Being better informed leads to better decisions.

Managing your assets or getting your estate in order is not a simple process. So before you even step into our office, we want to help you become more informed by answering some common questions.


To learn more about your specific situation, schedule a free consultation.


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Nursing Home FAQ

How can I pay for a nursing home while protecting my assets?

There are legal planning options to protect your assets and qualify you for Medicaid. It is a complicated sector of the law, and we are one of the few law firms in the area that practice it. For more information, give us a call to set up your consultation.

Can I keep my home if I enter into a nursing home?
Yes – under Michigan law, you are allowed to keep your home as long as the equity does not exceed $572,000. If you have a spouse or minor/disabled child who lives there, there is no equity limit. If you have additional land or other homes, those will not be exempt and will be counted towards the asset limit. However, there are legal planning options available to protect these.
Does my spouse get to keep some of my income if I enter a nursing home?
It depends. If your spouse’s income is less than $2,030 per month, then your spouse can draw from your income to make up the difference. The remainder of your income will go to the nursing home. However, if your spouse can prove they need more than the $2,030 per month for necessary household expenses (mortgage, property taxes, rent, utilities, phone, etc.), then the income limit may be raised to $3,090 per month.
Can the nursing home sell everything I own?
No, they can’t. Under Michigan law, you can keep your home (there is an equity limit), one vehicle, and any household and personal goods. There are legal options available to protect your other assets. 
Can I gift my children $14,000 a year?
No, not if you are going into a nursing home and applying for Medicaid to pay for it.
What is an “irrevocable trust”?
An irrevocable trust is a specific type of trust that is set up to protect assets if you have to go into a nursing home. However, there are a lot of drawbacks to these trusts and they are not for everyone. Firstly, once you put your money or assets in an irrevocable trust, you cannot get them back out. Secondly, you have to wait five years after you put your money in the irrevocable trust before applying for Medicaid. Sitting down with a reputable elder law attorney can help you decide if this is the right option for you.
What can I do if I know I will be entering a nursing home in a few years?

It’s hard to say what the laws could be a few years from now. There are many different ways to deal with your assets, from placing them in trusts, giving them away to children, or spending them on that dream vacation you’ve always wanted to go on. For more specific information regarding your situation, please call us and set up a consultation.

Estate Planning FAQ

Does a Will keep me out of probate?
No, it does not. A Will is essentially a ticket to probate. If you have a Will, then a probate estate must be opened at the probate court when you pass away.
Do I need a Trust?
It depends. If your goal is to stay out of probate, leave some money to a charity over a period of time, or pay for some of your children’s or grandchildren’s college education, then yes. A Trust is much more flexible than a Will, and it allows you to control what happens to your assets after you die.
Can I make changes to my Will myself?
No, any changes you make yourself could be deemed invalid.
Can I create my own Will?
Yes, you can. In Michigan, as long as your Will is in your handwriting, signed by you, and dated by you, it is a valid Will. However, if your Will is typed, then two witnesses must witness your signature. That being said, a Will prepared by you personally is more likely to be challenged in court.
What is an Advance Directive?
An Advance Directive is a document that allows you to choose what medical treatment you want if you become unable to make the decisions yourself.
Why won’t my bank take my Mother’s Durable Power of Attorney?
With fraud at an all-time high right now, banks and other financial institutions are careful about granting access to accounts. By law, no one is legally required to accept a Durable Power of Attorney. ​Your best bet is to have one drafted by an attorney and presented to the bank or other financial institution by the Principal (your Mother in this case).

Bankruptcy FAQ

If I file bankruptcy, can I keep my home or car?
In most cases, you can keep your car and home. It depends on the equity of each and if you are still able to meet the monthly payments.
If I file bankruptcy, does my spouse have to file too?
No, your spouse does not have to file. If you and your spouse live in the same household, their income will be included in your bankruptcy filing. However, your spouse’s assets will not be counted, and their debts will not be included.
If I file bankruptcy, will it stop my garnishment and foreclosure?
Yes, once your case is filed, all collection activity will stop, including garnishment and foreclosure.
If I file bankruptcy, does it cover my medical bills?


If I file bankruptcy, can I keep a credit card?
No, all debts must be included when you file.
If I file bankruptcy, does it ruin my credit for ten years?
No, it does not. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can stay on your credit for up to 10 years. However, it will not ruin your credit for that long. Once your bankruptcy is complete, you can rebuild your credit quite quickly.
If I file bankruptcy, can I include money owed to the IRS?
Yes, under certain circumstances. The taxes must be regular 1040 taxes, filed on time, and more than three years old.

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