⚖ Elder Law Professionals ⚖

Work with family caregivers to find solutions that work.

Our Elder Law attorneys help families secure Medicaid and
Veterans Benefits without spending down family assets. In addition,
we leverage our elder care referral network to identify the very best
senior care resources in Metro Detroit.

Through the marvels of modern medicine, Americans are living
longer than ever. Unfortunately, living longer does not always mean
living better. Today’s senior commonly require some form of
long-term care, ranging from part-time at-home care, to
round-the-clock custodial care in a nursing home.


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⚖ Planned Giving
⚖ Estate Planning
⚖ Trusts
⚖ Lifetime Planning
⚖ Will’s
⚖ Probate
⚖ Living Wills
⚖ Veteran's Benefits
⚖ Powers of attorney (POA)

⚖ Health & Personal Care Planning ⚖


⚖ Illness, and incapacity
⚖ Plan for a well spouse
⚖ Medicare and Medicaid
⚖ Nursing home claims
⚖ Resident rights in long term care
⚖ Capacity: guardianship and guardianship avoidance.

⚖ Fiduciary (financial) representation ⚖


⚖ Age or disability discrimination
⚖ Asset protection (preservation)
⚖ Financial planning
⚖ Income
⚖ Gift tax matters
⚖ Housing opportunities
⚖ Estate
⚖ Grandparents' rights
⚖ Planning for minor or adult special needs children
⚖ Employment and retirement matters

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    Midwest

    Shelby Township

    Douglas C. Wozniak, PLC
    51543 Van Dyke Ave
    Shelby Township, MI 48316
    586-781-9190 Main
    586-615-2500 Cell


    Sterling Heights

    Jeffrey Michalowski
    44444 Mound Rd.
    Suite 100
    Sterling Heights, MI 48314
    Toll Free: (866) 529-3537
    Local: (586) 264-3756

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    (866) 529 - 3537


    JeffMick

    Jeffrey J. Michalowski

    Elder Law Attorney


    586-264-3756


    ATTORNEY'S

    Jeffrey J. Michalowski

    (586) 264-3756

    E-Mail: jeffm@smdalaw.com

    Jeff Michalowski
    concentrates his practice in:


    ● Elder Law-nursing home, disability and long term care planning.
    ● Probate-assisting families with their loved one's estates in the
    event he or she is disabled or after he or she passes.
    Estate Planning-maximizing an estate, while avoiding probate.
    Corporate Law and Business Consulting

    Prior to establishing Serafini, Michalowski, Derkacz & Associates, P.C.,
    Jeff worked as a business and tax
    consultant for a large regional
    accounting firm, represented corporate clients at a corporate boutique
    law firm, and, assisted families and individuals facing nursing home
    planning options at a firm that specialized exclusively in elder law.

    Born and raised in Macomb County, Jeff now makes his home in
    Washington Township with his wife Kristina.


    EDUCATION
    J.D., Wayne State University Law School
    B.B.A., Adrian College

    PROFESSIONAL &
    BAR ASSOCIATION
    MEMBERSHIPS

    State Bar of Michigan
    Macomb County Bar Association
    National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys

    Toll Free: (866) 529-3537
    Phone: (586) 264-3756
    E-Mail: jeffm@smdalaw.com

    Phil Serafini

    PhilSerafini

    (586) 264-3756

    Email: psslaw@msn.com

    Phil Serafini
    concentrates his practice in:
    ● Personal Injury - Auto Accidents, Premises Liability, Medical Malpractice & Product Liability
    ● Long Term Disability Insurance Claims
    ● Family Law - Divorce, Child Custody, Friend of the Court Matters
    ● FELA
    ● Jones Act & Admiralty Law
    ● General Litigation
    ● Corporate Law and Business Consulting

    Outside the office, Phil enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. He enjoys coaching his sons' hockey teams in Troy and raising money for various charities, including the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

    EDUCATION

    J.D., Wayne State University Law School, 1991
    B.A., Michigan State University


    Toll Free: (866) 529-3537
    Phone: (586) 264-3756

    Email: psslaw@msn.com

    Patrick J. Derkacz

    PatrickJDerkacz

    Patrick
    concentrates his practice in:
    ● Long Term disability Insurance Claims
    ● Internet Sweepstakes & Commerce
    ● Medical Malpractice
    ● Personal Injury
    ● General Litigation
    Prior to establishing Serafini, Michalowski, Derkacz & Associates, P.C.,
    Pat represented a variety of clients
    at firms in the Metro Detroit Area.
    Born and raised in Macomb County,
    Patrick now makes his home in
    Rochester Hills with his wife and children.

    Patrick enjoys working on classic cars and spending time with his family.


