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Michigan Elder Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Elder Law for Michigan on
Q: Can a sibling sign herself up for POA over a parent who has dementia without informing her other siblings?
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on May 12, 2022

No -- and there are several issues rattling around in your question that SCREAMS your family need to get real advice from a local estate planning attorney.

If someone lacks 'testamentary capacity' because of dementia or any other illness, they cannot create estate planning...
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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law, Nursing Home Abuse and Personal Injury for Michigan on
Q: HOW TO FILE A NEGLIGENCE COMPLAINT AGAINST A DR., SPARROW, AND ANURSING HOME/ SOCIAL WORKER?

THIS HAS TO DO WITH MY SISTER WHO HAS A MENTAL CONDITION FOR YRS .LAST YR SHE FELL AND WAS TAKEN TO CARSON HOSPITAL FOR THAT . THAT IS WHERE THE NIGHTMARE BEGAN. SHE HAD BEE TAKING CLOIRIL FOR YRS AND I RECOGNIZED IT WAS AFFECTING HER SPEECH AND HER ARMS BECAME JERKY AND BECAUSE OF BEING AROUND... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Mar 29, 2022

You have two potential issues: 1) medical malpractice, and 2) nursing home abuse / neglect. The latter is one you can more readily start by contacting the facility, omsbudman, or the state's complaint website. The former would require gathering medical documentation and finding a medical... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Elder Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: guardianship says I need permission to move aunt out of Michigan how do I petition court?

Aunt is in nursing home in Michigan, I need to move her to Ohio. I am next of kin and have guardianship. I told the judge I wanted guardianship specifically to move her to Ohio. He said I have 4 months to do so, but paperwork states I can not move her out of state. No one is giving me the... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Feb 28, 2022

You will likely need to file a petition and order in the court that granted you guardianship.

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Michigan on
Q: I am a recent gaurdian for a very good friend. I now have acres to her banking. I have seen that she has $4300.00.

In her checking (she is on Medicaid and facility). I know $2000.00 is allowed in this account. What can I do with the extra for her. We have already paid for funeral.

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Dec 31, 2021

You should consult an elder law attorney before doing anything with that money. But generally, there are many things that you can spend money on in a "spend down" strategy.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Elder Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: What do I need to file in order to be added as an interested person? Person is still living. More details included.

A man who was like a father to me growing up is now under probate court. His cousins have guardianship and conservator. They said now is not a good time. I've gone to his old residence a few times and they're refusing to tell me where he is now living. What I've gathered is an... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Dec 31, 2021

You're in a tough spot. If his family is unwilling to tell you where he is, you could try going to the probate court to look at the record. But even with that, his family could legally tell the facility not to let you see him. Whether they would do that or not, we can't tell.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Health Care Law for Michigan on
Q: Are we able to retain ownership of our home if we qualify for Medicaid; what is the max. income to qualify for Medicaid?

Are there other assets Medicaid can take from our estate?

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Nov 24, 2021

Depends on who you mean by "we" and who would be the qualifying person for Medicaid. Ordinarily, the value of the primary residence is exempt for qualification purposes; you can "keep" it while the person is alive. However, once a person dies, the state may seek to recover what... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Michigan on
Q: Hello, my Mother is 90 years old. She is in a long term care facility. She is unable to make decisions for herself.
Don L Rosenberg
Don L Rosenberg answered on Nov 15, 2021

I know dealing with your mother's health challenge especially under a pandemic. If your mother cannot make decisions for herself and there isn't a health care power of attorney, I am afraid you will need to become her guardian in probate court to make her care, custody, day to day, end... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Michigan on
Q: How can I or one of my siblings get Financial and Medical Power of Attorney for our mother and her wife in Michigan?

They are about to be evicted from their apartment and keep getting in financial difficulties where they need money from us. We have asked them to let one of us take over their finances before, but they declined. They both have many serious medical issues, but don't follow through with... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Oct 11, 2021

Your concerns suggest a need for more than just powers of attorney, which are revocable at any time by the principle. You may need to explore guardianship, which is a more permanent arrangement, and actually divests your mother from being legally able to make her own decisions. It is unclear though... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Michigan on
Q: How do I remove myself as alternate or substitute agent from both financial and healthcare Power of Attorney documents?

This is in the State of Michigan.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 4, 2021

There are two ways to do this. The first way is to inform the maker of those instruments that you are not willing to serve and ask that he or she revoke the existing instruments and make new ones. If that is not possible, then you can simply decline to serve. This should be done in writing and... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Elder Law for Michigan on
Q: Mom is in the hospital in California and wants to do a ladybird deed for her house in Michigan how do we proceed?
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Jun 21, 2021

You should have a Michigan attorney draft the deed, and then somehow, your mother will need to sign it before a California notary.

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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Michigan on
Q: My father in law is gifting us money for a new home. It is over $80,000. I know we will have to fill out a tax form.

