Know When to Seek Legal Counsel

We want to know about changes in the lives of our clients. In addition to the death of one of our clients, we also request that our clients and their families call or email right away if any of the following situations occur in their life.  Even if you are not our client, we recommend that you contact us if these situations occur in your life, and we can discuss the legal, financial, and estate planning ramifications of each event:

Family, Finances, Home, Health, Legal, or Care Needs


  1. A child was born into the family (your child or grandchild).
  2. A child or beneficiary of your plan has received a serious diagnosis.
  3. A person named as guardian for your minor child has died, is ill, been divorced, or gone to jail.
  4. A child or beneficiary has died, is seriously ill, been divorced, filed bankruptcy, or gone to jail.
  5. A child or beneficiary started receiving government benefits.
  6. One of your children is going to be a troublemaker, or does not agree with your estate plan.
  7. A child (or grandchild) is moving back home with you.
  8. Your children disagree with each other about how to care for you in your “old age”.
  9. It is time to get your kids involved; you need help (physically, mentally, financially, etc.)


  1. You are planning to make a loan to a family member. (Negative tax consequences and lost government benefits if done incorrectly).
  2. You are planning to make a large gift. (Negative tax consequences and lost government benefits if done incorrectly).
  3. You need a helper on your bank account.
  4. You are having trouble keeping up with and making sense of your bills/mail.
  5. You are concerned that you cannot pay for long-term care; you have questions about Medicaid.
  6. You or your spouse are the beneficiary of: (i) a large financial judgment for personal injury or medical malpractice; (ii) a substantial inheritance, or (iii) a large lottery prize.

Home and Relocation

  1. You are moving. (There are major financial, tax and long-term planning opportunities that are only available when you buy or sell your primary residence).
  2. You are selling your home or other real estate.
  3. Your main Helper is moving out of the area.
  4. Your employer has changed, or you have lost your job and are contemplating a move.
  5. You have inherited your parents’ home or cottage.

Legal Issues

  1. You or your children have been divorced (we do not practice divorce law, but rather counsel regarding the legal, financial, insurance, beneficiary, and estate planning ramifications after the divorce is final).
  2. You, your spouse, or your children work in a profession which is subject to frequent litigation such as medicine, the law, investing, or tax.
  3. Any person named as a Trustee, Agent, Personal Representative, Helper, Guardian, or Beneficiary in your Last Will, Trust, or Powers of Attorney: (i) has been divorced, (ii) has filed for bankruptcy, (iii) has been arrested or convicted of a crime, or (iv) is being sued for a substantial amount.

Health Issues

  1. You or your spouse is in the hospital or is having surgery or planning to have surgery.
  2. You or your spouse have had a serious fall.
  3. You or your spouse or child have received a critical medical diagnosis.
  4. You or your spouse have received (or is anticipating) a critical mental diagnosis, like dementia.
  5. Any person named a Personal Representative, Trustee, Guardian, or Agent in your estate plan, or any person acting as your Helper, has been diagnosed with a serious illness.

Care Needs

  1. You cannot get out of the house without help – mobility issues.
  2. The “Well Spouse” is having trouble taking care of the “Disabled Spouse”.
  3. You are hiring someone to care for you at your home.
  4. You or your spouse are moving to an Assisted Living or Skilled Nursing Community.
  5. The whole family is getting on edge taking care of Mom and/or Dad. Some of you are stressed out.
  6. Concern of Elder Abuse (physical, emotional, financial).

If any of the above situations apply to you, contact us as soon as possible.  The sooner you get us involved, the easier it will be for you and us to come up with the best possible plan.  When such circumstances occur, there is often limited time to take the actions necessary to protect you, your family, and your finances.


Free Consultation | Estate Planning Basics | Estate Planning Law Firm | Bloomfield Hills Michigan

Matthew A. FerriJ.D., M.B.A., is the Founder and Principal of Life Focus Planning, a Bloomfield Hills, Michigan estate planning law firm.  He is an estate planning attorney with offices in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and Shelby Township, Michigan.