Michigan Medicare and Michigan Medicaid receive $1 million contract to develop dual-eligble program

April 20, 2011

Filed under: Elder Law,Holistic Estate Planning,Medicaid Planning,Michigan Veterans Benefits — Christopher J. Berry @ 11:50 pm

The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) have awarded Michigan a $1 million innovation contract to improve care and services for individuals dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid according to a recent article in Crain’s.

According to the article, Michigan had applied for the contract to cut Medicaid costs, eliminate duplication of services, expand access to needed care and to improve the quality of care for people enrolled in both programs.  Michigan is one of 15 states to receive the contract.

As a Michigan elder law and Medicaid planning attorney who volunteers with the Area Agency on Aging 1-B and the Michigan Medicare and Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP), this is great news.  For more information on Michigan elder law issues, visit the Michigan Elder Law Center which regularly has news on issues effecting Michigan seniors.

Bookmark and Share

Comments (0)

New Lawsuit vs. LegalZoom

Filed under: LegalZoom,Suze Orman,Will — Christopher J. Berry @ 5:31 pm

There is a new lawsuit against Legalzoom, alleging all the usual suspects of claims how they are an unauthorized practice of law, etc. Something to keep in mind if you’re a do-it-yourselfer with your estate planning.

Here’s the link:http://www.leagle.com/xmlResult.aspx?xmldoc=In+FDCO+20101214983.xml&docbase=CSLWAR3-2007-CURR

Bookmark and Share

Comments (0)

Michigan Asset Protection

April 11, 2011

Filed under: Asset Protection — Christopher J. Berry @ 11:49 pm

Michigan asset protection is legal planning to protect one’s hard earned savings or business from threats.  Those threats can be law suits, nursing homes, long-term care costs.  A good way to think of engaging in Michigan asset protection would be to think of as an investment of insurance.  For example, everyone has homeowner’s insurance.

Michigan laws provide a certain level of asset protection in specific situations.  For example, see my previous post titled Tenants by the Entirety | Michigan Asset Protection.    As I point you to a previous blog post on asset protection, written by a Michigan Asset Protection lawyer, I want to caution you with regard to asset protection information you find for free on the internet.  Many of it is simply wrong.  There are numerous “asset protection” experts popping up all over the place.

Our approach, backed by a national collaborative of asset protection, estate planning, and elder law lawyers is to shy away from the “too good to be true” approaches and rely on Michigan asset protection that works.

Bookmark and Share

Comments (0)

Troy, Michigan Estate Planning Lawyer

April 8, 2011

Filed under: Estate Planning,Uncategorized — Christopher J. Berry @ 11:29 pm

As an Oakland County estate planning law firm, we do quite a bit of education in the local communities.  Often times we are giving estate planning presentations in Troy, Michigan.  For example, last month we had two estate planning presentations at the Troy, Michigan–Michigan State University campus that were well attended by Oakland County residents.  The education included discussions of wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and other estate planning topics.

Bookmark and Share

Comments (0)

Veterans’ Group Fined and Now Sued

Filed under: Elder Law,Veterans Benefits — Christopher J. Berry @ 11:15 pm

Another of the “nonprofit” veterans organizations has been fined and is now being sued.  The Veterans Support Organization was fined $20,000 last year and now is being sued according to an article in the The Tennessean.  You can read the article here: Veterans’ Group Fined by TN Last Year is Now Being Sued.

You can read some past blog posts about these “nonprofit” veterans organizations taking advantage of veterans and scamming them at the www.michiganelderlawcenter.com website.

Bookmark and Share

Comments (0)

Estate Planning Matters: Even Rich and Famous Estate Crash and Burn

April 5, 2011

Filed under: Do It Yourself Estate Planning Gone Wrong,Estate Planning — Christopher J. Berry @ 4:44 pm

Michigan estate planning attorney, Matt Wallace, had an interesting post in thetimesherald.com entitled Planning Matters: “Even estates of rich and famous crash and burn.”

