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Estate & Trust Administration

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So, lucky you, you got picked to be in charge of the estate or trust. Now you need to know how to keep this assignment from consuming, or even ruining, your life.

Inventories, accountings, claims and creditors. Is the joint account part of the estate? Can you charge for your work? How much? Yep – all of that matters.

Best advice you can get is to work with a lawyer who knows the rules, knows how to pull information together, meet deadlines, and keep the process from spiraling out of control and taking over your life. You don’t need the stress.

CT lawyers are glad to help – and this is what they do. It’s not their first rodeo so to speak. They will get the job done, and do everything within their powers to keep you out of hot water.

To read more about estate and trust administration, check out these articles:

The Top 10 Ways to Incite Anarchy When You Die

September 2, 2016 | Doug Chalgian

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 r ...
Funerals and Family Fights

Funerals and Family Fights

October 1, 2008 | Doug Chalgian

It’s a cliché among estate attorneys: the biggest legal battles often begin with disputes about the smallest items: “who gets the mantle clock?” … for example... ...

And these blog posts about Estate and Trust Administration

So-called “business succession planning” has always presented unique challenges to estate planners. And while there are certainly many challenges to successful business succession planning, due to the limited space available, this article will discuss only one aspect of business planning: The threshold issue of how to plan for a business to pass to the next generation when only some of the children are involved in the business operations.

Aging in Michigan – May 2017

By Chalgian & Tripp on May 16, 2017

Learn about the new estate planning option for Michiganders: the self-settled asset protection trust. Chalgian & Tripp is also growing, opening one new office in Ann Arbor and accepting two new attorneys to our family. You will also learn about the case of the unsigned will, and times/dates for the Special Needs Checkup.

Our Updated ABLE Brochure

By Christopher Smith on May 11, 2017

Are you wondering if an ABLE Account is right for you or for a loved one? Our attorneys have spent countless hours studying the ABLE Act and looking at ABLE programs across the country in order to advise our clients. For you, we have tried our best to compact our knowledge in our recently updated brochure “9 Things You Need To Know About ABLE Accounts.(more…)

Asset Protection Trusts – the New Game in Town

By Doug Chalgian on May 08, 2017

With little fanfare, at the close of 2016, the Michigan Legislature passed (and Governor Snyder signed) legislation that created a new and dramatically different estate planning option for Michigan residents. These new laws allow for so-called domestic asset protection trusts (DAPT). Here’s what you need to know:

(more…)

Come to a C&T Special Needs Checkup!

By Christopher Smith on Apr 24, 2017

It’s that time of year again! Every year, the Chalgian & Tripp Special Needs Team goes around the state giving individuals, parents, families, friends, and other professionals a free update on what is going on in special needs...
I heard Dr. Peter Lichtenberg speak the other day about his research on financial vulnerability in older adults, and more specifically, how and why he developed the Lichtenberg Financial Decision-Making Rating Scale. It’s probably the fourth time...
I hope you find the following article from The Voice (the email newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance) helpful: This installment of the Voice was written by: Tara Pleat ——— The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs...

Credit Union Joint Account Cases Messier Yet

By Doug Chalgian on Mar 25, 2017

In Podolak v Podolak (click on name to read case) two brothers fight over funds in a credit union account that was joint between Dad and just one of them when Dad died. After a lengthy recitation of facts, the Court gets to the legal analysis and...

The Problem with Mediators

By Doug Chalgian on Mar 17, 2017

Now onto facilitative mediation and my opinions and gripes about same. Sometimes I feel like I spend as much time in mediation as I do in court. Nearly all cases I am involved with go through the facilitative mediation process, and most of those...
This morning I offer two posts, only tangentially related, in that they both deal with the broader topic of alternative dispute resolution. This first post relates to a new unpublished court of appeals opinion dealing with arbitration clauses in...

Uncapping Triggered by Date of Settlor’s Death

By Doug Chalgian on Mar 09, 2017

Cottage in Grand Traverse County is held in revocable trust. Settlor dies in August 2014.  Township uncaps property taxes for 2015 – which is the calendar year following the year in which ownership changed – so says Township assessor.  Trustee...

