With this acquisition, CR Law gained several members of the highly experienced staff that previously worked for Nancy Nawrocki at the Nawrocki Center for Elder Law, Special Needs, and Disability Planning, including senior paralegals Carrianne Birchmeier and Ruxandra Oprescu. These team members have helped CR Law expand the services offered by CR Law’s Estate Plan practice in the areas of Elder Law, Medicaid Planning, Estate and Wealth Succession Planning, Probate and Trust administration, and guardianship and conservatorship assistance. We look forward to assisting with all of your needs in these important areas.


Since 1950, the rate of persons over age 65 has more than doubled, going from 8% to 16.9% of the total population in 2022, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. With advances in medical technology and modern medicine, we now live longer, but not necessarily healthier and the need for long-term care has never been greater. But paying for long-term care has never been more expensive. According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the average monthly private long-term care cost in Michigan is currently $9,880; that’s an average annual cost of $118,560. Medicaid is a government benefit program that can assist elder individuals with the cost of care if a loved one needs skilled care.

In order to receive Medicaid nursing home level benefits, the applicant must be 65 years or older (or blind, or disabled) and must qualify not only by requiring skilled care (assistance with a specific set of activities of daily living), but must also qualify financially. With the exception of a few assets that the applicant is allowed to keep, the applicant is restricted to $2,000 in total assets. If the applicant is over that limit, they will not qualify for benefits. However, a loved one’s estate does not need to be depleted (commonly referred to as “spend down”) in order to qualify for Medicaid.

You do not need to be forced into poverty to qualify for Medicaid benefits. Working within the Medicaid guidelines, our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys are able to protect your assets while also creating financial eligibility. Medicaid laws are constantly changing and working with a professional to create a viable Medicaid plan is the best way to ensure you or your loved one receives Medicaid benefits.

If you would like to learn more about the Medicaid long-term care program and how you or your loved one can become eligible to receive benefits, contact our office at (810) 227 – 3103 today to schedule with one of our attorneys.

Veterans Benefits

In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address immortalized the nation’s duty to recognize the sacrifices veterans make when he stated the obligation “to care for him who shall have borne the battle…” These words became the motto for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The VA offers many benefits to veterans, such as health insurance, disability compensation, and funeral and burial goods and services. The most sought-after benefit is pension. The VA pension program has 3 tiers: basic pension, housebound pension, and pension with aid and attendance. Pension program benefits can be applied for by the veteran or their surviving spouse to help pay for the costs incurred for in-home medical care, assisted living facility costs, and nursing home costs. While there are some overlapping criteria, each of these tiers has their own set of requirements and each tier has a different benefit amount.

In order to take advantage of the VA pension program, veterans and their surviving spouses must apply. The VA has implemented new rules that make it more difficult to qualify for this long-term care benefit, such as asset limits and asset transfer penalties. Additionally, VA benefit eligibility differs from that of the long-term care Medicaid benefit, and qualification for one often means disqualification for the other.

Eligibility criteria and the application process can be confusing. Very few veterans can qualify for VA benefits without proper pre-planning. Our VA-accredited attorneys are ready to assist veterans and their families with restructuring assets to create eligibility, the application process, and, where appropriate, appeals for post-application determinations.
Contact our office at (810) 227 – 3103 today to schedule with one of our VA-accredited attorneys.

Guardianships and Conservatorships

When a person is incapacitated, whether through disability or minority, and can’t manage their own financial and legal affairs, appointment of a guardian or a conservator might necessary. Being “incapacitated” typically means that the person is so impaired that they do not have the ability to assess and make good and safe personal decisions or meet their basic personal needs. A court decides whether someone is incapacitated. Guardians and conservators serve distinct functions. A guardian looks after the personal needs of an incapacitated individual, while a conservator looks after the financial affairs of the individual.

The process for both appointment of both a guardian and a conservator begins with a petition asking the probate court for the appointment and explaining why the process is necessary. Guardianships and conservatorships are serious legal steps but they are sometimes necessary. The law firm of Cooper & Riesterer has extensive experience advising families and others regarding all aspects of the process, including:

  • Assessing the necessity of appointment of a guardian/conservator and exploring alternatives, such as power of attorney documents
  • Preparation of the petition to the probate court, including assembling the requisite evidence necessary to show the probate court judge why appointment of a guardian/conservator is necessary
  • Attending any necessary probate court hearings to assist the proposed guardian/conservator in obtaining appointment
  • Assisting the guardian and conservator in preparing the requisite inventories and accountings

Preparation of a comprehensive estate plan can avoid the necessity of guardianship and conservatorship proceedings. This is preferable because it allows an individual to make the decision about who will act for them in the event of incapacity before they become unable to make legal and financial decisions. We can assist you in preparing a comprehensive estate plan that accomplishes this. To learn more about the estate planning services we offer, visit our Estate Planning page.

If you are looking for assistance or advice regarding the guardianship/conservatorship process, please contact us today.

Areas of Practice

  • Business & Commercial Law
  • Commercial & Residential Real Estate
  • Business & Real Estate Litigation
  • Franchise Law
  • Estate Planning