    EDUCATION
    J.D., Detroit College of Law at
    Michigan State University cum laude
    B.S., Eastern Michigan University


    PROFESSIONAL &
    BAR ASSOCIATION
    MEMBERSHIPS

    State Bar of Michigan
    Oakland County Bar Association
    Michigan Trial Lawyers Association


    Toll Free: (866) 529-3537
    Phone: (586) 264-3756

    patd@smdalaw.com


    Main Office

    44444 Mound Road, Suite 100

    Sterling Heights, Michigan 48314

    Toll Free: (866) 529-3537

    Local: (586) 264-3756

    Fax: (586) 264-3783


    West Michigan Office

    109 E. Main Ave

    Zeeland, MI 49464

    (616) 931-3670

    OUR SERVICES


    A WILL is Not Enough!

    A Will is not enough

    A Will DOES NOT avoid
    Probate Court.

    A Will is nothing more than
    your instructions to the
    Probate Court Judge.

    Probate isn't as scary as
    it used to be, but, it is:
    ----Costly
    ----Public
    ----Time Consuming

    Every interested party has a
    right to contest a Will.

    Living Probate
    Living probate is the
    "other side" of
    Probate Court.

    -----Who has control of your
    assets in the event you are
    disabled?
    -----Who has the ability to make
    your medical decisions if you
    are disabled?

    Powers of Attorney avoid the
    necessity of "living probate."
    -----A General Durable
    Power of Attorney gives
    someone YOU appoint,
    the ability
    -----to manage your assets if
    you are disabled.
    -----A Patient Advocate or
    Medical Power of Attorney allows
    someone YOU
    -----appoint to make your
    medical decisions.

    Trust a Trust
    There is no better way to
    manage your estate if you
    are disabled, avoid probate,
    and control distribution of
    your estate once you are gone.
    Trusts are flexible.

    Protecting Marital Assets

    Husband and wife were married
    for thirty-five years. Husband
    was nearing retirement from
    his job with Detroit Diesel.
    Two years prior to husband's
    retirement date, wife was
    diagnosed with Alzheimer's
    disease. Before wife's disease
    progressed, husband retained
    us to plan for his wife's disability
    and to ensure that he could
    afford his wife's care without
    jeopardizing his retirement.


    By simply executing a Trust for
    estate planning purposes, the
    couple was also able to take
    advantage of a key Medicaid
    planning technique; and, as
    a result, when the time came
    to admit his wife to a nursing
    home, husband did not have
    to sacrifice his life savings to
    provide his wife with the quality
    of care she deserved.

    Helping Out Dad

    Helping Out Dad!
    The children of an elderly
    man came into the office to
    discuss their father's recent
    admission to a nursing home.

    They explained to us that
    all he had left was a home
    and some small investments
    totaling $100,000.00.
    After meeting with the nursing
    home admissions staff, the
    family became distraught,
    believing that all of
    their father's remaining assets
    had to be spent on their father's
    care before he could qualify for
    Medicaid. Even worse, the family
    learned that they could keep
    their father's home, but would
    not have anything more than
    $2,000.00 of their father's
    money to pay for its upkeep.

    However, after working together,
    the family saved 60% of their father's
    remaining $100,000.00 through
    systematically divesting his funds
    and qualifying their father for Medicaid
    without sacrificing his quality of care.

    Long Term
    Disability Applications


    We assist you with your initial
    claim filing, gathering medical
    and other support for the claim.
    We manage the claims process
    by addressing the insurance
    company's requests for additional
    information including medical
    examinations or interviews.

    Elder Law Attorneys

    Elder Law Attorneys
    Work with family caregivers to
    find solutions that work.

    Our Elder Law attorneys help
    families secure Medicaid and
    Veterans Benefits without spending
    down family assets. In addition,
    we leverage our elder care referral
    network to identify the very best
    senior care resources in Metro Detroit.

    Through the marvels of modern
    medicine, Americans are living
    longer than ever. Unfortunately,
    living longer does not always mean
    living better. Today’s senior
    commonly require some form of
    long-term care, ranging from
    part-time at-home care, to
    round-the-clock custodial care
    in a nursing home.

    Medicaid, not Medicare is

    Medicaid

    Medicaid, not Medicare is
    Insurance for people confined
    to a
    Nursing home.
    You don't have to lose it all-proper
    planning with an elder law attorney
    can preserve a loved one's estate to
    supplement his or her care, maintain
    a residence, or protect an estate.
    Without proper planning, your loved
    one will be required to "spend down"
    his or her estate, leaving him or her
    with only $2,000.00.
    Laws are constantly changing-don't
    "do-it-yourself"!


    Medicaid allows an individual to
    keep the following assets referred
    to as "unavailable" or "non-countable"
    assets:

    $2,000.00 in cash and cash equivalents
    Home (owned by an individual and not a Trust)
    Car
    Prepaid funeral planning of up to $10,560.00
    Life insurance with a face value of $1,500.0 or less
    Rental property that earns at least 6% of its equity value per year in rental proceeds
    Personal property

    Medicaid allows a married couple to keep the following assets:
    $2,000.00 in cash and cash equivalents
    CSRA $19,020.00 up to $95,100.00
    Home (owned by an individual and not a Trust
    Car
    Prepaid funeral planning of up to $10,560.00
    Life insurance with a face value of $1,500.00 or less
    Rental property that earns at least 6% of its equity value per year in rental proceeds
    Personal property
    Single Premium Immediate Annuity (Medicaid Qualified Annuity)

    Litigation

    Our firm has represented
    a variety of clients in
    several different matters.

