Estate Planning | Elder Law

Nursing Home Negligence and Medical Malpractice in Michigan

When an elder enters a nursing home or other assisted-living facility, the elder and his or her family made that difficult decision based on the elder’s need to receive the specialized care offered by the facility. Sadly, in too many cases, elders in nursing homes receive substandard care or are abused or neglected by the very people who are entrusted with the responsibility of taking care of them. Sometimes, injury, illness, infection—or even … [Read more...]

Removal of a Trustee in Michigan: The Rules Are Clear

When a trust fund is created, the trust documents name a trustee to administer the trust. Depending on the type of trust, the trustee’s responsibilities may begin immediately, or they may begin on the death or incapacity of the person creating the trust, referred to as the grantor or settlor. What happens if, at any point, someone becomes unhappy with how the trustee is performing his, her, or their responsibilities? Under Michigan law, reasons … [Read more...]

Important Tips: Why and How to Fund a Trust

Trusts are a valuable tool in estate planning. A properly-crafted trust can save substantially on taxes, avoid having your estate probated and supervised by a court after your death, and make sure that your hard-earned assets are used in the way you intend during your life and afterwards. However, creating a trust is only the beginning of the process. To be of any use at all, a trust has to be funded. A trust without funding is like a bank … [Read more...]

What to Expect at a Michigan Guardianship Hearing

If your elder family member or loved one is having difficulty taking care of himself or herself, you may consider seeking appointment of a guardian. In a Michigan guardianship proceeding, the probate court appoints a person to make necessary decisions for a legally incapacitated individual. If you are considering seeking appointment as a guardian, or if someone else is seeking appointment as a guardian for your family member of loved one, … [Read more...]

BRMM Wins Trust Litigation Case in the Michigan Court of Appeals

BRMM attorney Andrew Mayoras recently won a probate litigation case concerning interpretation of the provisions of a trust agreement. The action arose following the death of the person who created the trust (decedent), when the surviving spouse (widow) and the decedent's sister disagreed on the interpretation of provisions of the trust relating to removal and selection of trustees. Dispute Over Interpretation of Trust Provisions During his … [Read more...]

Does the Family Have to Pay the Debts of a Person Who Dies?

When a family loses a loved one, the grieving process is difficult under any circumstances. Family members should be able to focus solely on supporting and consoling each other. Unfortunately, even while the family continues to grieve their loss, they also face the task of making sure that their loved one’s financial affairs are put in order. A question that often arises is whether family members are individually, personally responsible for … [Read more...]

Estate Planning, Retirement and Divorce: What You Should Know

Going through a divorce takes a toll under any circumstances. During the process and after the divorce is final, there are often a great number of matters that need to be addressed. Changing titles to real property as well as bank and other financial accounts, dividing up personal property, and moving or relocating are just some of the changes that may need to be accomplished. There is one very important step that should be taken as soon as … [Read more...]

What to Do When an Aging Parent Needs Help with Decisions — But Doesn’t Realize It

As your parents grow older, your foremost concern is making sure that they are comfortable and safe. As long as they can care for themselves and make necessary decisions about their daily and longer term needs, those concerns are eased. But what should you do when an aging patent starts to show signs that they may not be completely capable of taking care of themselves? Memory Loss in Elders — When Does It Become Cognitive Impairment? Almost … [Read more...]

ABLE Accounts in Michigan — Savings Plans for Individuals with Disabilities and their Families

ABLE stands for Achieving a Better Life Experience. The federal ABLE Act, signed into law in 2014, allows states to set up ABLE programs. The program was established to assist individuals with disabilities and their families in saving funds to maintain health, independence, and quality of life — without jeopardizing their access to federal and state funds. Michigan adopted its own ABLE law (MiABLE) in 2015. At the end of 2016, the Michigan … [Read more...]

Can an Ex-Spouse Still Inherit under a Will?

If you have recently divorced, or if you have a parent who has recently gone through a divorce, you and your family have gone through a difficult and emotional time. Most likely, you do not want to think about whether there are implications of the divorce that you have not fully considered. Even so, you should take the time to make certain that all your family's assets are secure from claims of the ex-spouse, including assets covered by a will, … [Read more...]