What Is A Medicaid Block Grant?

By Christopher Smith on Mar 06, 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 contains a concept that will fundamentally change Medicaid – block...
I talk to a lot of my clients, as well as professional colleagues, who are roughly in my age range (58). While some of them know exactly when they plan to retire (if they haven’t already), and what they plan to do; many of them are like me –...

Playing the Sanctions Game in Probate Court

By Doug Chalgian on Feb 19, 2017

The Court of Appeals recently issued an unpublished opinion in three combined appeals all relating to the Estate of Robert Winfield Cederquist (click here to read the opinion).  The case provides a good launching spot from which to review the rules...

Decanting Made Easy

By Doug Chalgian on Feb 16, 2017

It’s been four years since Michigan’s decanting laws took effect. Those of us at CT have found ourselves decanting more and more lately. It has provided magnificent results in several cases.  I think the reason it took us so long to get on the...
Since the new year many clients have had questions about how the new administration in Washington might impact the future of public benefits and special needs services.  While we are actively monitoring discussions about what might be coming, at...

Pins and Pictures

By Doug Chalgian on Feb 11, 2017

I struck up a conversation with a woman sitting next to me on a bench in a courtroom in Mio Michigan this week. I asked her if she had any photographs of the stories she was telling me. “Yes” she said “in my mind.” Ah. The best kind. From...

Attorney-Fiduciary Relationships

By Doug Chalgian on Jan 27, 2017

A new published circuit court case addresses the often confused issue of who an attorney hired by a fiduciary represents and is accountable to. This is technical stuff, so if you’re not in the mood or you don’t do this type or work, spare...

Medicaid Block Grants – What If?

By Doug Chalgian on Jan 23, 2017

The news over the weekend is hardly new at all.  President Trump’s plan for fixing Medicaid is to send a set amount of money to each state and let them figure out how to run their own Medicaid programs.  It’s called “block grants” and the...

Estate Recovery – Last Gasp or Second Wind

By Doug Chalgian on Jan 11, 2017

Thursday, January 12, the Michigan Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in several combined matters all relating to the issue of Medicaid estate recovery. The main issue in these cases is whether the manner in which the State...

Top Post Countdown for 2016

By Doug Chalgian on Dec 22, 2016

Because I knew you were curious, following are the plantobe100 posts that got the most views in 2016. To re-read these posts, just click on the name. Honorable mention (sixth place) goes to the only touchy feely post to break the top ten. We Do Grow...

Two Happy Notes

By Doug Chalgian on Dec 08, 2016

On the topic of self-settled special needs trusts (aka Medicaid Pay-Back Trusts; aka D4A Trusts), the “Special Needs Trust Fairness Act” has passed both houses of Congress and is headed to the desk of President Obama for his signature. These...

Lame Duck Legislature Lays Golden Egg – BIG TIME

By Doug Chalgian on Dec 03, 2016

DAPT – learn it and love it. Soon it will be all the talk.  Domestic asset protection trusts.  The news is that the Michigan legislature has approved a pair of bills that would make Michigan one of fifteen states with such laws, and of those...

Medical Experts Carry Conservatorship Case

By Doug Chalgian on Dec 02, 2016

Nice analysis in this recent unpublished COA opinion. Click here to read In Re Conservatorship of Stephen Michalak.  Congrats to my colleague Valerie Kutz-Otway for her successful advocacy on behalf of her client, Mr. Michalak. The case suggests an...

Section 2503 Grows Up

By Doug Chalgian on Nov 12, 2016

This just in – pretty big news – and pretty interesting – the Michigan Court of Appeals holds, in a published opinion, that a draft of a will, prepared by a lawyer, but never signed by her client, could be a valid will. Click on the...

Sunday Morning Story: The Office in Abilene

By Doug Chalgian on Nov 06, 2016

Last week we had an open house for our Southfield Office. Please stop by sometime.  We’re at 26211 Central Park Blvd., Suite 200. And while you’re there, you might notice that Amy Tripp’s office has some unusual decorations, including the...