    FROM:
    business litigation,
    commercial disputes
    to defending your rights,
    our attorneys are prepared
    to bring you results.

    We will not pursue a cause
    of action that will not be to
    your advantage.

    We believe in representing
    clients fairly and professionally
    to achieve the best possible
    results in their favor
    .

    Family Law

    Family Law

    There are two kinds of divorces
    in the state of Michigan. Divorces
    that involve children and divorces
    that do not involve children.
    These are labeled for the purposes
    of docket management in the Courts.
    Divorces without children are
    labeled DO. Divorces involving
    children are labeled DM.
    In either case, the court has the
    jurisdiction to rule on the
    following issues:
    Property division;
    Spousal support;
    (in appropriate cases)
    Marital torts;
    (in appropriate cases)

    Gender based custody decisions
    are no longer a foregone conclusion
    in Michigan Divorce/Custody Cases.
    Call us today and learn how you can
    protect your custody rights!

    The Concerned Spouse

    Wife and husband lived modestly
    throughout the years. Tragically,
    after turning sixty-five, husband
    suffered a severe stroke rendering
    him incapacitated and dependent
    upon others for his care.

    Although wife was extremely healthy,
    she became deeply concerned that she
    would have to care for her husband
    on her own because their life savings
    of $400,000.00 would be spent over
    the course of the next five years,
    leaving her with nothing to maintain
    her quality of life.

    After discussing several strategies,
    wife decided to employ an aggressive
    Medicaid planning strategy consisting
    of serial divestment and funding a
    Medicaid Qualified Annuity.
    As a result, wife protected their joint
    assets without sacrificing wife's
    retirement and quality of life.

    Probate

    Probate

    ● Living probate is the "other side"
    of Probate Court. Who has control
    of your assets in the event you are
    disabled? Who has the ability to make
    your medical decisions if you are disabled?

    ● Powers of Attorney avoid the necessity
    of "living probate." General Durable Power
    of Attorney gives someone YOU appoint
    the ability to manage your assets if you
    are disabled. Patient Advocate or
    Medical Power of Attorney.


    Why Should We Avoid Probate Court?

    ● Probate Can Be Very Costly
    ● Probate Creates Long Time Delays
    ● Probate Is A Gross Invasion Of Your Privacy

    Probate of an Estate

    Allow us to assist you with your
    loved one's affairs. Handling a loved
    one's estate after he or she is gone
    can be a difficult and confusing process. Although the State of Michigan
    has streamlined probate rules, clients
    often become frustrated by the process.

    Disability Claim Litigation

    Disability Claim Litigation

    Your Claim has Been Rejected - Now What?

    Your disability insurance premiums
    have been paid for years and now
    you have a serious injury or illness.
    You need to collect your long term
    disability benefits, but the insurance
    company refuses to pay.Now what?

    What To Do

    Don't wait to get help. You need to
    find a good disability insurance lawyer
    right away to help you with your claim.

    Not all lawyers are created equal .
    You should find an experienced and
    competent disability insurance attorney
    to protect your rights and assist you
    with your claim. Not all lawyers have
    the necessary expertise and
    experience to handle long term
    disability insurance cases.

    Knowledge is power. The more
    knowledgeable we become about your
    claim , the better we can evaluate the 
    denial and develop a plan to make
    them pay. We obtain your claim file
    as soon as possible from the insurer
    to determine what information they
    reviewed and to gain a better
    understanding of the reason you have
    been denied. You can rest assured that
    your rights will be protected.

    We try and get your doctors involved.
    Your treating physician can provide
    the most powerful evidence that
    your benefits should be paid.
    Many times your doctor is more
    than willing to help.

    If possible, we also try and get your
    employer or co-workers involved.
    Many times your employer recognizes
    that you cannot work and believes
    you should receive disability benefits.
    We have found that a team effort
    most often produces the best results.

    ERISA Administrative Appeals

    First, when a group disability claim
    is initially denied, we obtain the
    claim file and prepare a thorough
    administrative appeal of the claim,
    including obtaining medical,
    occupational, and legal support
    for your claim.

    Our efforts both serve to convince the
    insurer to reverse its denial of the
    claim, and reinforce the administrative
    record that a court views if we are
    forced to file a lawsuit. We have
    successfully convinced the insurer
    to reverse its decision at this early stage.

    File lawsuits against Insurance
    companies. If the insurance company
    still refuses to pay your claim, we will
    file a lawsuit on your behalf to make
    them pay the improperly denied benefits.



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