Note: Not Legal Advice!

Can I have sole legal claim over my father’s home? I will have to move to Oklahoma. I will be responsible for paying mortgage, bills, and other living expenses. Along with caring for his medical needs. My two siblings will not be helping. The significant sacrifices have hurt me financially.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Everyone helps at Christmastime! But that was last week. What about the rest of the year? Your father is blessed to have you. Many people do not have anyone willing to step up. But you must protect yourself to protect Dad.

Undue Influence

Basic Rule: Everyone can leave anything to anyone. It is Dad’s stuff. Dad decides who gets it. But. It gets tricky when the favored beneficiary also helps the giver.
Dad changes his plan to increase benefits to you. Here is what happens next:

Case #1: You are just one of the kids. The other kids can complain all day long. It is up to them to prove that you used “undue influence” on Dad. And that is almost impossible. You win!


Case #2: Dad has special trust and confidence in you. Dad depends on you emotionally, medically, and financially. Dad gave you power of attorney. Dad made you his trustee.
Things are different. You are Dad’s “fiduciary.” Dad is dependent on you. Then dies. The other kids complain. Now the “burden of proof” shifts to you! You must prove that you did not use “undue influence on Dad. And that is almost impossible. You lose!


Your friendly neighborhood elder law attorney has seen this movie before. Frequently. To avoid the hassle after Dad dies, prepare now. Several techniques are commonly used to protect Dad’s wishes. And you! We can help you determine the best strategy.

But please. Get this fixed now! Family strife hurts everyone. Save your family. Save your sanity. Save your inheritance.

Do I have to watch my mother’s spending before entering a nursing home? My mother is 95 and living in her home. She withdrawals $2000.00 cash every month for her groceries, eating out, clothing, house cleaning, lawn work etc. She has done this for at least the past 10 years. My question is, if she goes into a care home, will the home consider these withdrawals of money a concern, and prevent her from entering home?

Old Habits Die Hard

Today we have COVID. In the 1930’s it was the Great Depression. Cataclysmic events change the survivors. Like your mother. Depression Era folks never trusted banks again. Cash is king!
Your mother’s cash habit is very common. Social Security checks used to be mailed. Many retirees would immediately cash the check. And go walking around with the cash money. Nowadays, Social Security is Direct Deposit. No paper checks in the mail.

Undaunted, folks like your mother go to the bank and withdraw the cash, just like before. This can be a problem.

Prove You Did Not Give It Away!

Nursing home expenses break most middle-class folks. When broke, Medicaid may pay. But not if you gave your money away. When your mother applies for Medicaid, she must prove that she spent her money correctly. For the last five (5) years.

How can mother prove she did not give her money away? No receipts. No cancelled checks. No paper trails. If mother’s caseworker is a stickler, mother can be in trouble.
Nursing homes want to get paid. Mother has no money. Medicaid will not pay. Now what? Now the nursing home sues mother. Mother has no money. But mother has a house! Not for long…

Solution! Save The Homestead

Record mother’s spending now. Collect receipts. Write checks. Set up Direct Pay for utilities. Develop a track record. When the time comes, you can demonstrate that $2000 a month is mother’s routine spending. Your friendly neighborhood elder law attorney can help.

And Beyond!

Applying for benefits does not mean Nursing Home Poverty or silly Spend Down. Learn how to preserve your loved one’s lifesavings, business, cottage, life insurance. Thousands of middle-class families have learned and use these techniques. Why not yours?

Got Questions? Get Answers!

COME TO A WORKSHOP… (800) 317-2812

The team at Carrier Law welcomed close to 200 families to their Cookies and Cocoa Drive-by. There wasn’t going to be a Christmas party this year and wanted to celebrate the holiday season in a different way. Families were served hot cocoa and individually wrapped decorated sugar cookies as they drove up to the building. What a festive way to show gratitude and spread holiday cheer!

greg and terri serve cookies and cocoavictoria, jasmine and jeff of carrier law at the holiday drive-by eventdavid carrier greets guests at the holiday cocoa and cookie drive-by eventattorney lea dillard plays music at the cookie and cocoa drive-by event at carrier lawattorneys at carrier law serve cocoa and cookiesmolly, tammy and kris at the cocoa and cookie drive-by

2021 – A New Hope

Middle Class America –The Glue

Do you remember impeachment? It was only 12 months ago. Seems like a different era. Seemed important. But only empty drama. Then came COVID. Shut down China flights? Or shop in Chinatown? Huge big deal? Or despicable diversion? Not enough of anything. No masks. No ventilators. No supplies. No clear idea what to do next. Fifteen days to “flatten the curve” turned into 30. Imperial Governors decreed that unprepared facilities must accept COVID positive patients. Resulting in the highest death rates worldwide (despite accounting shenanigans). Fear. Uncertainty. Dread.

