Education & Credentials
University of MichiganB.A., 1970
University of MichiganJ.D., 1977
- Association of Fundraising Professionals for Greater Detroit
- The Edmund T. Ahee Jewel Award for Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser, 2020
- Chambers High Net Worth
- "Top Ranked," 2017-2021
- Best Lawyers in America®, 2001-2021
- "Lawyer of the Year," Trusts and Estates, 2010, 2017
- "Lawyer of the Year," Non-Profit Law, 2018
- Nonprofit/Charities Law, Trusts and Estates, 2023
- DBusiness Magazine
- "Top Lawyers," Trusts and Estates, 2009, 2016, 2018-2021
- Michigan Super Lawyer®
- "Super Lawyer," 2015-2022
- "Top 100 Lawyers in Michigan," Trust and Estates, 2010
- American College of Trust & Estate Counsel
- Fellow, Elected in 1992
- Individuals and families whose net worth ranges from $2 million to over $1 billion
- Owners and managers of family businesses
- Senior executives of publicly traded companies
- Unmarried couples seeking legally enforceable arrangements
- Professional fiduciaries: JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., Northern Trust Bank and Comerica Bank
- Public Charities
Develop and implement enforceable estate plans for the management and transfer of assets during life and at death in ways that avoid unnecessary taxation, preserve privacy and protect loved ones.
Assist clients with flexible arrangements that minimize risks associated with potential federal estate tax charges.
Counsel clients about how to 'stretch' the distribution of retirement plans so as to defer and minimize income taxation.
Assist individuals who are contemplating marriage or divorce to protect their assets and loved ones through marital agreements, trusts and other enforceable arrangements.
Assist owners of closely-held family businesses in transferring ownership to the next generation through sales of business interests that preserve cash flow for the senior generation and shift growth to the junior generation.
Structure grantor retained annuity trusts--particularly in a low interest rate environment--to transfer volatile growth assets to the next generation while minimizing gift tax consequences.
Advise multiple generations about the creation and management of family limited liability companies to facilitate transfers to younger family members at a discount.
Establish qualified personal residence trusts to transfer valuable and appreciating homes to children at minimal gift and estate tax cost.
Counsel individual and corporate fiduciaries in the efficient and timely administration of estates and trusts.
Secure protection for clients suffering from lifetime disability through private trusts and, if necessary, through court-supervised guardianships and conservatorships.
Negotiate resolution of Internal Revenue Service gift and estate tax audits on favorable terms, including recent rollback of challenge to the valuation of closely-held stock to 25% of amount originally claimed by IRS.
Design flexible estate plans to take account of changes in family and financial circumstances, including provisions for the suspension or withholding of distributions, the extension of the term of a trust or the early termination of a trust.
Counsel clients about achieving their charitable intentions through tax-efficient outright gifts, 'lead' and/or charitable remainder trusts, private foundations, donor advised funds and/or supporting organizations.
Counsel public charities about securing and retaining tax exempt status, including compliance issues in a changing and challenging environment.
- Probate & Estate Planning Council, Chair 2003-2004, governing body of the Probate and Estate Planning Section, the largest practice section of the State Bar of Michigan; currently ex-officio member
- Legal and Financial Advisory Network of The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
- Financial and Estate Planning Council of Metropolitan Detroit
- State Bar of Michigan, Probate and Estate Planning Section and Taxation Section
- Member, American Bar Association, Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section
- Director, DMC Foundation, a supporting organization of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
- Advisory Board, The HOPE Fund, a component fund of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
- Advisory Board, Filmer Charitable Trust
- Detroit Institute of Arts, Member, The Tannahill Estate Planning Council
- The Detroit Institute of Arts, Visiting Committee for European Sculpture & Decorative Arts, Chair Emeritus
- "Are Joint Trusts the New Black?," ICLE Annual Probate & Estate Planning Institute, May & June 2017
- "Promises and Pitfalls of Serving as Trustee," ICLE Annual Probate & Estate Planning Institute, May & June 2016
- "Ethical Dilemmas in Trust and Estate Administration," Michigan Bankers Association, Midwest Trust & Wealth Conference, October 2012
- "Ethical Dilemmas in Trust and Estate Administration," ICLE Annual Probate & Estate Planning Institute, May & June 2012
- "Qualified Terminable Interest Property", ICLE Annual Probate & Estate Planning Institute, November 29, 2011
- A Review of Big Ten Same-Sex Marriage, Civil Unions and Domestic Partnership Law, American College of Trust & Estate Counsel (ACTEC) Big Ten Regional Meeting, December 10, 2011
- "Dynasty Trusts: Is Anything Forever", Institute for Continuing Legal Education 49th Annual Probate and Estate Planning Institute, Michigan, May & June, 2009
- "The New Biology and Planning for the Next Generation", American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Annual Meeting, March, 2009, Rancho Mirage, California
- "Planning for the Non-traditional Family", Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants, August 21, 2008, Grand Rapids, Michigan and November 11, 2008, Troy, Michigan
- "Planning Techniques for the Taxable Estate: QTIP Marital Trust Drafting", Institute for Continuing Legal Education, Plymouth, Michigan, December 11, 2007
- "Estate Planning for Non-Traditional Families", Institute for Continuing Legal Education 47th Annual Probate and Estate Planning Institute, Acme and Plymouth, Michigan, May & June, 2007