The article is great, because it starts my referencing how most people haven’t done any estate planning, but you’re not alone.  Not only haven’t you probably done any estate planning (or have it reviewed within the last year as recommended), but neither have many of the rich and famous.

This includes rich and famous lawyers as well.  For example, according to attorney Matt Wallace, in the article, Abraham Lincoln died without a will.  Take a look at the article, it’s a good read.

Bookmark and Share

Comments (0)

Does Michigan have Estate Recovery in 2011?

Filed under: Asset Protection,Elder Law,Holistic Estate Planning,Long Term Care,Medicaid Planning — Christopher J. Berry @ 12:43 pm

As a Michigan Medicaid planning lawyer, a question I’m often asked, even by other attorneys is “does Michigan have estate recovery?”

Estate recovery is the process in which the state of Michigan is able to place liens and get reimbursed for any costs they cover for people receiving Medicaid.  Estate recovery and Medicaid are complicated programs because they are administered jointly with the State of Michigan and the Federal Government through CMS.

The answer is yes.  Yes, Michigan passed an estate recovery law a few years ago.    However, the Bush administration rejected the Michigan plan as not being draconian enough.  Since then it has been tweaked and resubmitted, but still has not been approved.

A catch with the program is that it will affect anyone who entered the Michigan nursing home after the law passed, not just those who entered the nursing home after Federal approval.

Bookmark and Share

Comments (0)

Older Posts »

Witzke Berry & Carter PLLC
Blog Home Firm Website Practice Areas Contact Us

Stretch IRA | Standalone Retirement Plan Trust

April 28, 2011

Filed under: IRA Trust,Stretch IRA — Christopher J. Berry @ 11:09 pm

Many Michigan clients are interested in what is known as a “stretch IRA”, where the IRA distributions follow the minimum required distributions.  Often, it is the hope of their children that they will stretch out the distributions, however a “stretch IRA” is really just a regular IRA, that includes certain provisions that make it easier to keep funds in the IRA after the IRA owner dies.  It does not force the “stretch” provisions.

That’s where the Standalone Retirement Plan Trust comes into plan.  The Standalone Retirement Plan Trust or IRA Trust, provides asset protection and can force the stretch IRA provisions, so that Trustee has discretion as opposed to the beneficiary “blowing the stretch” by taking out the distributions.

As one of the few Michigan estate planning law firms offering the IRA Trust or Standalone Retirement Plan Trust, please contact me if you have any questions at (248) 971-1700.  The Standalone Retirement Plan Trust can be a great planning opportunity for larger retirement accounts.

Estate Planning Lawyer Litigation

Filed under: Estate Planning,Probate Litigation — Christopher J. Berry @ 1:26 am

In a New York Times article, it appears the estate planning lawyer who drafted the estate planning documents for the Brooke Astor will appeal the conviction.  You can read the article here.

Does Your Michigan Living Trust Need a Tune-Up?

April 27, 2011

Filed under: Estate Planning — Christopher J. Berry @ 1:49 am

As a Michigan estate planning lawyer who helps clients throughout the Metro-Detroit area, I recommend annual reviews of a client’s estate plan to ensure that the trust is properly funded, there hasen’t been changes in family situation, changes in law, or changes in tax code.

A recent WSJ.com article talks about the need to take another look at your revocable living trust because of the current legal enviorment.  The new estate tax law, which is just a two year band-aid, upped the amount individuals can leave  their heris or gift away during their lifetime from $1 million to $5 million without estate or gift taxes.  This change provides unique opprotunities for experianced estate planning attorneys.

To read the WSJ.com article, follow the link Does Your Trust Need a Tune Up?


Contact us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Our Newsletter

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Subscribe by email:
For Email Newsletters you can trust

Recent Posts



  • Michigan Elder Law Attorneys & Lawyers | Michigan Elder Law Center
  • Michigan Estate Planning Lawyers & Attorneys
  • Tulsa Estate Planning Blog