The Top 12 Estate Planning and Elder Law Blog Posts of 2017

With 2017 wrapping up, I wanted to look at the top estate planning and elder law blog posts of 2017 based on the number of views. I opened up the analytics and ranked the top estate planning and elder law blog posts at In order of the most views, you’ll find the top blog posts below starting off with the most viewed post of 2017.

Looking at the most popular posts, it seems families are interested in avoiding probate (searching about Lady Bird Deeds) and concerned about protecting their assets from the devastating cost of long-term care costs with asset protection strategies/trusts like the Castle Trust.

With the rising cost of long-term care in Michigan and the constant pain of probate, I’m confident that there will be similar themes in 2018 as well when it comes to estate planning and elder law.

1) What is a Lady Bird Deed in Michigan?

A Lady Bird Deed is a type of deed that can avoid probate in Michigan. This blog post goes into more detail about how the Lady Bird Deed is one of our go to warranty deed or quit claim deeds that we do in our office.

2) Michigan Medicaid Asset Protection Trust

In this blog post, we discuss asset protection trusts like the Castle Trust. The Castle Trust is an asset protection trust that can protect against long-term care costs and lawsuits. It is irrevocable, but you can still change trustees, beneficiaries, and can retrieve assets out of the trust.

3) Do I Have to Pay My Parents Nursing Home Bill in Michigan?

A common concern is that if your parents are in a nursing home, that you would have to pay their debts. This is called filial responsibility and many states have laws that put a parent’s kids on the hook for the nursing home bill.

4) What is the Maximum Amount of Money That Can Be Gifted in Michigan for Medicaid?

Many people think that there is a specific amount that you can gift for Medicaid in Michigan and that it will be ok…but it is not like taxes where you can gift $15,000 per year gift tax free. Read this blog post to learn more about how gifts of any amount can be problematic for your family.

5) Five Reasons Your Family May Want a Castle Trust (Asset Protection Trust)

This post about Castle Trusts outlines the common reasons this type of asset protection trust may make more sense for a family then you typical basic revocable living trust.

6) Am I Responsible for My Parents Debts When They Die in Michigan?

This is a common question clients ask regarding what happens to my parents debts upon death. The key to understanding what happens is to understand whether it is a secured or unsecured debt.

7) How to Protect My Mom’s Assets From Nursing Home Medicaid Spend-down?

Elder law is about the protection of assets. Families want to ensure that the money lasts as long as possible to make sure the person needing care gets the best care possible.

8) Avoiding Probate in Michigan with PODs and TODs

Estate administration is about getting assets out of a deceased’s name at death. One of those ways is with beneficiary designations. PODs/TODs which stand for payable or transfer on death are ways to transfer checking accounts or savings accounts to trusts or beneficiaries upon death.

9) What is a Zero Percent Tax Bracket in Retirement in Michigan

With our firm taking a more holistic approach to estate planning, one of the items that have come up, time and again this year has been trying to get to the zero percent tax bracket in retirement. This can be achieved through moving money from tax deferred buckets to tax free buckets before claiming social security.

10) Understanding the Steps for Transferring a Vehicle at Death in Michigan

When funding trusts for clients, vehicles are always a question. Michigan allows for a simple process to transfer vehicles at death if valued at less than $60k at Secretary of State with a death certificate.

11) What is a Living Trust? | Estate Planning in Michigan

A living trust is a common estate planning tool that avoids probate and controls the distribution upon death.

12) How to Sell Your House and Protect Your VA Benefits

As a VA Accredited attorney, we advise veterans on how to make a claim for Aid & Attendance. Often the veteran will own a home, but transitioning into an assisted living. By setting up a VA Asset Protection Trust properly, the proceeds of the sale can be protected.

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