Middle Class Americans responded. Setting aside personal interests, personal planning. Amazing. Suddenly manufacturing all sorts of Personal Protective Equipment. Filling the empty cupboard. Navy hospital ships ready in days, not months. Jump-starting ambitious vaccine programs. Ventilator manufacturer to the world!

Regular folks. Punching in for the overtime. Working round the clock. Making it happen. You did that. Despite political petulance. Preening celebrities and posturing politicians. Riots as peaceful protests. Organized destruction as a First Amendment right. Glib experts who insisted that vaccines would take years. Same ones who now take Warp Speed progress for granted.

Through it all, you came through. Shifting through conflicting orders. Sacrificing lifelong traditions. Accepting the isolation of our most vulnerable… our parents and grandparents. You are the glue of America. Common sense, hard work. Justified skepticism. You have brought us through the crisis, at great cost to yourself.

Rules Are For The Little People

Dr. Fauci drops his mask at a baseball game. Governor Cuomo and Dr. Birx gather their families for Thanksgiving. Speaker Pelosi and other politicians continue their “beauty” treatments. For political advantage, the House of Representatives stalls for months. No relief to destitute, hungry Americans. Political winds change. Now the deal, laden with pork, is done in less than a day. The Elder Plague COVID kills nursing home residents at 70 times the rate of younger people. Yet the vaccines go to people at minor risk. Why? Rules for thee but not for me. The hypocrisy piled up so fast in Hollywood and Washington, D.C., you needed wings to stay above it.

And yet. We are the deplorables, the bitter clingers, the little people. And yet. We make it all work. We keep plowing ahead. Undeceived by childish lies. Undaunted by the glaring failures of our “elites.” But the time has come to refocus. Thousands of families have lost an entire year of planning for their own lives.

You Saved The Country. Again.
Time To Save Yourself. Your Family.

Time and again you have answered the call. Yesterday Detroit churned out bombers, fighters, tanks, and trucks. Today it is ventilators, PPE, and vaccines. Today’s war. Today’s weapons.
In 2020, at Carrier Law, our crisis caseload skyrocketed. Special rules expanded PACE. Fewer people focused on planning ahead, LifePlanning™. Although our team has been busier than ever, 2020 has been a year of wasted opportunity for regular families. I am extremely concerned.

You can get the information you want. In-person workshops and one-on-one meetings. Recorded and live-streaming webinars. Like you, we have never stopped serving. As you seek out new ways to accomplish your life’s work, we are on the same journey. By your side. Making the rules work for the people who play by the rules.

Sixty minutes that to accelerate your success. An hour to put 2020 in the rear-view mirror. Avoid Nursing Home Poverty. Reject silly Spend Downs. Learn how to preserve your loved one’s lifesavings, business, cottage, life insurance. Thousands of middle-class families have learned and use these techniques. Why not yours?

COME TO A WORKSHOP… (800) 317-2812

hannah green, danielle and a help collect food for the meals on wheels of western michigan food driveHannah Green at Carrier Law, headed up a food drive to support Meals on Wheels of Western Michigan. “This food drive is a great way for us to give back to our community- the food will be used to stock the senior food pantry in Kent County,” said Hannah. “It is always a good time to donate, but right now more than ever it is important that we come together and help our community get through the winter months. The pandemic has put many people in unfortunate circumstances, and this is a small way that we can give back.” The goal was to collect 250 items from the team and that goal was surpassed.

For information on how you can get involved with MOWWM, go to

Should Other States Call Them Out?

Do You Play By The Rules?

Most middle-class folks play by the rules. We get to work on time. We do the job. Trustworthy. Loyal. Helpful. Friendly. When things go wrong (as they always do!), you fix it.

Other people cut corners. Leave early. Fake it. We all know some. On the job. On the softball team. In our own family. Even at church. How can you respect them? Sure, you can pretend that cheaters are the same as honest folk. For a time.

We do not go picking fights. Live and let live. But doesn’t there comes a point…? When is enough, enough?

Who Made The Rules?

In America, We The People, make the rules. Starting with the Constitution. And on down the line. Most places, it is the powerful who make the rules. Regular folks obey. Or else. Not here. Not yet.

Here, you and I make the rules. For over 240 years, our American system for making and playing by the rules has worked. Better than anything else ever tried. In history. More freedom, more wealth for more people. Look it up. Therefore, naturally, some want to wreck it. By any means necessary.

In the meantime, people like us accept the rule of law. We do not throw tantrums when we lose. We work harder. We keep the faith. We work within the system. Especially when dealing with cheaters.