A Hospice Philosopher

By Doug Chalgian on Nov 04, 2016

I attended a memorial service this week. There was a lunch, and for part of the time I sat with a woman I had never met.  She was a friend of my aunt (the mother of my recently deceased cousin).  She told me that she was a hospice nurse.  She...

Four New Things

By Doug Chalgian on Oct 27, 2016

Michigan Launches ABLE Accounts Michigan will unveil details about it’s ABLE program November 1. ABLE is the Achieving Better Life Experience  ACT that each State can implement, and that allows for tax-free savings accounts to be established for...

A Bridge Too Far

By Doug Chalgian on Oct 19, 2016

When clients come in with really difficult problems, we all try to come up with creative solutions to get them out of the jam. But there is a line where “creative solutions” ends and “WTF give it a try, there’s nothing to lose” begins. ...

Who Gets the Grow Lamps?

By Doug Chalgian on Sep 28, 2016

Thoughts on Plain English and Terms of Art In recent years, lawyers – or at least legal academics – have pushed the concept that lawyers need to write using “plain English.” The movement is presumably designed to make the legal world more...

Estate Recovery Percolates in COA

By Doug Chalgian on Sep 23, 2016

In yet another unpublished Court of Appeals decision on the topic of estate recovery, the COA upholds a result previously announced in the Keyes case (discussed in prior posts). This case is one in a string of cases dealing with the timing that a...

Show Me the Money

By Doug Chalgian on Sep 21, 2016

There’s a new published probate court case arising out of two matters in Jackson County. The case holds that if you don’t have any money, and even if you are on public benefits, you still have to pay an inventory fee so long as the estate has...

Meaty Morris Matter Unfortunately Unpublished

By Doug Chalgian on Sep 03, 2016

The Court of Appeals recently released its opinion in the Estate of Stanley Morris. Click on the name to read the case. There’s a lot here, and a lot of what, in my opinion, is new law or at least clarifications. Someone put some time into...
Foolish me. I got excited about the implementation of a long term care insurance partnership program in Michigan, and have written about it here several times. As previously discussed, the law, which was finally implemented just this spring,...

Nothing New: DCH Wins Again

By Doug Chalgian on Jul 20, 2016

The Court of Appeals has issued yet another published opinion re Michigan’s Medicaid Estate Recovery Program.  Click here to read In Re Estate of Catherine Klein.  The case repeats the factual circumstances of prior estate recovery cases...

What I’ve Learned from Susie – So Far

By Doug Chalgian on Jul 17, 2016

This client was only in her mid-sixties. Her husband had advanced early-onset dementia. She was burned out but unwilling to acknowledge it.  A friend had dragged her to the office to get advice about long term care.  I looked at her...

Ombudsman Finds New Home

By Doug Chalgian on

As of October 1, 2016, the State Long Term Care Ombudsman office will move from being within State government to a nonprofit wholly outside State government. That’s a good thing, and a long time coming. The Michigan Long Term Care Ombudsman...

Two Quickies

By Doug Chalgian on Jun 09, 2016

The End of MCR 5.801(B) The worst Court Rule ever, which requires some probate matters to be appealed to Circuit Court and some to the Court of Appeals, is about to be fixed. The Michigan House and Senate have passed legislation which would send all...

10 Costly Special Needs Planning Mistakes

By Chalgian & Tripp on Jun 06, 2016

In this free download, 10 Special Needs Planning Mistakes to Avoid, you will find the key costly mistakes you can make when planning for a loved one with special needs and how to stay ahead of the curve.

The Love Dance of Arbutus and Lyle

By Doug Chalgian on May 26, 2016

In the woods of Keewenaw County, Lyle married Arbutus and they operated a little shop together. Lyle took a job with the park service which took him away from home for periods. In time, Lyle began having an affair with Susan.  Lyle and Susan...

