Estate Planning | Elder Law

How Is a Trust Created?

Trusts are often used in financial and estate planning. A trust is a legal arrangement under which a trustee holds, manages, and disburses assets for the benefit of one of more beneficiaries. But how is a trust created? In Michigan, there are specific statutory provisions relating to creation of trusts. Michigan Law on Creating a Trust The person who creates a trust is referred to as the grantor or settlor of the trust. The trustee is the … [Read more...]

Ethics of Nursing Home / Medicaid Planning

An essential component of our elder law and estate planning practice at The Center for Elder Law, a division of BRMM, is advising clients on nursing home planning, which includes Medicaid planning. Through sound long-term care planning, we assist elders, their spouses, and families in planning for the high cost of long-term care and navigating the ever-increasingly complex Medicaid laws and rules. For several decades, the topic of the “ethics” … [Read more...]

I’m a Florida Snowbird from Michigan — Where Should I Find a Lawyer?

If you are one of the significant number of Michiganders who flock to Florida in the winter, your legal matters need to take the laws of both states into account — but how can you make sure that happens? At BRMM, our answer to your question, “Where should I find a lawyer?” is: right here in Michigan. Attorney Andrew Mayoras passed the Florida Bar and now is licensed to practice in both Michigan and Florida. For Michiganders with interests in both … [Read more...]

Our Michigan Law Firm Serves Client Needs in Florida

All of us at BRMM extend hearty congratulations to partner Andrew Mayoras in passing the Florida Bar exam! With Andy's success, the firm is able to serve the needs of our Michigan clients who have residences or other needs in Florida. While passing a bar exam may not seem like a difficult accomplishment, it really is! We have the data to prove it, including some fun facts about famous people who failed bar examinations. Passing the Bar: Not … [Read more...]

What Can I Do When the Personal Representative Named in the Will Fails to Start the Probate Process?

In Michigan, a personal representative named in a will has to apply and be appointed by the probate register or probate court in order to begin the probate process. While it does not happen frequently, there are situations in which the personal representative does not follow the required steps and fails to start the probate process. Michigan law provides a process that can be followed if that situation arises. Regardless of the reason that the … [Read more...]

Litigating Undue Influence Disputes

When used in a legal context, undue influence refers to circumstances in which one person unfairly or unduly pressures or coerces an individual who is making an important decision. Undue influence can occur in many different situations. A claim of undue influence is most often encountered in an action contesting a will or trust, but it also can be asserted to challenge the validity of other documents, such as powers of attorney, healthcare … [Read more...]

What Is a Spendthrift Clause in a Trust?

In estate planning, a concern can arise about protecting assets from being recklessly squandered away by a beneficiary. The concern may exist simply because there are some people who handle money irresponsibly. The worry also arises for beneficiaries with a history of substance abuse or other addictive behavior, as well as individuals in destructive or problematic relationships. Often the answer is to include a spendthrift clause in a trust as … [Read more...]

Can a Lost or Accidentally Destroyed Will Be Valid?

To probate a Last Will and Testament in Michigan, as in other states, the original will has to be presented. What happens if the original will cannot be found after someone dies? In some cases, the probate court may allow a copy of the will to substitute for a lost or accidentally destroyed will. Each case will be decided by the court based on the specific facts of the situation. Michigan Laws for Lost or Destroyed Wills The Michigan Estates … [Read more...]

When Should Family Members Be Compensated as Caregivers?

In many families, the situation is familiar: As your loved ones grow older, they need help with daily and routine tasks. Often, a family member steps in and takes care of the elder. Over time, the elder needs more help, so the family caregiver’s responsibilities grow. As the caregiver spends more time with the elder, even in harmonious families, other family members can become resentful. If the elder gives money to the caregiver, disputes are … [Read more...]

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...]