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Michigan Elder Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Banking, Elder Law and Family Law for Michigan on
Q: My aging parents asked me to put myself on their bank accounts to assist in paying bills. Are their any risk with this?

My Dad has a brain injury and my Mom is bad with paying bills. I am fine with being on their accts to help with finances. I want to make sure that if my Dad were to get into an accident or lawsuit that my being on their accts does not put me in a position to have someone come after my husbands... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jun 2, 2024

Putting yourself on your parents' bank accounts can make it easier to manage their finances, but it does come with potential risks. If you are added as a joint account holder, you could be considered equally liable for any debts or legal issues associated with those accounts. This means that... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Elder Law for Michigan on
Q: Is their common law marriage or cohabitation rights in Michigan?

My father is 84 years old in the early stages of demensia/Alzheimers. He has a girlfriend (58 yrs old) who has lived with him for approximately 6 years. If my father goes into a nursing home or passes what rights will she have, if any? To my knowledge, he has a will that my mother and him put... View More

Douglas E. Kuthy
Douglas E. Kuthy
answered on Mar 27, 2024

There is no such thing as common law marriage in MIchigan. There are no rights obtained from co-habitation. You appear to be on the right path but I would suggest that you also have a complete estate plan prepared for him including a trust while he is still competent enough to know what he is... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Elder Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: What (in detail) is a verifiable 3rd party in Michigan when it comes to Adult Guardianship visitation & my rights as GA?

I was appointed full Guardian of my mother. I signed a settlement before trial with my sibling (opposing party & lives out of state). Visitation is of subject. The settlement says the following: Social plans for "mom" shall be considered if they conflict with a proposed visit,... View More

Brooke Lauren Archie
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Brooke Lauren Archie
answered on Dec 20, 2023

Although many of us will read the terms and think that the meaning is clear, it is apparent that there may be multiple interpretations of the visitation terms that the court has put in place. In instances like this, particularly where there has been discord among the interested parties, the best... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Civil Rights, Constitutional Law and Elder Law for Michigan on
Q: Is it legal/ethical for guardianship to be granted to someone who have violent felons living and visiting the house?

Prior to becoming a legally incapacitated adult/ward of the Court, I'll call this person Matthew. Matthew and family was granted a protective order against the petitioners progeny, her house has a history of violence.

The state sought charges on the behalf Matthew's mother against... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Nov 28, 2023

No, it would generally not be legal or ethical for guardianship to be granted to someone who has violent felons living in or frequently visiting the home where an incapacitated adult or ward of court resides. There are several issues here:

• The court has a responsibility to thoroughly...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Had a question about becoming executor of someone's estate in MI. My mother recently passed and had no will.

I'm her only child and she's not married. The only thing she has left is some clothes and a few nick nacks. I intend to donate most of it to good will. How do I go about being named executor? Since she had nothing why would I want to be named executor? She was married for a long time to a... View More

Joseph  Dallo
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Joseph Dallo
answered on Sep 1, 2023

I'm sorry for your loss. When a person dies intestate (without a will) in Michigan, the process to administer the estate can be more involved. Here's a general overview regarding becoming the personal representative (often referred to as the "executor" in other states) of... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Had a question about becoming executor of someone's estate in MI. My mother recently passed and had no will.

I'm her only child and she's not married. The only thing she has left is some clothes and a few nick nacks. I intend to donate most of it to good will. How do I go about being named executor? Since she had nothing why would I want to be named executor? She was married for a long time to a... View More

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Aug 21, 2023

You say she didn't have anything but then add she has a 10,000 (plus judgment interest?) debt owed to her. Therefore she DOES have something to probate: her interest in that judgment.

The question becomes is it worth it to begin probate for the POSSIBILITY of recovering 10k? The...
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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Michigan on
Q: can you create a Power of attorney revocation letter but hold onto it just in case its needed for a later date?
T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Aug 18, 2023

Absolutely, in Michigan and many other jurisdictions, you can certainly create a Power of Attorney (POA) revocation letter in advance and retain it for potential future use. This proactive approach allows you to be prepared should you ever need to revoke a previously granted power of attorney. Your... View More

3 Answers | Asked in Elder Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: My parents died leaving a trust. How do I go about getting the trust dissolved?
T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Aug 18, 2023

Depending on the circumstances, there might be specific grounds for dissolution outlined in the trust document, or it may require the agreement of all beneficiaries. If all beneficiaries are in agreement, the process can be more straightforward. However, if the trust document does not provide for... View More

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3 Answers | Asked in Elder Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: My parents died leaving a trust. How do I go about getting the trust dissolved?
Joseph  Dallo
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Joseph Dallo
answered on Sep 1, 2023

Dissolving a trust after the death of the grantors involves several steps:

Review the Trust: Begin by reading the trust document. It will provide instructions on distribution and conditions for dissolving the trust.

Gather Assets: Inventory and appraise trust assets.

Pay...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Elder Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: What can I do my father past away this year Jan 10th he was a former veteran he had no will no power of attorney

I'm his daughter his benifituary the nursing home is sueing me for the bill and trying to take his house that he left me I am on the deed what do I do the nursing home already file a summons

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
answered on Aug 17, 2023

You need to be in touch with an elder law attorney asap. First, that person will need to help you figure out if you are being sued individually or in the capacity of the estate representative. If they are trying to take the house, I imagine you are involved in your capacity as the estate... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law, Family Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: A secret trust was set up by my mother’scaretaker (CT) who has all of the POA and power. I am disinherited.

