Estate Planning & Administration


For many clients, estate planning is a sensitive issue. Dykema attorneys understand the nuances as well as the laws that apply to this unique area of law.

We prepare wills, revocable living trusts and powers of attorney for financial and medical treatment decisions. We structure irrevocable and special-needs trusts, such as generation-skipping trusts, insurance trusts and charitable trusts and prepare family-limited partnerships and limited liability companies. Our lawyers represent fiduciaries in the administration of estates and trusts and prepare individual and fiduciary income tax returns. When necessary, we represent clients in litigation, audits and tax court proceedings.

Our full range of estate planning and administrative services also encompasses:

  • Analyzing the tax consequences of retirement plan distribution alternatives
  • Counseling on income, gift, estate and generation-skipping tax matters.
  • Establishing foundations and other charitable giving programs.
  • Providing legislative support, including drafting proposed legislation and testifying before Congress and the Michigan Legislature.
  • Handling contested probate matters, including will and trust contests and will and trust construction; intestacy and determination of heirs; spousal rights; challenges to joint financial accounts and other joint property; creditor claims; breach of fiduciary duties and estate tax apportionment proceedings.
  • Handling litigation involving federal transfer taxes and related state taxes in federal and state courts, including representing clients on income, gift, estate and other tax matters before all available federal and state courts, tribunals and agencies.

Experience Matters

Recent successes in this area include:

  • Obtaining probate court orders reforming trusts to provide more favorable tax results for beneficiaries, including a reformation obtained in less than 24 hours prior to the closing of a business transaction.
  • Tax-free transfer of nearly $40 million to trusts
  • Obtaining a valuation discount of more than 82 percent on closely held stock.
  • Transferring more than $150 million to trusts at a tax cost of less than $2,000.

ACTEC Family Estate Planning Guide

Click here to view videos that offer families insight into the fundamentals of wills and trusts to encourage planning. New videos will be shared each month.

Events & Speaking Engagements