Joan Cripe Skrzyniarz

Joan Cripe Skrzyniarz

Member and Estate Planning & Administration Practice Group Co-Chair

Education & Credentials


Michigan State University

B.A., 1998

Wayne State University Law School

J.D., 2002

Bar Admission

  • Michigan


  • Michigan Super Lawyers®
    • "Rising Stars," Estate Planning & Probate Law, 2015-2016

Representative Clients

  • Individuals, couples and unmarried couples
  • Multi-generational families
  • Trustees and Personal Representatives
  • Shareholders and Members of closely-held businesses
  • Nonprofit corporations

Prominent Assignments

Design customized estate plans for married couples, unmarried couples, individuals, and high net worth clients that achieve client goals including:

    • Tax savings strategies and estate tax avoidance
    • Probate avoidance
    • Educational planning for children
    • Planning strategies for special needs children/individuals
    • Charitable giving
    • Second marriages and blended families
    • End of life care and life-sustaining treatment
    • Inter-generational wealth transfers
    • Real estate, life insurance, and retirement planning strategies

Represent personal representatives, trustees, and beneficiaries in probate and trust administration and litigation.

Advise individuals and families about guardianship and conservatorship matters.

Counsel individuals and families about post-mortem tax and estate planning.

Professional Involvement

  • State Bar of Michigan - Probate and Estate Planning, Taxation and Litigation Sections, Member
  • Oakland County Bar Association, Member
  • Institute of Continuing Legal Education Contributor

Community Involvement

  • Library of Michigan Foundation, Former Board Member
  • Michigan Senate Committee on Families, Mental Health, and Human Services, Former Committee Clerk
  • St. Malachy Church, Sterling Heights, Board Member
  • Sterling Heights Community Foundation, Former Board Member


  • Presenter, Estate Planning in the Time of COVID-19, Dickinson Wright Webinar, May 2020 
  • Author, “Alternate Valuation Date to Reduce Estate Tax,” Tax Blog, Dickinson Wright, April 2020 
  • Presenter, "Basic Tax for Estate Planners: Understanding the Tax Part of Death and Taxes," Annual Probate and Estate Planning Institute, Institute of Continuing Legal Education Seminar, May 2019 
  • Presenter, "Administer Trust with Incapacitated Settlor," Institute of Continuing Legal Education Seminar, January 2019
  • Presenter, “Estate Planning Tax Considerations for 2017”, Institute of Continuing Legal Education Seminar, February 2017
  • Moderator and Presenter, “Planning Techniques for the Taxable Estate” Institute of Continuing Legal Education Seminar, December 2016
  • Presenter, "Tax-Sensitive Trustee Powers" Institute of Continuing Legal Education Seminar, December 2016
  • Presenter, “Counsel Client about Patient Advocate Designations” Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Elder Law Certificate Program, November 2016
  • Presenter, "Tax Law Series: Estate Planning Tax Considerations for 2016," Institute of Continuing Legal Education Seminar, March 2016
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