Mom has dementia, but she is coherent; very forgetful too. She currently lives in rehab center. Mom now wants me to inherit. However, she cannot advocate for that. I am banned ( but I snuck in twice). CT has mom’s ID. Anything I can do short of suing for guardianship?

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
answered on Aug 5, 2023

No. You would need to petition the probate court for guardian and conservatorship. If this caretaking has proper documentation in the form of a POA, you face a significant uphill battle.

You say you are banned from seeing your mother; By whom? And why? Depending on your answers, you're...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law, Family Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: A secret trust was set up by my mother’scaretaker (CT) who has all of the POA and power. I am disinherited.

Mom has dementia, but she is coherent; very forgetful too. She currently lives in rehab center. Mom now wants me to inherit. However, she cannot advocate for that. I am banned ( but I snuck in twice). CT has mom’s ID. Anything I can do short of suing for guardianship?

Joseph  Dallo
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Joseph Dallo
answered on Sep 1, 2023

In situations where there's a suspicion of undue influence or wrongdoing, especially involving caregivers and fiduciaries, several legal avenues might be available. Here's an outline of potential options in Michigan (as the jurisdictional context provided in prior questions was Michigan):... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Michigan on
Q: I live with a old man taking care of him & his sons now decided they want to start taking care of him instead & they cal

Called the cops I opened my br door 4 the police when they asked. But they arrest

ed me for a warrant I had. Well when I went to jail the owner of the house sons went in my room without permission when police arrested me. Isn't that illegal in Michigan

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
answered on Aug 1, 2023

Not necessarily. A lot will depend on the condition of the man you lived with and whether you can establish tenancy. It sounds like the man has some mental or age-related conditions going on, causing some concerns from his sons about his vulnerability. Regardless of your intentions, you do not want... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Michigan on
Q: My grandmother recently moved out of her home and into an assisted living facility. Should she sell her house?

My grandmother is in agreement about selling her house but the family wants to make sure that this will not result in any negative outcomes. She is paying out of pocket for the assisted living as it is not otherwise covered. She has SSI and Medicare only. She is not eligible for Medicaid, nor are... View More

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
answered on Jun 27, 2023

This situation is complex enough to warrant a consult with an elder law attorney AND a financial planner to help you all run through various scenarios and outcomes. In fact, there is so many products and strategies out there that you may just want to get at least two solid opinions because there... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Elder Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Real estate: Living Mother & Deceased Father on title. Both on medicare. Dad died in long term nursing home care.

My mother wants to pass the house on to me when she passes, but she also has the potential to be in long term care in the couple years. Will medicare take our house if she goes into long term care (or do they even currently have a lien due to my deceased father being in a nursing home)? How can we... View More

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Dec 5, 2022

There are ways to keep the house from being 'recovered' by Medicare (in Michigan) currently, but you need to insure it is done right or your mother may not be ELIGIBLE for Medicare.

Seek the advice and drafting assistance of a local probate / elder law attorney to be sure you do...
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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: My mother is going to be in long term care. We live in a manufactured home together. It is in her name. There is approx.

$7000 owed. Worth 60000. Can I buy it for what is owed and sell it at a later date without medicaid claiming it?

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

You may want to talk with an estate planning / elder law attorney. There are ways of achieving what you're seeking, but buying it for what is owed is not one of them.

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Michigan on
Q: Incapacitated ward, didn't receive or hear about petition for guardianship, didn't get to go either, denied due process.

Petition to terminate? Reconsideration? I had no lawyer either.. judge biass too

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
answered on Mar 16, 2024

Are you the ward? If so, you should have heard from someone called a guardian at litem to advise you of your rights and options.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Michigan on
Q: My mothers lawyer passed away in June 2007; I think she had a created a will, but I don't know where to find the records

The office is closed and no known associates.

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Dec 18, 2023

The state bar of michigan has begun a program where solo practitioners need to name a ‘successor agent’ for cases like this.

Try contacting them and fingers crossed he’s named such an agent. …

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Michigan on
Q: Power of attorney - if my sister declines and I am successor can she reverse this if something happens to me

You

We have a power of attorney for financial and one for healthcare issues. My sister is named as primary on both with me as successor. We agreed that I would handle finances and she would handle healthcare. The bank wants a letter of resignation from her declining to be the agent for... View More

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
answered on Oct 30, 2023

Your sister is right to be concerned, creating a need for a conservatorship to be established. While everyone sounds to be in good terms now, you all could elect to do that now to save the hassle of having to do it in the midst of a crisis.

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Michigan on
Q: Will I be reimbursed for personal loans before Medicaid is reimbursed for my parent's house?

My parent's only asset is her house. She has very little cash. If I loan her money for essential expenses, will I be able to get that money out of the house when it is sold, before Medicaid is eventually reimbursed for nursing home care? Thank you.

Ralph Reisinger
Ralph Reisinger
answered on Oct 3, 2023

I suggest a Ladybird deed which would transfer the house to you on Death and there would be no Medicare recovery

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