Secret Trusts Quietly Arrive

By Doug Chalgian on March 6, 2024

  You can now draft a trust the terms, and even the existence, of which need not be disclosed to one or more of the trust beneficiaries.  The...

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Dead Control Freak Gets His Way

By Doug Chalgian on January 30, 2024

  Appellant is a one-quarter (25%) beneficiary of her parents’ joint trust.  But after Mom dies, Dad amends the trust to say that she only gets the gift...

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Probate Jurisdiction nets Ladybird Deed in Will and Trust Contest

By Doug Chalgian on December 22, 2023

  A jury trial was held in a probate court on the validity of the various estate planning documents, including a will, a trust and a ladybird deed. ...

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COA Upholds Family Cottage Uncapping in Published Case

By Doug Chalgian on November 22, 2023

  In the seemingly endless debate about how to best plan for multi-generational management of a family cottage, there are several schools of thought.  Some planners promote using...

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A Win for Uniformity

By Doug Chalgian on November 11, 2023

  The BIG NEWS in the Michigan probate and elder law world is that Governor Whitmer has signed the Uniform Durable Power of Attorney Act (“UPOAA”) into law. ...

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Deed with Oral Trust Add On Upheld

By Doug Chalgian on June 17, 2023

  X deeds real estate to Y with understanding that Y will hold the subject property for the benefit of Z, and convey the property to Z at...

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Surviving Spouse Escapes Trust Box – COA Puts Him Back

By Doug Chalgian on March 28, 2023

  The challenge when planning for second marriages where each of them has children from prior relationships is that the client has to decide how it will go...

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COA Affirms Conservator’s Ladybird Deed

By Doug Chalgian on January 20, 2023

  The important holding in this case is that a conservator can execute a ladybird deed without first asking for court permission.  The facts and other nuances of...

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Another Deed in the Drawer goes Bad

By Doug Chalgian on January 13, 2023

  Husband and Wife own homestead as tenants by entireties.   Prior to leaving for a trip, they execute a deed conveying their homestead to themselves as co-trustees of...

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Deed Case Feels Like Law School Question

By Doug Chalgian on October 18, 2022

  This is one of those law school question cases, mostly real property law but with a probate twist. Here we go: The Deeds A and B own...

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Doug Chalgian

About The Author: Doug Chalgian

I am an estate planning, probate litigating, elder law attorney. This is a blog for clients and professional colleagues. In it I offer my ideas about the state of the law and the practice of law. I believe we are living through a unique period during which the law (which is traditionally slow to change) and society are attempting to evolve to address the explosion of people living long lives. I find these developments fascinating and enjoy being involved in this evolution.