Constitutional Election Rules

What does the Constitution say about presidential elections? It is simple:

Each State shall appoint its Presidential Electors in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct.
U.S. Constitution, Article II, § 1, clause 2

We The People, through our Legislature make presidential election rules. All on the up and up. Constitutionally.

Should the Governor, Attorney General, state or federal court judges or anybody else change those rules? In the middle of the game? How is that fair? How is that Constitutional?

Is A Presidential Election Like A Bowling League?

You go bowling. In a league. According to the League Rules. Your team signs up. Pays up. Shows up. Plays all season. On to the Championship!

Then, the Championship host bowling center changes the League Rules! One time only. They say. For this game only. For “fairness” the other team gets gutter guards. No foul lines. Balls with a three-foot diameter. Not your team, of course. Only the other guys. And then…

They win! New Champions! Amazing! No practicing. Never won anything before. Beat the odds! Pictures in the papers and on TV. Cinderella Story! Wow! Congratulations!

Really? Does complaining make you a bad sport? You are so awful! You want to “throw out” “overturn” “reject” the Championship results. Well.

We Are Complaining

At last count, 18 states are complaining. To the United States Supreme Court. The ultimate umpire. Eighteen states say that governors, attorneys general, or other state officials changed the rules in the championship round. You may not have heard of it. Online, social media actively suppress this information. And say so. But the truth is out there…
[Editor’s Note: It is now up to 19 states.]

Timeless Advice From Paul Burge

Journalism is all about covering important stories.
With a pillow, until they stop moving.

Paul Burge, Iowa hawk

We Will Stop Complaining

What if the Supreme Court says no harm, no foul? We will accept it. That is our system. We built it, we love it, we will live with it. But when did complaining about unfair stuff become un-American?

Making The Rules Work For The Folks Who Play By The Rules. Results Not Excuses.

Another unknown reality is that most folks eventually need long-term care. Rules determine whether you keep any of your lifesavings. At home care or an institution? What do the rules say?

For thirty years, protecting middle-class Michigan from nursing homes and nursing home poverty. Keep your independence. Preserve your life savings.

Or you can rely on government wisdom and good faith.

Real-world problems. Real-world answers.


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Talk to Us Today. Get Answers Now. “What could it hurt?”

What Comes Next Is Frequently Worse

Death Comes For Us All

Our time on this planet is limited. We do our best while we are here. To be a good spouse. A loving parent. A loyal sibling. A true American. To be able to look back on a life well-lived. You have worked hard. You played by the rules. You planned. And when you pass, there will be leftovers.

Maybe it is a loved one who has died. After the grief comes the realization that you have a big job to do. You are responsible to take care of what has been left behind.

Now what? What comes next? You have heard the stories of family strife. You “know” that this will take at least a year, probably two. You keep hearing that probate or trust administration costs will swallow up 4-10% of the leftovers. Pretty discouraging.

It does not have to be that way. Let us show you.

Will vs Trust

Wills only work in probate. A will is simply instructions to the Probate Court and the Personal Representative (Executor). Wills do not avoid probate. Did I mention that the will only works in Probate Court?

Millions of families have believed that revocable living trusts would avoid probate for them. Millions of families have been disappointed. Trusts only work on assets that have been retitled into the trust.

Attorneys, bankers, accountants, insurance agents, annuity salespersons, financial advisors, and the guy who mops the floor at the bank all know something that you do not. Everybody else knows that trusts do not work in the real world. That fact has nothing to do with the trust itself.

Trusts only work on stuff in the trust. And your stuff is not in your trust. Inconceivable!

Remember all those papers in that trust binder? All those papers you did not read? All those papers your loved one did not read either? Well, there was a memo about putting assets into the trust. Whoopsie. Say hello to probate! This is not a mistake. New estate planning lawyers are taught not to worry about funding, in reliance on probate. I wonder if the probate attorney fees have anything to do with it… Inconceivable!

Everybody knows you will not put your stuff into the trust. That is why you get a Funding Coach at the Law Offices of David L. Carrier. Someone to help you, nag you, enable you. To truly avoid probate. And nursing home poverty.

Simple will or the typical trust? Does not matter. Say hello to probate.

Delay Destroys De Family

Probate or trust administration drags on. Month after month. Family members wonder what is going on. One year. Two years. And on. Family fights fester. First, grief at mom’s death. Then, impatience. Soon, annoyance. Next, suspicion. Finally, anger.

“But our kids get along so well!” Check back 12-24 months after your death. No final resolution. No visible signs of progress. Tough? You bet. Inevitable? No way!

Git ‘Er Done! Six Months Or Less!