This is My Rock

By Doug Chalgian on May 22, 2016

Thoughts About Social Justice and Estate Planning Close your eyes and imagine somewhere, sometime a long time ago – someone stood up and said “this is my rock.” I’m guessing that the reaction of those around him/her was: “WTF is this...
I don’t share the gloomy predictions of many of my colleagues about the future of our profession. The internet in general, and Legal Zoom type products in particular, don’t worry me.  While I agree that change is at hand, I don’t perceive...
I posted twice before on the Roush case. Click here and here for the background. In short, the issue in this case is: When a person who has previously created a patient advocate designation is deemed unable to make their own medical decisions by two...

Gilligan’s Island Meets Elder Law

By Doug Chalgian on Apr 21, 2016

So what happened after the rescue? These are my thoughts (just for laughs): Gilligan A simple well-meaning man, after his rescue, his celebrity status generated a substantial income.   But his generosity to friends and good causes left him without...
Topic: The Long Term Care Insurance Partnership Program. Background: This topic was previously addressed in these posts: LTC Insurance Partnership Shows Signs of Life (posted March 29, 2015); and LTCI Partnership Update (posted August 19, 2015)....

New Medicaid Policy on VA Income

By Doug Chalgian on Apr 10, 2016

Understanding the way Medicaid programs treat income-like benefits paid by the Veterans Administration have always been confusing (at least to me). Until now, Medicaid policy on the subject was sparse.  Good news, as of April 1, we have a lot more...
People sometimes ask me how our firm is being impacted by the aging of Baby Boomers. I try to avoid the topic, because once I get started I hear myself becoming dark and foreboding – not a role I like to play.  So if you prefer uplifting topics...
It’s 1931 and Tough Guy (“TG”) impregnates Mom then dies shortly thereafter in a street fight over Mom’s affections. TG dies before his baby is born.  TG’s baby grows up and has one child.  That child (TG’s grandchild) dies many years...

MFDA Chimes in on Funeral Rep Law

By Doug Chalgian on Mar 24, 2016

The Michigan Funeral Directors Association contacted the author of this blogsite and offered a different perspective with respect to, in fact, takes exception to, the conclusions offered in my prior post regarding the anticipated funeral...

Long Sought Funeral Fix Awaits Signing

By Doug Chalgian on Mar 18, 2016

It appears that the people of Michigan will soon be able to appoint a “funeral representative.” A funeral representative is a person who is authorized to make funeral and other arrangements regarding the disposition of the remains of the...
When I was here, I wanted to be there; when I was there, all I could think of was getting back into the jungle. I’m here a week now… waiting for a mission… getting softer. Every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker,...
Petitions, motions, discovery. It all matters.  But when it comes to winning the guardianship/conservatorship case, there is an additional element – managing the court-appointed players.  Specifically, the guardian ad litem (“GAL”) and...

Litigation Strategies Part VI: When in Doubt Depose

By Doug Chalgian on Mar 11, 2016

Most people can’t just look at other people’s emails, tax returns or bank accounts. They can’t ask them questions about their intentions, their prior statements or their relationships with other people, and require them to answer truthfully...

Litigation Strategies Part V: Kissing Frogs

By Doug Chalgian on Mar 10, 2016

The topic of this post is: How to gather information at an initial meeting with clients seeking representation in an undue influence case, from a lawyer’s perspective. Start with the proposition that nearly all will and trust contests, and many...

And So It Ends – Perhaps

By Doug Chalgian on Mar 02, 2016

The Ketchum case discussed in more detail in a prior post was just released. It is a published Court of Appeals opinion.  Click here to read the case. This case arises in the context of a series of cases that have been decided by the COA since...
Hamlet said of his uncle who murdered his father and married his mother, that he is “a little more than kin, and less than kind.” In typical Shakespearian creativity, he captures the sense of something that is in between two things. So it is...

Roush II: The Plot Thickens

By Doug Chalgian on Feb 12, 2016

A little drama is stewing in the elder law world. I wrote about the Roush case when it came out. Click here to read that post appropriately titled “This Could Get Interesting.” Since then, the matter has been taken up by the Michigan Supreme...

