013

Summary Because asset protection strategies commonly used in the context of nursing home Medicaid are problematic in the context of MI Choice Waiver and PACE programs, a...

The Mental Health Merry-go-round

By Doug Chalgian on January 28, 2013

I don’t own a gun, have never owned a gun, and never want to own a gun.  Guns make me nervous.  So I have no problem with laws that reasonably limit the types of guns people...

Case Trends and Technical Formalities

By Doug Chalgian on January 13, 2013

The topic for this post was triggered by my end of year clean up. During that process, I go through piles of things I think are interesting and have set aside. In doing so I...

Plan to be 100

By Doug Chalgian on January 10, 2013

These days, living to be 100 years-old is not unusual.  But most people (at least most of my clients) don’t necessarily want to think about what that means from a planning...

Lady Bird Deeds and the Low Hanging Fruit

By Doug Chalgian on January 9, 2013

Nearly two years ago, Michigan began implementing a Medicaid Estate Recovery Program.  “Estate recovery” means that people who receive Medicaid assistance in the nursing...

The New Terror Clause

By Doug Chalgian on January 8, 2013

An unpublished Court of Appeals opinion out of Kent County offers some interesting issues regarding the scope of no contest clauses. Decedent had three children, one of whom was...

The King Lear Complex

By Doug Chalgian on

King Lear is a fictional king of ancient times.  William Shakespeare wrote one of his darkest plays about this character. The King was a good man.  He was getting up in years. ...

Holiday Presents From DC and Lansing

By Doug Chalgian on January 3, 2013

Lots to blog about in the aftermath of busy lame duck sessions in Washington and Lansing.  In order of importance: The Fiscal Cliff Law.  Among the components of the...

Plan to Be 100

By Doug Chalgian on January 1, 2013

Plan to Be 100

These days, living to be 100 years old is not unusual. But most people (at least most of my clients) don’t necessarily want to think about what that means from a planning perspective. As their advisor, I share these thoughts…

Anatomy of Senior Seminar Scam

By Doug Chalgian on December 29, 2012

When you reach a certain age you begin receiving invitations to “educational seminars.”  Often bright colored postcards in the mail, sometimes formalistic letters, even...

Family Dysfunction Part IV: Second Marriages

By Doug Chalgian on December 28, 2012

I advise clients who are in second (third, etc.) marriages, that their children do not like their second spouse.  And I’m not joking. I tell clients that although they may be...
Much litigation is created or avoided in the planning process when the people planning for their estate decide who to put in charge. Words a planner doesn’t want to hear: I...
In the middle of a particularly difficult guardianship matter, a seasoned probate judge once said to me “that will be me and you Doug, when we get there.” The subject of the...
In probate litigation cases, attorneys frequently observe that “this family is really screwed up,” or, more professionally: “this family is completely...

Becoming a Burden

By Doug Chalgian on December 23, 2012

This past weekend, my sister and I were pondering the rationale behind the common desire of many elders in America today that they “not become a burden” on their...

The One Year Rule

By Doug Chalgian on December 21, 2012

The “one year rule” is something I developed counseling clients about adult guardianships, and specifically, when, and if, to file. It comes up in the following...

First Generation

By Doug Chalgian on December 20, 2012

When thinking about the law and aging, it is important to appreciate that we are the first generation to deal with this issue. A generation ago people did not regularly live to...
I am presenting on ladybird deeds at the upcoming State Bar Solo and Small Firm Institute, September 19-21.  Still time to sign up.  Following is an abbreviated version of what...

Working on a Wire

By Doug Chalgian on

My legal practice has become consumed with litigation. Litigation involving the resources of one (older) generation and the expectations and overreaching of the next (younger, but...

SNTs, Obamacare and More

By Chalgian & Tripp on December 19, 2012

A recent unpublished COA opinion raises some interesting issues regarding the probate court’s role in creating special needs trusts, as well as some food for thought on how the...
In an earlier post I reported on changes to MCL 700.5501 brought about by Public Act 141 of 2012.  In this post I would like to point out some other intriguing aspects of this...

General Perry’s Terror Clause

By Doug Chalgian on

I just filed a brief in an appeal that may be of interest to some of you. The case involves the estate of Brigadier General Miller Perry, who died leaving a restated trust. The...
Over the last few years Michigan lawmakers have cooperated with some aging advocacy groups to develop a package of laws intended to deter abuse of older adults. In June, Governor...
This is an important probate issue, although admittedly one that many probate lawyers may never come in contact with.  The topic is Medicare Set Aside Agreements (MSAs).  This...

Revised MCL 700.5501 Mandates Acceptance and Other Formalities

By Chalgian & Tripp on December 18, 2012

The passage of Public Act 141 of 2012 is significant to estate planners in that it requires that an agent appointed under a standard power of attorney for finances (FPOA) to sign...

The Troubling Tale of Catherine Jones

By Doug Chalgian on December 16, 2012

The story of Catherine Jones is unique and it isn’t.  It is typical in many of its facts: an older person with a strong sense of independence, fighting to retain the right to...

Understanding the Power of Power of Attorneys

By Doug Chalgian on April 1, 2011

Understanding the power of power of attorneys

It is not uncommon to become involved in legal disputes where someone is troubled by the way a “power of attorney” is behaving…

Elder Law Litigation and the Lessons I’ve Learned

By Doug Chalgian on January 1, 2010

Elder Law Litigation and the Lessons I've Learned

Elder law litigation is on the rise. But little has been written about it, and from what I see in probate courts around the state, little is understood…

Medicaid Planning Basics

By Doug Chalgian on July 1, 2008

Welcome to the complex, confusing and sometimes controversial world of “Medicaid Planning.” “Medicaid planning” is an area of the law in which attorneys advise clients about how to use the rules of Medicaid eligibility to their advantage…

The ABC’s of Medicaid

By Doug Chalgian on April 1, 2008

Medicaid is a government health insurance program. Unlike Medicare (the other big government health insurance program) to qualify for Medicaid a person must be elderly or disabled and also must meet strict financial eligibility requirements…

Medicaid Planning: Time of Change

By Doug Chalgian on October 1, 2007

Medicaid Planning: Time of Change

Times are changing in the world of Medicaid planning. Always a volatile area of the law, Medicaid planning has entered a period in which the changes being implemented are especially significant, and happening more rapidly than at any time in the recent past…

Planning for clients who need long term care is not always about Medicaid. Many clients may be eligible for other benefi ts, most notably the “Aid and Attendance” Pension (A&A) which is available to many veterans and their surviving spouses through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)…

ICLE’s New Michigan Medicaid Planning Handbook

By George A. Cooney Jr. on April 1, 2007

This book is unique in that it provides practical, step-by-step instruction about obtaining Medicaid assistance for the client who is facing a nursing home stay, or who may be eligible for Home and Community-Based Waiver Services…

On February 8, 2006, President Bush signed into law the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA), a massive piece of legislation that requires states to significantly change some Medicaid eligibility rules…

Elder Law and Medicaid in 2004

By Doug Chalgian on December 1, 2004

Historically, clients come to elder law attorneys confused and, as a result, often frightened. Both are unfortunate…

In Michigan, circuit court is the general trial court. As such, circuit courts have subject matter jurisdiction over all matters except those statutorily exclusively assigned to another court. Probate court has exclusive jurisdiction over internal affairs of trusts, decedent’s estates, conservatorships, and guardianship…