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I am available for consultation on any of your legal needs including those listed below.  If I am unable to represent you after consultation, I will do my best to guide you to another attorney who can.

 

BANKRUPTCY

Let's face it - if you are struggling financially, bankruptcy seems like a scary option.  It is a big decision to file for bankruptcy.  I understand that.  If you are in this position, I encourage you to contact my office for a free consultation to determine if bankruptcy is the best option for you.  When we meet face to face, I will spend the time getting to understand your situation so that I can evaluate and discuss with you what your options are.  If I don't believe bankruptcy is your best option, I will tell you that and offer advice for other options.  If bankruptcy does make sense, I will explain to you what you can expect from me, the bankruptcy process, and what the cost will be if you decide to retain me as your attorney.  I will also explain what will be expected of you.  I know that it is complicated and can be overwhelming, but I will be with you through the process from beginning to end.  I will work hard to protect your assets, eliminate your debt, and help ease your mind by being responsive to your questions, treating you with respect, and keeping on top of deadlines so that you can receive a discharge of debt and make a fresh start.

 

PROBATE WORK

Probate Court has jurisdiction over the handling of assets upon death or disability.  It goes hand-in-hand with estate planning.  A goal of having an estate plan in place is to avoid involving the probate court in the event of your death or disability.  Probating an estate can be a lengthy process and can be quite costly, especially if it is contested.  When a loved one dies or becomes disabled, the last thing that their family should need to worry about is a lengthy court process.  It is my goal to provide you with the easiest, most cost-effective way of handling the transfer of assets upon death or to establish a necessary guardianship or conservatorship during disability.

 

FAMILY LAW

I am available to represent clients in family law and divorce cases in Allegan County, Kalamazoo County, Van Buren County, Kent County, Ottawa County, and Barry County.  These types of cases are often very difficult and emotional for clients, and understandably so given the stakes involved.

Michigan follows the "equitable division" rule for dividing marital property and debts.  This usually means that assets and debts are divided on a roughly even basis between the divorcing parties, but in certain situations a court does have the authority to divide marital property and debt in way that the court believes is equitable under the circumstances.

Child custody issues are complex.  Michigan family law is designed to favor the best interests of a child whose parents are divorcing.  Any custody agreement must be in line with certain factors that are prescribed by Michigan law.

I work closely with my family law clients to set realistic expectations for their case, give them the information they need to make informed decisions, and execute a sound legal strategy to protect their legal rights.

 

LANDLORD/TENANT

Michigan landlord/tenant laws are very complex.  Both the landlord and the tenant have many rights.  The procedure to evict a tenant is a very timeline-driven process that requires that certain steps be taken at specific times.  A landlord cannot resort to "self-help," but must follow the legal procedure to protect themselves.  As your attorney, I can help you understand the process and work to achieve the most favorable results possible.

 

ESTATE PLANNING

People tend to only look for an attorney to help them when something goes wrong.  Developing an estate plan is preventative in that it protects your assets and makes certain that your wishes are carried out in the event that you become disabled or deceased.  One of the most tragic things that can occur during either of these difficult times is for your family to disagree about what they believe your wishes to be.  An estate plan can prevent this from occurring.  Other goals in developing your estate plan include protecting and preserving your assets by avoiding probate or unnecessary taxes and planning for your eldercare or a loved one's special needs.