Estate Recovery Timing Rule Clarified

By Doug Chalgian on Feb 06, 2016

The Court of Appeals issued a published opinion in four estate recovery cases that were combined for the purpose of this opinion. Click here to read the opinion. In each case the following facts were in play: Someone began receiving long term care...

Ketching Up on Estate Recovery

By Doug Chalgian on Feb 01, 2016

Tomorrow, Tuesday, is a red letter day in the elder law world. The Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in the matter of In Re Estate of Ketchum. Ketchum is the fist case that has gone up to the COA to address that portion of Michigan’s...

We Do Grow Young Again

By Doug Chalgian on Jan 31, 2016

In the house of the old couple that passed, the furniture was outdated, the carpeting worn, the window dressings shabby. I have been in houses like this many times before. A house trapped in a time period long past. It was typical. The family...

A Gold Digger Epidemic: Statistically Speaking

By Doug Chalgian on Jan 26, 2016

Statistics can be fun. One of the big statistics driving the aging industry is the reality that people are living longer than ever.  Get beneath the impressive growth of the aging population, get into some of the nuances, and see why certain issues...

Curious Concept from a Midwest Neighbor

By Doug Chalgian on Jan 18, 2016

Joe is taking care of his Mom, Dolly. Joshua, Joe’s brother and Dolly’s other son, isn’t helping out.  So Joe sues Joshua for help with Dolly’s care costs – and wins.  Now Joshua has to pay $400 per month toward Dolly’s care costs. ...

Oh, By The Way

By Doug Chalgian on Jan 14, 2016

So five sisters, four surviving. Dad dies, and one daughter, Sandy, announces to her sisters: “and by the way Dad owed me $1.5 million dollars for taking care of him all these years.” Nice. The case is called In Re Schwein Estate. Click on the...

Tangled Webs

By Doug Chalgian on Jan 09, 2016

If someone wanted to capture the essence of elder law litigation in a nutshell, they might be inclined to echo the words of the poet: “Oh what tangled webs we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” While the cases that come into our office...
Discretionary trusts are important for all sorts of reasons. Essentially, the law holds that when a beneficiary’s interest in a trust is subject to the pure and unfettered discretion of a trustee, because that beneficiary has no ability to control...

The Present, Past and Future of Elder Law

By Doug Chalgian on Jan 01, 2016

For obvious reasons, I interact with a lot of people who are looking for an “elder law” attorney. The label seems to have caught on. So I will take this opportunity to explain what I understand “elder law” to be, look back at where it came from, and look ahead to where it may be going.

A young but growing specialty

Elder law is a specialized area of legal work that involves traditional estate planning, but focuses more particularly on issues that clients face as they age, and especially legal issues associated with the late stages of life, such as long-term care planning, surrogate decision-making and end-of-life care.

This is a young practice area, probably no more than 30 years old. The founding of the National Academy ofAttorneys in 1987 probably provides the best marker for its start.

Fiduciary Relationship and Undue Influence

By Doug Chalgian on Dec 17, 2015

In Re Benedetti Estate and Trust is a recent unpublished opinion from the Court of Appeals, so take it for what it’s worth. (Click on the case name to read the case.) The opinion offers an extensive discussion of a key issue in will and trust...

Playing with Knives

By Doug Chalgian on Dec 06, 2015

There’s a saying among litigators. It goes like this: Lawyers play with knives but never get cut. The idea (or image) is two lawyers facing each other holding knives, with their clients in between. When the case is over, the clients are bloodied...

Additional Thoughts on Healthcare Costs

By Doug Chalgian on Nov 30, 2015

In my last post I suggested there are things to think about – things that will need to be resolved through a political process that seems to have little stomach for “cutting benefits to retirees” – specifically, deciding how...

The Medicaid Planning Question

By Doug Chalgian on

I get invited to present to a lot of groups about various topics – one of the most popular topics being planning for long term care. It is an important topic because there is so much misinformation and so many misconceptions about it. As a result,...
He came in using a walker – clearly shaking, very unsteady – with extensive bruises on both arms.  When I saw on the questionnaire that he was 71 years-old, I was surprised.  I would have guessed he was older.  He was accompanied by a...