Will he have to pay gift tax or only after he exceeds lifetime amount. Also, we are his caregivers and he will move into this house with us

Michael Zamzow
Michael Zamzow answered on May 3, 2021

Contact a tax attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Michigan on
Q: My Mother lives in AL in Ohio, 99 yrs old. There is division about moving her out. She does not want to move.

POA and Health proxy want to move her. Do they have the power to do that against the rest of us?

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Oct 6, 2020

Likely yes; the POA or patient advocate designation gives them the ability to make those sort of decisions. If your mother is of sound mind, she could refuse or appoint others to act on her behalf. If not, then the move would likely happen. Once POAs or patient advocates go into effect, it's... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Banking and Elder Law for Michigan on
Q: A deposit was made to joint acct, one member dec'd, thought deposit was a benefit or payment due to me as executor

didn't know if it was reverse mtge or life or whatever, it continued past his death till last month. I was on the acct way before the death. Is this a criminal error?

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Oct 6, 2020

So what was the deposit for? It's probably not criminal but you may need to repay it to whomever made the deposit at some point.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Can a POA give away the principal’s personal items to family?

My grandfather has Alzheimer’s. My aunt is POA and the only living child of his. Can she start giving away personal items in the home such as family momentos, clothes, furniture, tools, etc before selling his home to move him? What about holding a living estate sale?

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Aug 20, 2020

Generally yes, the POA would allow her to sell property. There is no requirement that it be done through an estate sale, but any proceeds would need to be kept or used for your grandfather's benefit.

While an estate sale is possible, most estate sale companies charge a portion of the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Public Benefits for Michigan on
Q: My aunt gave her home to her threekids 10 years ago and reserved a life estate for herself. She went to a nursing home

January of 2020. Before she went to the nursing home. she put a new roof on the house. She applied for Medicaid in January. She was denied because DHHS said that the value of the new roof is a divestment of three-fourths of the $13000 roof cost. They are more or less saying that the life estate is... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on May 22, 2020

They may be right or if the life estate requirements were that she maintain the house they may be wrong.

Hard to say without actually examining the documents but why was this mechanism used rather than a ladybird deed which would have made this moot?

It may be too late at this...
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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Michigan on
Q: Although my loved one made a WILL to not be cremated. The nursing home sent him to be cremated. Is that legal
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on May 18, 2020

Depends. Who was the next of kin? If no one stepped forward to handle the affairs, then it's possible the nursing home did the right thing. The nursing home has no obligation to follow the terms of the will.

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Rights, Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: My husbands dad passed away last year. His wife their step mom has the house. A niece came into the picture and took poa

They moved her to Mississippi. Now the niece is refusing to let my husband and his brother into the house to get their dads personal stuff. She even sent a detailed email stating we could go in. Then called and retracted the email verbally. What are the rights of my husband and his brother. If any,

Gary Kollin
Gary Kollin answered on Sep 20, 2019

No attorney can opine without reviewing the will

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Michigan on
Q: How can I change the beneficiary on mom's life insurance? I am her POA and sole caregiver living with me since 1996.

Years ago mom added my sister as a joint account holder on all her bank accounts as well as the beneficiary to a small life insurance policy. She also had a much larger policy that when mom became disabled my sister did not properly handle causing it to start issuing lifetime annuity checks, at... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jul 31, 2019

Assuming the PoA allows you to deal with insurances, you can use that to modify beneficiaries, however be careful as many do not allow 'self dealing' meaning that if you try to assign the property to yourself you could run afoul of ethics rules.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE seek the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Elder Law for Michigan on
Q: I'm in MI now. I was Divorced in 4/2011. Got house.

Daughter shows up after 11 yrs, sells home, was POA, and puts me in a HOME! House appraised at $55.000 but conntract states $30,000. Other $25,000 got as unreported CASH which I never saw ANY of money. And didn't need put in a home! Finally moved me to a home in MI . I want back to Kersey and... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jun 19, 2019

You need to seek out local legal help not the TV news.

Acting under a Po A involves honoring the 'fiduciary duty' to act in the principal's best interest. It sounds like that may not have been what happened here, but without exploring facts that would not be appropriate in a...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: A widow can't find her husband's stock certificate. To replace it the stock company requires certification from probate.

The decedent lived in Wayne County, MI. The Stock is worth approximately $2,500. He never updated beneficiary forms and the stock company needs to see that the widow is named the personal representative or see a small estate affidavit in order to transfer the ownership of the stock to her. Before... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Jun 4, 2019

#1: It shouldn't be necessary to open a full-fledged probate estate. First, widow could try using SCAO form pc598, Affidavit of Decedent's Successor for Delivery of Certain Assets Owned by Decedent (see MCL 700.3983). That might work if stock company will accept it. Or, if stock company... Read more »

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