Preserve your family. Preserve your sanity. You do the grieving. We do the paperwork. Six months after you say “Go!”, we say “All done!” And four months of that time was required by the newspaper Notice to Unknown Creditors. Consistent communication calms kids.

Your Probate And Trust Administration Team

Attorney Terri Macklin and Senior Paralegal Lea Dillard head up your Team. Our staff accountants, paralegals, and client service agents back them all the way. Attorney Claire Clary rounds out the Team. As former executive director of Widowed Persons Services, Claire adds years of insights from helping hundreds of newly widowed persons.

Six Months! Really?

Not every time. But it is always our goal. We work hard to beat your expectations. Hundreds of times, hundreds of families, every year.

Unexpected Covid-19 Deaths Are Rising

You did not expect your loved one to pass so soon. You thought you had time. They did too. Things will get worse before they get better. Get help now.

What Now?

Preserve your family. Preserve your sanity. Call the Probate and Trust Administration Team now. It costs nothing. It could save your family. Make the rules work for the folks who play by the rules.


Send Email:

Never a charge to talk. What are you waiting for? “What could it hurt?”

Real Problems. Real Answers, Results Not Excuses.

Most folks have kids. Most folks without kids have nieces and nephews. Most folks without kids, nieces or nephews should count their blessings. Little kids lie. Poorly. A fun thing about little kids’ lies is that reasonable people cannot attempt to take them seriously.

Crumb-covered kid with frosting-smeared face: “I didn’t take the pink cupcake with sprinkles. Little Tommy (6 months old) did it. After the green aliens turned him into a blue panda bear. That highchair was already next to the counter. That vase was broken when I woke up today. But maybe it was the burglars… I don’t know.”

You know the kid’s lying if:

1. The first sentence begins, “I didn’t…”
2. Wealth of possible but improbable detail
3. Story makes the kid look good and/or a victim.
4. Everything just a little too “perfect”.

You developed your lifetime BS detector by spotting these “tells.” It is why you do not believe your brother-in-law. And wonder why your sister does.

Older Gent Injures Self, Lies About It – No Problem!

Imagine. Well-known but self-evidently frail celebrity. Suffers repeated brain bleeds and blood vessel ruptures in his eyes. Mispronounces common words. Makes up new words. Walks the “extraordinary care” walk. Limits “work” to a few hours. Handlers carefully script his every move. Refuses questions. Self-isolates.

Now this celebrity injures himself. Rather than admit the spill, he lies. Invents and embellishes story about rough play with dog. By name. Couple of days later. Dribbles out a river of details. Hurt foot… sprained ankle… broken bones…Where does it end? Head bump… minor concussion…?

Refusing to admit weakness? Not unusual or wrong. A guy thing. Especially guys of a certain age. My beloved 95-year-old Dad falls from time to time. He always bounces back. But the explanations. Holy cow!

Media Lies to Us-No Problem!

You know they are unreliable. You attend an event. You have certain skills. You see or read a story relating to that event or skill. You wonder, “What planet was this reporter on?” Happens every time.

No problem! Observing stuff is hard. Writing is hard. Deadlines are hard. Editors are meanies. If it bleeds, it leads. Get ‘er done! Slanted? Naturally. But not evil. Not super evil anyway.

And Now a Word from Paul Burge

Journalism is all about covering important stories.
With a pillow, until they stop moving.

Paul Burge, Iowahawk

Media Insults Us with Childish Lies – Big Problem!

Like most people, you watch the news, read the paper. And something is different. Confusing. Insulting. Why do they demand we believe lies that would not deceive your youngest grandchild? How often do octogenarians roll on the floor with big dogs? Ever? You have never seen it. Me neither. Because it does not happen.

No respect. No respect at all. They make it up and do not care that you know. What are you going to do about it? That is what contempt is. They think so little of you. So little of your intellect. Big, sloppy, stupid lies.

And that is what is different. And evil. Super evil. Always. All the time. Terrible. Awful. No good. Very bad.

Sure, Walter Cronkite had an agenda. So did Huntley & Brinkley. But at least they did not mock your common sense. Good times.

Real Problems. Real Answers, Results Not Excuses.

More truth: Most folks eventually need long-term care. Rules determine whether you keep any of your lifesavings. Care at home or institutionalized? What do the rules say?

For thirty years, protecting middle-class Michigan from nursing homes and nursing home poverty.

Keep your independence. Preserve your life savings. Make the rules work for you, the folks who play by the rules.

Or you can rely on the rectitude and disinterested honesty of public relations flacks who hold you in contempt, tell you stories that would not convince a slow 6-year-old, and wish you would all just go away.

Real-world problems. Real-world answers.