Capacity to Gender Identify

By Doug Chalgian on Nov 08, 2015

Talk about cutting edge cases… How about this one out of Jackson County: 60 year-old biological male with history of developmental disabilities and psychiatric events, decides he wants to become a woman. Family recognizes he has a history of...

The Romance of the Law

By Doug Chalgian on Nov 01, 2015

Friday I attended the swearing in of my daughter – that is, she is now a lawyer – like me. The ceremony is full of high-minded thoughts, an oath that includes archaic phrases, and lots of hugs and smiles. In the daily practice of law it’s easy...

This Is Awkward

By Doug Chalgian on Oct 11, 2015

New published Court of Appeals opinion. Click here to read it. Lawyer prepares an estate plan for client (and purported friend). The estate plan leaves most of the multi-million dollar estate to himself (the lawyer) and the lawyer’s son. This is...

The (Dysfunctional) Family Prayer

By Doug Chalgian on Oct 03, 2015

With the holiday season coming – and thinking about my elder law practice and clients – I came up with this idea.  Please don’t take offense – it is meant to be a joke – more or less. Dear ______ As we gather together during this holiday...

This Could Get Interesting

By Doug Chalgian on Sep 28, 2015

The Michigan Supreme Court is considering a case involving the issue of a medical provider and Michigan law regarding surrogate decision-making. Specifically, Margaret Roush was a resident of the Laurel’s of Carson City, a skilled nursing...

Important October BEM Changes

By Doug Chalgian on Sep 15, 2015

DHHS released new BEM language to take effect October 1, 2015. Click here to read them. Of particular note are the new provisions for long term care partnership insurance payments and care contracts. As to the long term care insurance partnership,...

Bittner’s Bite

By Doug Chalgian on Sep 13, 2015

So we have a new published opinion on a probate court case – something unusual these days.  In Re Conservatorship of Shirley Bittner was published September 8, 2015.  Click here to read the case. In Bittner, the probate court imposed a...

VA and LTC Planning

By Doug Chalgian on

I recently responded to a post on a listserv in which the issue of using irrevocable trusts to “protect assets” in order to obtain VA Aid and Attendance pension income was the topic.  It caused me to organize my thoughts on this important...

Important Ruling on Homecare Wages

By Doug Chalgian on Aug 22, 2015

Last week a Federal Appellate Court issued a decision that would guarantee minimum wage and overtime protections to home health care workers. So far the decision has received little attention, but if it stands, it is hard to imagine a decision that...

Only in Ann Arbor?

By Doug Chalgian on

The first time I met my client was early one morning at the Starbucks on Main St. in Ann Arbor. He had flown in the night before, and I had driven down that morning from East Lansing. The Starbucks is a couple blocks from the Courthouse where we had...

LTCI Partnership Update

By Doug Chalgian on Aug 19, 2015

With respect to the status of the long term care insurance partnership program, which has been the subject of at least one prior post (see below); in a conversation with those working on this issue in state government, I was able to glean the...

Tell It To Me Slowly

By Doug Chalgian on Jul 10, 2015

Humming in my head the other day was an old song – What’s your name? Who’s your daddy? Is he rich like me? Has he taken any time to show you what you need to live? Tell it to me slowly. Tell me what I really want to know. It’s the time of...

Does Obergefell Spell the End of Dower?

By Doug Chalgian on Jul 01, 2015

I saw this article from mlive, noting that there are 132 Michigan laws that reference the word “wife,” 149 sections that use the word “husband.”  And that doesn’t even include the terms “widow” and...

The Good and Ugly

By Doug Chalgian on Jun 25, 2015

Two new unpublished COA opinions worth note. Let’s start with the ugly. In Perry v Cotton, June 16, 2015, the COA repeatedly states that the attorney for the Personal Representative represents the “estate.”  Although the opinion fails to...

Gender Identity and Estate Planning

By Doug Chalgian on May 13, 2015

Those of you as old as I am have lived through one revolution:  the communications revolution.  We went from wall phones to smart phones in a generation.  From no computers to computers everywhere and in everything we use.  We can all recognize...

The Second Love of Her Life: A Sunday Morning Story

By Doug Chalgian on Apr 19, 2015

Yesterday I met with a family regarding a new matter. These days I try to avoid Saturday appointments – but I was told these clients “really needed” to get in. I’m not sure the case warranted emergency status, but I’m glad...

COA Decides Estate Recovery Notice Case

By Doug Chalgian on Apr 17, 2015

The Michigan Court of Appeals released a published opinion in an estate recovery notice case.  click here. The COA rejected the so-called “notice defenses” that have been the basis for most (perhaps all) successful litigation...

LTC Insurance Partnership Shows Signs of Life

By Doug Chalgian on Mar 29, 2015

This week, seemingly out of nowhere, the long awaited first blip of life for the long term care insurance public-private partnership appeared in the attached DHS memo. Click here. The memo seems to say that soon we will have a LTC insurance...

Vulnerable Adults

By Doug Chalgian on Mar 25, 2015

I had an article published in the state bar journal this month about financial exploitation of vulnerable adults.  For those interested in reading it, click here. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on...
Thanks to the excellent advocacy of Amy Tripp and David Shaltz, it appears we may be getting close to resolving one of the difficult issues related to using annuities in Medicaid planning in cases involving married couples.  The issue relates to...

COA Geek Alert: Unpublished Opinions

By Doug Chalgian on Mar 08, 2015

For those who don’t do appellate work, you may not want to spend your time reading this.  For this who do …. The Michigan Supreme Court has published proposed changes to the Court Rules relating to unpublished opinions.  Click here to read the...

8th Circuit Decision Stuns SNT World

By Doug Chalgian on Mar 04, 2015

Topic:  Self Settled Special Needs Trusts, aka Medicaid Payback Trusts, aka d(4)(A) Trusts. Legal Background:  When a person under 65 meets the requirements of being disabled for the purposes of qualifying for needs-based government benefits (most...

Court of Appeals Upends Medicaid Caregiver Policy

By Doug Chalgian on Feb 21, 2015

I started out calling this post, “Court of Appeals Confuses Medicaid Caregiver Policy” – but having reread the case, “Upends” seems to be a more accurate description. The case is Jensen v Department of Human Services.  Click here to read...
On the topic of Medicaid planning, John Bos used to famously comment at ICLE programs that “pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered.”  The idea was that in engaging Medicaid planning strategies, those who pushed the envelope too far, were going...

Bay County judge awards $1.5M for trust conversion

By Chalgian & Tripp on Feb 16, 2015

By Douglas Levy

Douglas G. Chalgian said that in his nearly two decades of practicing probate litigation and elder law, he had never encountered an instance in which a trustee asserted his Fifth Amendment rights during a misappropriation lawsuit.

That all changed last year.

Within a six-month period, trustees in two cases Chalgian was handling took the Fifth.

This month, in Bay County Probate Court, Chalgian got summary disposition in one of those cases, where the trustee, a financial planner, was accused of converting more than $513,000 from two sisters’ trust.

Atul Gawande and Estate Planning

By Doug Chalgian on Feb 14, 2015

My friend and colleague, Fred Rolf, recently sent several of the lawyers in our firm a copy of Atul Gawande’s book: Being Mortal. Although Dr. Gawande writes about the medical community, the book was stunningly relevant to me as an estate planning...

Good Guys Win Financial Exploitation Case

By Doug Chalgian on Feb 06, 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 and cognitively impaired. Her trusted financial advisor of many years...

VA Changes Looming

By Doug Chalgian on Jan 27, 2015

The Veterans Administration recently announced proposed changes to policy with respect to the increasingly popular Aid and Attendance enhanced pension program.  This program allows Veterans who served during periods of conflict, and their spouses,...

PACE and Divestment

By Doug Chalgian on

“Divestment” is a term Medicaid uses to mean transferring assets before applying for benefits.  The term “lookback period” is a Medicaid term which refers to the period of time, prior to filing an application during which asset transfers...

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